New York couple Reilly Jennings and Amanda Wheeler had a feeling that the coronavirus pandemic was going to derail their wedding plans. So with the help of a friend, they improvised.
The two tied the knot on a sidewalk of a residential street in the city. Their pal, Matt Wilson, performed their short wedding ceremony from his fourth-floor apartment window. Neighbors cheered and sirens wailed in the distance as the couple exchanged vows in front of a parked vehicle and sealed their union with a kiss. A few friends stood several feet away from the couple and one watched the proceedings from inside a car, practicing social distancing as the CDC has urged people to do to try to slow the pandemic.
"We were supposed to get married in October but immediately had a feeling when everything with COVID-19 began that things weren't going back to normal for quite a while," Jennings told E! News on Friday. "We've been talking about a courthouse wedding in the meantime and went to the marriage bureau yesterday to get the license, planning to go back this afternoon to actually get married. As we were walking out the door, the mayor announced the bureau would be closed until further notice."
"We sulked all day until our dear friend messaged us on a group chat letting us know he was ordained by the county clerk's office in New York City. We asked if he could marry us two hours later and he said yes. We both finished up work calls and headed over," Jennings continued. "He, like many New Yorkers, is choosing to do his part to self quarantine and keep the community healthy. We didn't want to ask him to compromise that."
Jennings, a 28-year-old San Francisco native, wore a sleeveless white gown and held a bouquet of white flowers. Wheeler, who is 38 and originally from North Branch, MI, sported a black jacket and matching jeans, paired with a white top and white sneakers.
Jennings and Wheeler met in 2013 at the New York gym Mark Fisher Fitness. Wheeler was a trainer and Jennings worked part-time at the front desk.
"We sort of unexpectedly fell in love four years ago and the rest is history," Jennings told E! News.
When asked why the two decided to get married early amid the pandemic, Jennings said, "Who knows when things will be back to normal? We love each other so much and didn't want to wait. Also.. #insurance."
Jennings said they will remember "the overwhelming sense of joy and love amidst a scary and uncertain time. And how small such a big city like New York City can feel sometimes."