Everything was set up for the perfect Saturday wedding for a Gresham couple — chapel ceremony, reception at the Abernathy Center in Oregon City with more than 180 loved ones in attendance, and a honeymoon in Cancun.
But then came the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing orders.
First the venue canceled, quickly followed by all the vendors. Then statewide stay-at-home orders put the kibosh on large gatherings, and the honeymoon had to be delayed due to travel restrictions.
Rather than let these things get them down, MaKayla Michener and Nathan Smith remained flexible and resilient. Despite the craziness of the novel coronavirus, they were still going to get married on their chosen day.
The couple tied the knot on Saturday, April 4, in Nathan's parents' backyard. The small ceremony, with only immediate family in attendance and their pastor, was done quickly. Nathan and MaKayla wore matching "Mr. and Mrs." masks, and everyone else in attendance also took protective measures.
"We tried to make this as special and memorable as we could under the circumstances," said Sherry Michener, MaKayla's mother. "We saved the warm hugs for later in the summer."
MaKayla graduated from Barlow High School in 2013, and earned her master's degree in nursing. She currently works at a centralized COVID-19 triage center. Nathan is a superintendent for JT Smith Construction.
Despite everything, the couple was able to celebrate their love. And the good news is, in the near future, once things have settled down, they will have a larger gathering for all of their friends and family to attend. The honeymoon also will take place later this year.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.