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Couple marries at state capitol after pandemic cancels wedding plans

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BATON ROUGE - On the first day lawmakers returned to the state capitol after weeks of delays due to COVID-19, one couple was also present, but not to hear a bill or meet a legislator. There was a wedding to be had.

There were your typical sights. The exchanging of rings and the first kiss. But it's where the wedding was and why that is anything but typical. 

"Basically, we had a trip planned for Italy," Chad Bajoie said. "We were just going to sign some paperwork, go off, and then come back and have a nice little reception for our family."

Chad and Jessica Bajoie were supposed to be spending the first week of May in Italy as newlyweds, but COVID-19 had other plans.

"First, our airline went out of business," Jessica Bajoie said. "So we found out that we were going to try to have to find some last-minute tickets. That was about two months ago."

After the airplane ticket issue came more bad news. The rest of their wedding vendors in Italy were closing shop.

"They couldn't do business anymore," Jessica said. "They were really sorry, but they could reschedule a wedding at a later time, but that was all the could really offer us."

That's when Chad and Jessica had to step back and make a decision so many couples are having to make.

"The hardest part was just letting go of all the things that we wanted and just adjusting to our plans," Chad said. "But we just looked at each other and realized that we had the most important things, which is each other and our families."

So under a setting sun Monday with limited family in attendance and several others watching via FaceTime, Chad and Jessica said 'I do' on their seventh anniversary. 

Following the nuptials, family members sent Chad and Jessica off to the parking lot. The trip to Italy will be rescheduled eventually, and while it was nothing like they had planned, the newlyweds could not have imagined anything better.

"It was incredible," Jessica said. "It was definitely hard to let go of our original plans, but when you have an entire society having to adjust their lifestyle, you realize what's important. It's not all of the little details that you think you're going to remember twenty years from now. It's that everybody in your family is safe and healthy. We love each other and that's what's important to us."

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