COVID-19 hasn’t stopped love

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of celebrating big events such as weddings, but two Newfoundland couples didn’t let the virus ruin their special day.

Marykate O’Neill
Kicker

Megan and Chad Lowther pose in their face masks to remember their different but magical wedding.
Megan and Chad Lowther pose in their face masks to remember their different but magical wedding. They are among the couples who have not let the pandemic ruin their plans. Photo submitted by Megan Lowther

COVID-19 has forced many couples to postpone their weddings. However, some couples decided nothing could stand in the way of their big day – not even a global pandemic.

Megan and Chad Lowther initially planned to get married in October.

“When we went into lockdown in March 2020, we were so heartbroken,” said Megan. “We didn’t know what would happen come October.”

With no end of the pandemic in sight, the Lowthers made a tough decision.

“We made the decision around the end of April to postpone our wedding, Megan said.”

This decision became burdensome once a constant wave of emotions took over.

“I was devastated,” Megan said. “Something we have been counting down to went right out the window.”

On top of this devastation, Megan started to feel guilty.

“I almost felt like I went through a grieving stage,” Megan said. “I know that sounds silly when things around the world were much worse. Then I felt guilty for feeling bad over a wedding while people were dealing with the unimaginable.”

Hope

After Megan spoke with a friend, things started to look up for the Lowthers.

“She was telling me all about this amazing place, the Gypsy Tea Room,” Megan said. “She sent me photos and I literally died over it.”

Next thing the Lowthers knew, they were planning a last-minute wedding at the Gypsy Tea Room in downtown St. John’s on a very special day – the 11th anniversary of when they first started dating.

“With the pandemic on the go, there was all kind of restrictions for wedding,” Megan said. “Our venue was only allowed to have 50 people. Masks had to be worn, etc.”

With an initial guest list of 220 people, the Lowthers thought cutting that list down to 50 would be impossible. However, it was a blessing in disguise.

“We thought it was going to be hard to do, but it wasn’t,” Megan said. “This was our day and we aren’t ones for big crowds anyway, so it was a huge weight lifted off of us.”

The Lowthers’ pandemic wedding turned out to be everything they ever wanted and more.

“Feb. 6 came in a flash and it was the perfect day,” Megan said. “We had a beautiful short and sweet ceremony with our kids and guests and live-streamed it for our friends and family who couldn’t be there.

“We believe it was fate because just a few days later we ended up in lockdown again. We were meant to get married on our 11th anniversary.”

Tough decisions

For Cassie and Justin Rockwood, having their wedding during the global pandemic was a no-brainer. However, there were numerous factors at play.

“Our wedding was put on hold more than once; we weren’t letting COVID-19 be another reason,” Cassie said. “With coming to that decision, we had to make many other hard choices.”

The Rockwoods had to make the difficult decision of having a small wedding on a day that Cassie’s father could not attend. Working away in Nunavut, Cassie’s father would not be able to make it home for their last-minute wedding.

However, this was a decision they knew they had to make to have another very special person there.

“The person who I wanted there the most was present,” Cassie said. “My older brother Chris received two double lung transplants in six months. In my heart, I knew our time was not only precious but limited.”

wedding during pandemic
Cassie Rockwood hugs her brother Chris on her special day. Chris had two double lung transplants, so having him at her wedding meant a lot to Cassie. Photo submitted by Cassie Rockwood

With this limited time, the Rockwoods pushed toward their exceptionally special day.

“So we did it. It was beautiful. We were surrounded by so much love from such a small group of people.”

Cassie knew in her heart that she made the right choice.

“My brothers were able to give me away. That is something I could never trade for any type of dream wedding.”

Unfortunately, Cassie’s brother passed away in January,  just six months after her wedding and after a lifetime battle against cystic fibrosis. Thankfully, Cassie will always have the memories of her brother by her side on her wedding day.

“The one thing I have been saying since his passing is that I’m so happy that despite many restrictions and rules, we got married,” Cassie said. “Memories with our brother on that day will forever trump any normal wedding we could’ve had.

Cassie hopes that her story will be a path for other brides to follow.

“My advice to any future brides: Do what makes you happy,” Cassie said. “Go with your gut. I went with mine and I couldn’t have asked for a more magical and memorable day.”

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