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West Michigan couple determined to marry after dream destination wedding and backup wedding cancelled

Michigan or Mexico, Amanda and Jeff were getting married on April 18.

ZEELAND, Mich. — Plans were made, trips were scheduled, and invitations were sent. 29 family and friends had committed to flying to Rivera Maya, Mexico for a wedding celebration.

But the wedding never happened. At lease not that wedding.

Amanda and Jeff Webber of Zeeland’s trip was cancelled a month before their April 18 wedding date due to stay at home orders.

“I spent a year and a half planning,” said Amanda, “and then COVID-19 happened, and we thought we needed a plan B because I didn’t want to change that date.”

RELATED: Wedding industry takes hit under ban on large gatherings

The date marked their 4-year dating anniversary. She wasn’t budging on the date. So, they planned a small local wedding at a Hudsonville venue.

Then came more executive orders, and that wedding was cancelled too.

“So, that’s when we decided to have it in our neighbors backyard,” said Jeff.

Credit: Amanda Webber
The ceremony took place in their neighbor's backyard.

Their neighbor’s yard a had a pergola, which Amanda ordered some decorations to dress up for the event.

A friend was ordained, and he married them in the backyard. Their four children were there, and their parents, but all kept their distance from those who lived outside their household.

“We just wanted to get married, that’s all we wanted,” said Amanda, “It was quite the journey and we’ll have quite the story to tell our grand kids when we get older.”

But they were in for a surprise. Amanda’s sister, Ashley Cave, helped organize a parade of their family and friends. It was their original Mexico wedding guests and then some, and they honked and gave congratulations from their cars.

“They drove by, honked horns, our subdivision was full,” said Amanda, “they had signs, had confetti and balloons, music going. They stayed in their car and waved, it was awesome. It was a perfect ending we had no idea was going to happen.”

Amanda said the parade brought her to tears.

“I know that day was very special,” said her sister Ashley, “and her dream wedding was on a beach in Mexico, barefoot, and she couldn’t do that. I know family and friends being around her was hugely important to her.”

Amanda’s bridesmaids also had a surprise. They called her while she was getting ready, all wearing their original dresses intended for Mexico.

“While I was getting ready,” said Amanda, “they put on their makeup and did their hair with me as a surprise.”

They also took some photos with Busch Light cans, hoping to win their contest for free beer for couples whose wedding plans were cancelled due to COVID-19.

RELATED: Did you put your wedding on ice? Busch wants to give you something else to put on ice

“it’s a unique story and we’re a unique couple,” said Amanda, “Everything happens for a reason. We’re blessed it was a great day and everything turned out. Not the way we planned, but we rolled with the punches.”

Credit: Amanda Webber
After tying the knot.

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