Prior to the pandemic, Tyler and Melanie Tapajna had planned a 150-person party to celebrate their August wedding. They booked a DJ and local caterers to help with the big day. However, as venues canceled events due to the novel coronavirus, the couple was forced to change up their plans.
In lieu of a big gathering, the Tapajnas decided to host a small backyard wedding with immediate family members only. Afterward, the newlyweds all the uneaten food to a local shelter.
"It was really either have the big wedding or donate the food," Melanie said. "We were actually kind of excited I think more about donating the food than being stressed during the wedding."
The couple headed to Laura's Home, a women and children's shelter run by The City Mission in Cleveland, Ohio. There, Tyler and Melanie, dressed in full bride-and-groom gear, donned facemasks, gloves, and hairnets to serve the food.
A total of 135 women and children were served fried chicken, green beans, salad, and mac 'n' cheese.
"Something like that had never occurred before," said Rich Trickel, The City Mission CEO.
Melanie and Tyler hope that their act of service would inspire others who may be in a similar position.
"You can definitely give back in times like this," Melanie said.