Megan Sapp and Juan Moreno got married at home in March in front of an arbor handmade by Moreno hours before the wedding. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

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NYSSA – The front yard was not the venue Megan Sapp envisioned for her spring wedding.

She had anticipated an event with close to 200 people at Cow Hollow Park in Nyssa. Guests would fly in from as far as Texas.

Instead, about a dozen close friends and family parked in front of Sapp’s home and watched from their cars as she and Juan Moreno got married on March 27 – pandemic style.

It was safe, it was socially distant, and it was perfect.

“It just felt like a nice bright spot,” Sapp said of her big day. “Everybody’s got all these other crazy things on the back of their mind right now. It was kind of a little break from all of that.”

The pandemic put a stop to everything – bridal shower, bachelor party, honeymoon – but it didn’t get in the way of the couple’s commitment to marry.

The wedding was originally scheduled for late May. In March, Sapp and Moreno quickly realized that the date was just a few days beyond the expiration of the state ban on gatherings.

With elderly guests and others flying in from all over the country, the couple didn’t want to risk getting anyone sick or having to postpone or cancel the event.

So they went the courthouse route. At first they set out for the Canyon County courthouse, where a marriage license costs about half as much as in Malheur County.

They had an appointment and their paperwork filled out, but that same day, Canyon County barred courthouse weddings for non-residents.

They called the Malheur County courthouse, got their license and had Moreno’s brother become an ordained minister.

A few hours ahead of the big day, Sapp and Moreno prepped their yard for the occasion.

“Everything we had we made really quickly,” Sapp said.

She used a friend’s old wedding decorations, lined the walkway with lanterns and even put together her own bouquet with artificial flowers she ordered online.

But something was missing.

Sapp wished she had an arbor to crown the couple’s union.

Moreno, who works in construction, used his skills to build one for his bride in a matter of hours.

Around 6 p.m. on their wedding day, guests drove in and watched from their cars. The couple played the Oakland Raiders theme song and said “I do” in front of friends, family and even some curious neighbors who watched from their windows.

Two doors down, neighbors stood in the street watching and cheering the newlywed couple.

“It was very casual and very chaotic – a testament to our lives as they are,” said Sapp, who works in sales and marketing. “Chaotic but really sweet and it ended up being perfect. Now I can’t imagine having a big giant wedding and doing all that.”

In a way, the venue could not have been more perfect.

Moreno and Sapp began dating in 2016. They met when Sapp bought the house directly across the street from Moreno.

The house, said Sapp, “is the whole reason we met.”

That was the house that served as the backdrop for the wedding.

At first she was upset to cancel her plans, but she said she quickly came to appreciate how it all came together.

“It felt really unfair to me that I didn’t get to have this one day,” Sapp said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not about the wedding. It’s about being married to your best friend.”

Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

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