A Chicago couple made a selfless decision when their big wedding plans were upended by the coronavirus pandemic — they got married at City Hall instead and donated their $5,000 catering deposit to buy Thanksgiving dinners for those in need.
Emily Bugg, 33, and Billy Lewis, 34, had planned to tie the knot at a funky warehouse in the West Town neighborhood, bringing in 150 guests from across the country, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But it soon became clear those plans weren’t feasible in light of a COVID-19.
“It just didn’t feel like it was in the cards,” Bugg, 33, told the outlet.
The couple, who met on the online dating app Bumble in 2017, ultimately decided they’d rather get married now than wait for the ongoing pandemic to subside, The Washington Post reported.
“We had come to a place where we had some big decisions to make,” Lewis told the paper. “We decided to just go ahead and get on with our lives.”
The pair got hitched at City Hall on Oct. 1 — but made sure their wedding savings still got good use.
Bugg works as an outreach worker at the non-profit Thresholds, which helps those with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions. Because of the pandemic, the organization could not hold its usual Thanksgiving gatherings for its clients, the Sun-Times reported.
So she and her now-husband persuaded their caterer, Big Delicious Planet, to use their $5,000 deposit to package Thanksgiving meals for 200 clients — including turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce, according to the report.
Bugg, along with some co-workers, also personally delivered the food.
“She took what could have been a really sad situation for herself, her husband and her family and she turned it into something magical and beautiful,” Bugg’s boss and Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug told the paper.
Bugg said she and Lewis were “disappointed” about the circumstances but “realized we still have so much.”
“Canceling a wedding compared to what other people were going through wasn’t as big a deal,” she said.