In sickness and health: Weddings continue during pandemic

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LANCASTER, Ky. (KT)—Weddings are looking much different now that the coronavirus pandemic has shut down churches and many of the industry’s vendors.


When Cierra Best and her newlywed husband, Kyle, decided to move up their wedding because of all the uncertainty, she didn’t even have access to her gown. The seamstress had closed her shop with alterations still to be made.


Was she disappointed? Sure. What 22-year-old woman wouldn’t be after preparing every detail of their big day for more than a year?


“We planned for our wedding for so long, but we could have it a lot worse,” said Cierra. “With everything that’s going on in the world, I have a feeling that things are going to get a lot worse, and quick.”


The couple originally planned their wedding to take place on Saturday, April 25. It would have been the culmination of their five-year courtship celebrated with a church full of family, friends and acquaintances. Instead, they decided on an intimate ceremony one month earlier at Lancaster (Ky.) Baptist Church with only their closest family members.


“We could have waited until June or whenever, but we wanted to just get going and get married,” said Kyle Best.


There were other concerns, too. No politician or epidemiologist can pinpoint the date when the coronavirus will stop making headlines and normal life returns. Plus, the bride and groom have family members in not-so-good health, and they could not stand the unthinkable thought of not sharing the day with their loved ones.


“Family is very important to us,” Cierra said.


Women from the church heard about the spontaneous nuptials and quickly got to work trying to make the day a little more festive. When Kyle and Cierra arrived, they were surprised to see flowers for the bride, a boutonniere for the groom, a unity candle and more flowers on the altar. There was even a white runner stretched down the aisle for the bride’s procession and a small wedding cake from a local bakery.


“That was really nice to see members of the church help make it look beautiful,” Kyle said. “Everything fell into place. It was perfect.”


After the ceremony, family members pulled out their cell phones and snapped pictures of the happy couple. Some photographs Cierra posted on her Facebook page show the newlyweds wearing masks and blue latex gloves and posing with Kyle’s father, pastor and wedding officiant Harold Best, dressed in a paper smock and face shield.


“The marriage is what counts, not the wedding,” said Harold Best, who led his son and daughter-in-law in their vows. The Burlington (Ky.) Baptist Church pastor said he’s leading another couple through pre-marital counseling who are still hoping their April wedding will happen as planned.


“God never promised me a marriage,” Cierra said. “He didn’t promise me a wedding. He doesn’t promise a good life. So, we were just thankful to be married. Some people don’t even have that opportunity.”

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