Josh and Anastasija Davis saw their wedding plans disintegrate due to the COVID-19 scare but their friends managed to make it even more memorable.
The newlyweds, who live in Coquitlam, had been meticulously organized a 135-guest wedding at the Langley Golf and Banquet Centre for April 3, but realized bit-by-bit that those plans were going to be in vain as the news about the pandemic got closer to home.
“We’d invited friends from Europe,” said Anastasija, who is originally from Latvia.
“As well as the States, Hawaii, and from Ontario. Some of them started messaging that they weren’t going to be able to come to the wedding any more. Even my sister-in-law, who was supposed to help with the decorations is stuck in Europe until the end of April.”
Things came to a head on March 16, when Dr. Bonnie Henry announced gatherings of over 50 people were going to be disallowed.
“Our wedding was clearly going to be more than 50 people, so that shook us hard,” Anastasija said.
“We started crying, and thought, goodness, we have to cancel our wedding.”
Josh said they came up with a Plan-B. The couple would get married at his parents house in Maple Ridge that Sunday (March 22).
“They have a pretty decent-sized backyard, so we thought, OK, we can make it work,” he said.
“We can rent some tents and tables and chairs…”
“And make it cute,” Anastasija chimed in.
“Exactly, make it cute,” Joshua said, laughing.
It was painful for them to uninvite their friends, many of whom are from their church, but they felt they had no choice, given the circumstances.
The day before the wedding, things became even worse as some members of Josh’s family came down with fevers and coughs and others from Anastasija’s side, were too nervous to come with their children.
Less than 15 people, all immediate family – except for Josh’s best man – were present at the small ceremony.
The one extravagance was a limo they could not get a refund for, so they thought they would use it to take some photographs at Pitt Meadows’ picturesque Osprey Village.
“On the drive I was saying to my best man that we’ve been so blessed and we are so thankful for all our friends who’ve been so understanding,”Josh said.
As they were traversing the roundabout in Osprey Village, Josh said his best man told them to roll down their windows.
“We were kind of confused but we rolled down our windows and were looking up ahead, and we see all these cars, and balloons, and tons of people in their cars, or looking out their sunroof, or just outside of their car lining the street,” Josh said.
“Our first thought was, ‘Dang it, there’s another wedding! What are the odds?’ and then as we’re coming closer we start realizing, oh, there’s one friend, there’s another and, oh my gosh, these are all of our church friends who couldn’t come to our wedding.”
Close to 50 people lined the street in their cars.
“We started crying,” Josh said, “We were so overwhelmed.”
The couple got out of their cars and took it all in before someone in the crowd insisted they perform their first dance.
A few cars turned their radios to the same station and the Davis’ swayed along the middle of the street to Dance Monkey by Tones and I.
“It was so magical being on the road surrounded by our friends, and family, and loved ones,” Anastasija said.
“We had thought they wouldn’t be able to make it, but they went above-and-beyond to make sure they celebrated our special day with us.”