Kyle Ferrence and Maggie Murphy planned for their dream wedding to take place on April 21, 2020, in Florida.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thunder Bay Ont., couple was forced to cancel their arrangements just weeks before they were set to take off for their destination wedding.
“Originally when you find out that your wedding is cancelled it’s probably the most negative feeling in the world…it’s not the worst thing that can happen, but you have so many expectations for what your wedding is supposed to be. Then one day you’re just told it’s not going to happen,” Murphy explained in an interview with CBC.
Ferrence and Murphy didn’t let their disappointment take hold of them for too long, and soon they started thinking of new ways they could still salvage what was left of the big day, despite the pandemic.
“This was kinda taken away from us, and we were looking forward to this day…we [didn’t] want to just sit and not do anything,” Murphy said.
On their “almost wedding day” on Tuesday, friends of Ferrence and Murphy surprised them with gifts, a drive by wedding parade, and host of other physically distant activities.
Murphy and Ferrence spoke with friends and family the night before, and decided to decorate their home for the occasion, complete with a sign that read “It’s supposed to be our wedding day in Florida today come celebrate with a drink.”
“We kinda just made it a little venue…all of our friends and family did a little parade around the neighbourhood with signs, then people stopped for some drinks and some cupcakes,” Murphy said.
‘When things are negative in the world a little bit of positivity can bring a community together’
The couple posted hand painted signs outside their home that thanked essential service workers as well, and had some that reminded visitors to remain physically distant.
Murphy said experiencing the support from friends, family, and even strangers helped them to put a positive spin on a negative situation. She added that the experience has allowed them to remain hopeful for their eventual rescheduled wedding day, when they can celebrate all over again with their loved ones.
“To see everyone come by and just kinda show how really loved you are, it shows it’s not just about the day it’s also about who you are with,” Murphy said.
Murphy explained that with all the excitement, their impromptu celebration began to garner a lot of attention from residents across Thunder Bay.
“We had people we didn’t know…they actually dropped us off a wedding gift,” said Murphy. “It just goes to show, when things are negative in the world a little bit of positivity can bring a community together and it just shows how loved we really are.”