Even as soon as two weeks before their scheduled April 4 wedding, Nancy and Tim Cregan had hope. Some of their guests had already rescinded their RSVPs, but they kept their fingers crossed that their nuptials could go on as planned at a friend’s beach home in Melbourne. Alas, the world had other plans.
Both acknowledge that, in hindsight, it seems ridiculous that they waited to cancel as long as they did, but it was a tough pill to swallow after eight months of meticulous planning, Nancy says.
“It was hard,” she admits. “Neither of us have ever been married, so we’ve thought about this day for a long, long time and had high expectations.”
Plus, at 36 and 44, respectively, Nancy and Tim “didn’t want to continue to put our life on pause,” she adds. So, they decided, the wedding would proceed on April 4 — with some modifications.
In a fateful twist, the friend who had planned to host the celebration at their beach house stayed there during the pandemic, freeing up their home along the course at the Palma Ceia Golf Club. There, Pastor Kathy Connor married the Cregans, with just their parents as witnesses.
“We were kind of bummed, kind of disappointed that our plan wasn’t in place like we wanted. But when the day came, it ended up being extremely special,” Tim says. “Faith is a big part of both of our lives. [This situation] kind of just revealed to us that it’s not always our plan.”
Despite the speed with which the revamped wedding day came together, Tim had a few surprises up his sleeve for his new wife. He reached out to contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath after seeing the artist put out a call to couples who had to postpone their weddings due to the pandemic. Heath created a personalized video of himself performing one of his songs for the Cregans, which Tim played for Nancy after the ceremony and their videographer used to score the wedding video.
“That moment, and the gravity of the whole thing… Now that song is going to be our wedding song and [something] we’ll never forget,” Tim says.
Then, as the couple went to the home’s driveway to pose for more photos, Nancy saw a familiar car pulling toward the front of the house.
“We got toward the street, and the first people I saw were my niece and nephew and brother,” she says. “They had signs. Then I looked down the street, and there were over 50 cars.”
Nancy’s matron of honor, with Tim’s help, coordinated for the couple’s family and friends to stage a car parade after the ceremony, driving by with signs and decorations, since they couldn’t celebrate all together.
“It was such a cool experience and so unique,” Nancy says. “A great story and forever a great memory, too.”
The pure expression of love in such a challenging time was moving even to a complete stranger. As the procession was driving by, the couple noticed a woman standing across the street watching the festivities.
“I don’t know who she is or what her name is, but I was so confused when I saw her because the joy she had on her face about what we were doing was so genuine,” Tim says. “She didn’t know who we were from Adam, and everybody loves a wedding, but she was so excited and pumped.”
Because their wedding was so unorthodox, Tim adds, they’ll remember it far more than if it had gone exactly according to plan.
“I think that it also drove us back to what’s important,” he says. “We didn’t have a fancy wedding. We didn’t have a honeymoon. We came home and ate dinner in our kitchen, the two of us, on our wedding night. Our rehearsal dinner was pizza. It was a Zoom with our friends. I think everything that matters happened as part of our wedding. For me, it was a massive overcorrection on perspective.”
“It sounds cheesy, but it just showed the biggest expression of love,” Nancy adds. “It highlighted how lucky we are to have found each other. And not just each other, but have the family and friends that we do. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.”