A couple from Illinois, in the US, surprised their families with a wedding ceremony in their kitchen, after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to cancel their planned elopement.
Ashley Wells, 26, and Cody Wells, 35, had originally planned to elope to Las Vegas with their son Sean, seven, and were keen to still keep the date.
After the coronavirus outbreak worsened, instead of cancelling the wedding entirely, the couple decided Ashley’s step-mother Brooke Meritt, an ordained minister, would marry them in a surprise ceremony in their open-plan kitchen/living room.
They did not tell their family, who were invited under the ruse of attending a coronavirus pyjama party.
Mrs Wells told the PA news agency: “I wanted to still keep the date, since by now I have created an email address with my new last name and the date, and I have ordered items with our wedding name and date on it.
“We went to our local courthouse last week and got a marriage licence, so I got to get married in my pyjamas with tacos and champagne.
“My dad also got the opportunity to ‘walk me down the hallway’.
“At first I was very upset and didn’t want to get married, but now, I couldn’t have been more excited. This was perfect, and totally our style. We made the best of the situation.”
The couple were married in front of a small group of family and celebrated with tacos and doughnuts.
Brooke Meritt said: “It was incredibly short and sweet. And now they’re married, that’s the main thing. It was perfectly chaotic which is par for the course for our family.
“One of Ashley’s younger sisters was insistent that she knew something was going on. She was very confident that she was on to a secret plan.
“When she found out it was a wedding, she said ‘I did not have it figured out at all’.
“I definitely did not expect to be marrying someone in the family kitchen, but these are difficult times and if anyone can make the best of things it’s this family.”
Mrs Wells said: “Everyone so, so very happy and shocked.
“One of my sisters thought she had the whole plan figured out – she did not. It wasn’t until Brooke said ‘surprise, it’s a wedding’, for everyone to really know what was going on.”
In the state of Illinois, as of yesterday, 1,525 people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.