A friend, Cheryl Spade, let me know late last year that she was planning her wedding. She asked if I would be available to perform the wedding in May. Last year I was planning on being in Europe in May so I told her I would be in Norway at the time. She moved on to her second choice clergy and went ahead with the wedding plans.
Then Covid-19 happened and lots of plans were changed. We canceled our trip to Europe and Cheryl postponed her wedding. Her plans were to have a fun, smallish wedding at Mogadore United Methodist Church even though she and her fiance now live in South Carolina. When Covid-19 surged in June, Cheryl postponed the ceremony again.
But finally she was fed up with postponing. Cheryl and Scott have been together for seven years and she wanted to get on with the marriage. Scott didn’t care so much whether he stood up in front of 100 people, 50 people, or just me. Cheryl wanted her family to be able to attend with a few friends. Finally they set a date, scaled down the guest list, and decided to go for it.
So, on August 29, I officiated at the wedding of Cheryl and Scott. The ceremony itself was very traditional, with the bride even choosing to be announced as “Mrs. Scott . . . ” Cheryl was able to have all of her family present and a few friends were included in the 50 guests allowed.
There were some ways, however, that the ceremony was anything but traditional. The minister and all the guests wore masks the entire time. People could only sit in every other pew. We were supposed to do everything except the ceremony outside but it rained like crazy the day before and they couldn’t set up the tent. So the reception was downstairs in the church Fellowship Hall. Each of the family and friend groups sat at separate tables and wore masks when they weren’t eating.
The guest favors were hand sanitizer and masks, although Cheryl and Scott did a wonderful job of making this necessity look inviting. Scott and Cheryl had a small wedding cake and the guests had cupcakes. After the meal, per Ohio guidelines, all the leftover food was thrown out.
Tom and I did not attend the rehearsal dinner or the reception. We were happy to celebrate with Cheryl and Scott but we aren’t eating indoors with people outside our very narrow bubble. After the meal, per Ohio guidelines, all the leftover food was thrown out.
I enjoyed presiding at the ceremony and participating in the wedding of a woman who has been a friend since our boys were in preschool Sunday School together. And, now that they have started in the midst of a pandemic, I pray that Scott and Cheryl will be blessed in their life together.