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Josh & Heidi's story

Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2021

My wife and I had only been engaged a couple months when the Wuhan Virus hysterics really took off. When different parts of the country began to shut down travel, businesses, and the like, we didn’t expect it would last long. With an August wedding, we were certain the country would be open by then. Unfortunately, it would seem the powers that be had other plans.

A month out from the wedding, our reception venue cancelled due to Covid restrictions. Then various friends and family members began to back out. This was the biggest setback, especially for my wife, who dreamed of sharing her wedding day with the many people she loved. This was the moment where pushing back the date became a real option, but we held out, with the mindset of making every safety accommodation possible. Every other pew in the cathedral was to remain empty, and hand sanitizer would be readily available to all our guests. We also believed that a prolonged engagement was less than ideal. As much as it hurt not having everyone there, the sacrament remained what was most precious to us. If we could get that right, we could roll with the punches on the rest.

[Pictured: reception "before;" below: reception "after."]

Fortunately, as different walls popped up, we had an excellent support system to help us. They wanted a happy wedding almost as much as we did. When the venue dropped out, my in-laws offered to host the reception on their property. When the baker quit two days before the wedding, a friend offered to make the wedding cake herself. Various families donated air conditioners and decorations. It really was an extraordinary thing to be a part of! The wedding ceremony was picture-perfect. The reception had a variety of hiccups, but what reception doesn’t? We were, and are, married. No virus or world power could take that covenant away from us.

Looking back, the most stressful stuff was not Wuhan-related. That award goes to the category 4 hurricane named “Laura” that hit our state four days after the wedding. That may seem like a lot, but if you read the tortures the woman and her seven sons experienced in the book of Maccabees, one can’t help but conclude that life isn’t that bad. I married my best friend. We’ve been told many times how beautiful our wedding ceremony was and how much fun our reception was. We were on the receiving end of more charity from our community than we could hope to repay. And my wife’s family was there every step of the way plugging the holes that appeared in the bottom of the boat that was our wedding. With all of that in mind, I must affirm that life really is not that bad.

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