This story was featured in the Fullerton Free Press – Proudly Serving Orange County – The Education Community
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Kirsten Haigh and Steve Shoemaker planned a big wedding for Labor Day weekend for their special day, with 150 friends and family, dinner, dancing, and all the trimmings one could ask for. But when the pandemic hit, things changed.
They were okay with scaling things down, but there was one particular person who couldn’t make it to the wedding as she was in an assisted living center; for her to leave would mean putting her at risk.
Then the idea came to them – to have the wedding at Park Vista Health Center in Fullerton, where Kirsten’s 89-year old grandma could witness her first grandchild’s wedding.
Health and safety came first, especially for the special hostess Grandma Jerry Goss they were paying tribute to. The couple thought of having the wedding in the parking lot so grandma could watch from her window. Park Vista Administrator Haidy Andrawes says there’s been not one single resident case of COVID-19 at their facility, so she suggested outside in the courtyard with all the precautions in place. The wedding and reception would be for two hours. No more than 15 people were allowed to attend. Everyone sat six feet apart, masks were required, all had their temperature checked and hands sanitized before going in, and sanitizer was available around the facility.
Steve Shoemaker, the groom, told Vikki Vargas from NBC LA News, “We are making a really memorable experience for our whole family here. We are all going to remember 2020 for a lot of terrible reasons, so we wanted to give everybody a really safe and positive thing to take away.”
And they did. As this will be something for the family to remember for years to come.
The whole family was involved as the bride’s father walked his daughter down the aisle, the grooms younger brother served as the officiant, and the bride’s sister was her maid of honor. The event ended with a small reception, including cake, champagne toast, and of course – the first dance.
Kristen said it best when being interviewed by Vargas, “It’s a reminder of what’s important and how special it is that when you boil it down to what really matters.