Stanton Heights couple Emily Caudill Martello and Anthony Martello chose their wedding date to fall on the groom’s parents’ anniversary weekend.
COVID-19 threatened to upend those plans, but the couple found a way to get married on that special date — May 9 — even though things looked very different than they expected.
“I feel like keeping that date was a way to take a little power back from this virus that’s controlling so many parts of our lives,” Emily said.
They’d planned an elaborate wedding with 160 guests at Veltre’s Wedding and Event Centre in Plum. They’d already started making the cookies for the cookie table.
But they ended up shelving that, for now, to get married at Emily’s dad’s home in North Huntingdon in an outdoor self-uniting ceremony under an arbor made by her stepdad with a picture of Anthony’s late father next to them.
Immediate family stood to witness, and about 70 others watched from afar on Zoom.
“It was important to both Anthony and I to have people witness our love. Having those people being able to affirm you and witness your love and send you on your way …” Emily said.
Guests ate from individual charcuterie boards lovingly put together by Emily’s stepmom.
The couple cut a lavender-with-almond-buttercream cake from Butterwood Bake Consortium and danced to The Proclaimers’ hit “500 Miles” for the first time as husband and wife.
For favors? Far from traditional, think hand sanitizer, masks, and flyers listing the small businesses they supported for their big day.
Pittsburgh is a big part of Emily and Anthony’s story.
They met in 10th grade chemistry glass at Woodland Hills High School — “you could say we had chemistry,” Anthony joked.
An “Air Force brat,” Emily was in Pittsburgh for just a short time. They ended up going their separate ways after high school but ended up reconnecting, and it all was history from there.
Despite the major changes, they wanted to wed on such a significant date in their family’s story.
“That day was so important to keep because it was partially in memory of him,” Emily said about Anthony’s father, “in keeping his memory alive.”
And in a moment of sweet serendipity: Emily had wanted a winter wedding, and Anthony wanted a summer wedding. So May was a compromise for them. But, the bride said, “it actually snowed on May 9.”
“It’s something that I look forward to telling our kids about,” Anthony said. “All these things were going on, but your Mom and I loved each other enough that we weren’t going to let anything stop us from showing our love on a grand scale.”
We’re publishing wedding announcements for couples whose weddings have been postponed, changed, or canceled because of COVID-19. These are the first and second in the series. If you or someone you know has a Pittsburgh pandemic wedding story, drop us a line at [email protected].