This is how weddings work: the newlyweds make their celebratory toast. The food is served. The cake gets cut.
The bride and groom share their first dance as a married couple. Moreover, the party is officially started by anyone who feels like kicking up their heels.
Further, as the event comes to its end, the bride tosses her bouquet. Finally, the happy couple heads off for their honeymoon. And along the way, everything is documented with pictures and videos.
Then COVID-19 arrived on stage and announced the change of the rules.
Applying The New Rules
When Tyler and Melanie Tapajna of Parma, Ohio, decided to get married, they knew that they would have loads of things to deal with.
They would have to optimize their plans for a traditional wedding regarding coronavirus concerns.
Luckily, they came up with a creative alternative that was truly inspiring.
The Tapajnas contacted their caterer, Betty's Bomb Ass Burgers.
But instead of looking for a refund, they had another question. They asked the owner, Lena Brown if it would be possible to take the money from their reception and turn it into meals at a local homeless shelter instead.
The lovely couple decided to contact Laura's Home, a local shelter for homeless women and children, to make the arrangement.
They both left Brown to coordinate a kid-friendly, cafeteria-style menu with Laura's Home kitchen manager.
Their only request was to help serve the food themselves - on their wedding day.
The After Party
On August 15, after exchanging their vows in an intimate ceremony attended by family and close friends, the couple headed to Laura's Home. They were still wearing their wedding gear.
The bride swapped her veil for a hairnet, and the groom wore one too. Both of them were suited up in face masks and food-service gloves. Then, they stepped behind the cafeteria counter to help prepare the heartwarming meals.
This event gave a whole new meaning to the common phrase: service with a smile.
Not The First Time
Rich Trickel, the CEO of The City Mission which oversees operations at Laura's Home, claimed:
"It's not unusual for us to have meal donations at our facilities. What made it completely special is that from their wedding ceremony, Melanie in her beautiful gown and Tyler in his tux put on a hairnet and gloves and served the guests…I mean, who does that? It's an unbelievable act of generosity and compassion."
Melanie admitted how she and her husband have been making donations as a couple since their first meeting at a friend's wedding in 2016.
"I asked Tyler what his favorite part of our wedding and he told me it was the amount of smiles that it brought. Not only was it the women and children, but the volunteers and workers who were happy to see everyone enjoy themselves…Of course, getting to marry my best friend was one of my favorite parts."
She was happy to report their catering budget turned out to be large enough to feed shelter residents for several days. But, according to the bride, that wasn't the best part.
The COVID-19 pandemic surely served many restrictions on our plates. But that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy the best moments of our lives to the fullest.