Couple Planned A Front Porch Wedding During A Pandemic

Julie Samuels and Joe Hillyer had planned a simple town hall wedding with just witnesses, followed by an intimate dinner at home. However, they had a lot more festivities planned later on. That was long before the pandemic reached its way to the US. Luckily, their wedding day was a perfect example of how a community comes together in the name of love.

Couple Planned A Front Porch Wedding During A Pandemic

Online Dating

Ms. Samuels, 53, and Mr. Hillyer, 58, first met in 2007, on the eHarmony dating site. After a deep background check, Samuels finally met Mr. Hillyer for a drink at a bar. The date was so perfect, she shared: “I thought, ‘Gosh, my mom was right — when you meet the right person, you just know.’”

Meeting The Family

A month into dating, Samuels met Hillyer’s extended family. That was the perfect timing for Samuels to forget about her fears and doubts. She was shocked when one of Hillyer’s sisters said “I love you”, to which he replied when she told him: “I love you, so she loves you.” Samuels was amazed by the family’s generous spirit.

The Proposal

Mr.Hillyer was a bit reluctant to move in with Samuels, but in 2017 they finally did. By then, Ms.Samuels had worked as a lawyer for big corporations. But, in 2019, she resigned and Hillyer said he’ll support her: “He was the first one who said, ‘If you do it, we’ll get married,’” Samuels said. “He didn’t ask me if I wanted a ring, nor did I want him to. I just wanted to marry him.” She continued.

Couple Planned A Front Porch Wedding During A Pandemic

Planning A Wedding

The ceremony was supposed to take place on March 27. They had set up three nights of festivities, with all of their friends and family. Then, the pandemic hit the world to its core. The wedding had become a concern, so they took Facebook on March 16, to find someone local with qualifications to marry them. Within minutes they received an answer and were thrilled. On March 21st, weddings and other gatherings were banned which complicated things for the couple, but they had a few more hours before than ban started.

Couple Planned A Front Porch Wedding During A Pandemic

A Wedding Day Against All Odds

On that day, Roger Sederat who was Samuels and Hillyer’s marriage officiant, turned the front of their house into a festive scene. Their next-door neighbors, who agreed to be witnesses via text message also used a freshly disinfected phone to broadcast the wedding to their family and friends via Zoom. Once everyone took their places Sederat said: “We’re all aware these are exceptional times,” he said. “But this wedding has started to remind me that life goes on. This is about putting love at the center of everything.” It’s true what they say, love does conquer it all.

Couple Planned A Front Porch Wedding During A Pandemic