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Stay Strong From Iryna & Frank

Frank and I got engaged in Barcelona in August of 2019 and started planning our wedding at the end of the year. We glanced over the calendar and there it was — the coolest date of the year — 10.10.2020! Soon thereafter, we learned that this was a popular date since most of the venues we contacted were already booked.

With that said, neither of us like taking no for an answer, so we did not give up. After contacting Hyatt Chesapeake Regency Resort in Cambridge, Md., we learned that one of their venues was still available for our date. Since we were not planning a big party in the first place, a venue for 60 people was just perfect! After going on the tour, seeing the beautiful views of the Choptank River and all the gorgeous amenities Hyatt had to offer, we knew we did not want to look any further!

As COVID hit in March 2020, right after we had our tasting at the Hyatt, we were not extremely concerned, as our wedding date was still six months away. We decided to stick to the plan until we were told that it would have to change. As October approached, some restrictions were eased and we were able to have a 60-person wedding with an outside, Catholic ceremony and a reception in one of the ballrooms that had become available at the Hyatt.

I remember looking at our beautifully decorated ballroom and the Grand Fireplace hours before our wedding and thinking how fortunate we were to be able to share our special day with our family and friends; and most importantly, my lovely parents were brave enough to come all the way from Ukraine to be here for us. Their speech left a lot of guests, and us, feeling very emotional (which is saying something because English is not their first language).

I know many couples planning their wedding in 2020 were not as fortunate as us. It hurts to put so much time and effort into your special day, and being forced to cancel all your plans. Some couples had to reschedule their weddings multiple times, and the pandemic overall has had some negative impacts on human relationships all over the world. There are a lot of things we cannot control; but what we can do is value our loved ones, appreciate what we have, and what took a long time to build.

My advice to all the couples planning their big day would be to stay strong and never give up on your love!

Iryna Gunsallus,

Multimedia Account Executive for APG Media of Chesapeake and 2020 bride.

Photos By Nikki Shaw Photography

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