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Steven is a true romantic. He and Lisa had been together for 9 years before he’d finally saved up to afford the ring that Lisa, a cancer survivor and nurse, deserved. He proposed just six weeks before much of the country went into a lockdown. They immediately began planning but their hopes of a 2020 wedding were dashed soon after. They couldn’t even dream of a micro-wedding because Lisa was caring for burn and trauma patients at a D.C.-based hospital where patients were too often testing positive for COVID. Going forward with a wedding before an available vaccine would have exposed vulnerable friends and family to the virus.
The perfect pair, now a decade into their relationship, say the pandemic brought them even closer together because they had to become each other’s primary support system through tough and long days. The couple dreams of having an intimate wedding with their closest friends and family and hopes to start replanning soon but don’t quite have a new date yet. Originally from New York City, if the happy couple win the prize, they hope to tie the knot in Brooklyn.
Savanna and Truman met when they were just 11 years old and they’ve been together for ten years, beginning their romance in just seventh grade. Their July 2020 wedding was cancelled and money was lost from vendor deposits. The pair originally planned a 250-person wedding, but the state had a 50-person limit on events at the time and believe it or not, that doesn’t even cover Truman’s side of the family so canceling until it was safe for large gatherings was the only option.
The couple remains optimistic that this is their year. With a new wedding date of July 24, and both recent college graduates, there is a lot for them to celebrate in 2021. Savanna graduated with her nursing degree and Truman graduated with his degree in computer science. This young and in-love couple would use the prize to cover the cost of their venue. They were luckier than some couples and were able to book their same venue. The couple would also use the prize to create an epic experience for their guests through food, beverage and a DJ that keeps everyone on the dance floor.
Ayana and Ellis had the perfect 250-person celebration planned for June 2020. They made the difficult decision to postpone their large wedding and instead planned a smaller, more intimate ceremony to tie the knot later that same year. That small ceremony officially made them husband and wife but they still yearn to have the happy celebration with the family and friends that they so dearly missed during their ceremony. The couple had the foresight to record their small ceremony and will be showing it during a cocktail hour for their summer celebration. This is just one of the creative ideas coming out of the micro-weddings held in 2020.
Ayana says she knew that Ellis was the one because he took three busses and a train to meet her for their first date. Originally from Philadelphia, the couple moved to California during the pandemic for Ellis’ job. In addition to covering the cost of the wedding reception, the avid travelers hope to use a portion of the prize to fund a dream honeymoon in Bali.
Mariel and Neil were set to marry on August 22, 2020 but postponed pretty early into the pandemic because they are both in the healthcare field and were on the front lines with those impacted by COVID. He’s a respiratory therapist and she is an emergency room registered nurse. In fact, a hospital is where their love story was born over 5 years ago. Their relationship grew each shift as small talk became long conversations about their mutual love of Star Wars and the struggles they both faced as single parents.
The couple is planning to wed this summer at her parents' house and they know that postponing was the right decision to keep their family and friends safe. After everything they’ve seen in the past year, this day means more than anything to them and will be the celebration these healthcare workers deserve. If they win the grand prize, they would be able to find a proper ceremony space, not have to worry about cutting costs, and possibly even splurge on a late-night food truck with hopes to have some money leftover for a honeymoon.
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