Couples with dashed wedding plans due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been tying the knot on lawns instead -- even the lawns of total strangers.
Danielle Cartaxo and Ryan Cignarella were supposed to get married in West Orange, New Jersey, on April 11 at a venue with sweeping views of the New York City skyline. Rather than abandon their Easter Weekend nuptials, they headed outdoors.
The tricky part was finding a lawn. The two live in Wayne, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles away, but they had a marriage license issued in West Orange, where Cartaxo lived until she was 5.
"We still felt like at the end of the day making that commitment to each other was important and we didn't want to wait," Cartaxo said.
But they were barred from marrying in a public space. That's where a stranger, Janice Berman, comes in. A friend contacted Berman, and she offered her front lawn.
The couple's maid of honor and best man attended at a safe distance, as did Cartaxo's parents. The bride, in a short white dress, held a bouquet. A small, handwritten "Just Married" sign marked the occasion. They'll have a party later.
In Muskego, Wisconsin, Kalee and Tim Gbur weren't in need of a borrowed lawn. They used their own for their wedding on April 18.
"We went through weeks of trying to decide. Should we move our date altogether? Should we keep it April 18? I said, `You know what, I don't want to give up our date. I want to honor my grandma,'" Kalee said.
"When we were doing this we were like, this is just not going to be what we wanted, but it actually ended up being better than what we wanted. It really touched our hearts seeing everybody there, just coming together," Tim said. "I wouldn't change a thing."