When Hayley Pass and Frank Palatucci planned their wedding a year ago, they never would have guessed that a global pandemic would derail the entire thing — but that’s exactly what happened.
“We were supposed to get married on Sunday, March 22 but had to postpone due to the coronavirus,” Hayley tells Yahoo Lifestyle via FaceTime.
“Over the past two weeks people started cancelling. We got to the point where we were like, ‘What’s the point of this whole thing?’
Frank says the couple didn’t want guests feeling uncomfortable being at a wedding,
“That’s not the point of a wedding. You want to be able to embrace everyone and be happy and not have to feel fear of being able to hug people,” he says.
The couple made the difficult choice to call the event off, but in the process of informing guests they had an idea.
“As we were kind of uninviting people and telling them that they couldn’t be there we were like, ‘Why don’t we just livestream it on Facebook?’” says Hayley. “We really didn’t have a lot of time to think it through, but we had no choice.”
After informing their guests of the new livestream plan, the couple organised the details of the new event: They would have the ceremony on a Sunday in Hayley’s parents’ New Jersey backyard, surrounded not by the almost 150 guests they had originally planned, but by about 10 close family members.
But just as everything was coming together they were thrown another curveball.
“Governor [Phil] Murphy just enacted an executive order that as of 9 o’clock Saturday night ‘there are to be no gatherings, no weddings, no civil ceremonies,’” Hayley explains.
Franks says that caught the couple off guard.
“It was going to be small to begin with to not have to risk people getting sick,” says Hayley. “On top of this it’s like, ‘My parents are going to go to jail! We’re going to spend our first married night in jail apart from each other.’”
She continues, “I turned to Frank and I was like, ‘Do we do this now?’”
The couple agreed it was the only way, and with just a few hours notice to their guests and officiant, Hayley and Frank said “I do” live on Facebook a day earlier than they had planned.
“Even though it wasn’t exactly what we planned, I think I can speak for the two of us that we couldn’t be happier with they way everything came together,” says Frank. “The happiest is that I’m now married to her. Finally!”
The two still plan to have a big celebration for all their guests at a later date, and have come out of the experience with an appreciation for each other and for the experience.
“It’s quite the story,” Hayley says laughing.
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