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,” Pass tells Yahoo Lifestyle via FaceTime.
“Over the past two weeks people started canceling,” she shares. “We got to the point where we were like, ‘What’s the point of this whole thing?’
“We didn’t want people feeling uncomfortable being at the wedding because 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,” says Palatucci.
The couple made the difficult choice to call the event off, but in the process of informing guests they had an idea that would change everything.
“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 Pass. “We really didn’t have a lot of time to think it through, but we had no choice,” she adds.
After informing their guests of the new livestream plan, the couple organized the details of the new event: They would have the ceremony on a Sunday in Pass’s parents’ New Jersey backyard surrounded not by the almost 150 guests they had originally planned but by about 10 close family members.
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,’” Pass shares.
“We were caught off guard, because we were like, ‘How do we now organize this and what do we do?’” says Palatucci.
“It was going to be small to begin with to not have to risk people getting sick,” says Pass. “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 jokes.
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, Pass and Palatucci 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 Palatucci. “The happiest is that I’m now married to her. Finally!” he adds.
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,” Pass says laughing.
Palatucci adds, “Quite the story that we will be telling for quite some time for sure!”
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