Love has no limits. After dating for seven years, Sarah and Sean McManamon proudly married each other in front of friends, family and neighbors on April 18 in an unexpected way. Initially, the Lakewood couple had planned on throwing a destination wedding at Century Farms in Carrollton, Ohio. But when Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home orders went into effect, they lost their venue, hair stylists, seamstress and more. Rather than delay the celebration another year, the couple decided to host their wedding right in their front yard. Sarah talks to us about how her dream day all came together.
We were two months out when all this COVID-19 stuff started, and we were completely ready. We were hoping to have the wedding, but then when the social distancing got extended past April 30, we were forced to cancel. It wasn’t feasible for us to reschedule a year from now, and we wanted to get married quick and start a family, so we wanted to get married on April 18 however we could. I decided I’d rather do it in our front yard.
I told my mom that I still wanted a bouquet for me and my sister and some flowers. She went to four of her closest friends' gardens and in her garden and cut a ton of flowers. The florist helped my mom organize all these flowers and make a bunch of stuff for free because she felt so bad for us. My parents drove up Friday night to help decorate the front porch and get the flowers organized, and we strung up lights in the front yard.
I told everyone our ceremony was at 2:30 p.m., but only immediate family got that information and they were invited. It would have just been my siblings, both of our parents, his siblings, and then our grandparents. But my mom and sister went behind my back and kind of just wanted to make it more special. They felt like more people should be there. So my brother's fiancee, who lives in Fairview Park, wrote up a letter and went and put it in all our neighbor's mailboxes and said, "We want to make this day more special for them and their wedding day. Do you mind if we use your front yards so we can invite more people and be more spread out?" I didn’t know this at the time, but all of our neighbors were so excited and so helpful they wanted to do whatever they could do to help.
Sean and I had decided to take pictures in downtown Cleveland. So when we came back, there were probably 100 people in the street and in all our neighbors’ yards. I just started crying before the ceremony because I was so happy to see how many people loved us and came.
I spotted my aunt and uncle from Columbus and then I look around and I see three families separately from Marietta, which is like two hours away. I can't even put into words how amazing it was.
Jeff, Sean's brother got ordained to marry us. He started a Zoom conference call and set it up for everybody that wasn't immediate family so they could log on and watch the ceremony.
Our first dance was “You Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. Two of our neighbors blocked off the street and we danced in the middle of it. People decorated their cars and brought food. I ordered cupcakes so everyone could grab their own. We got cases of champagne and plastic champagne glasses.
Everybody's saying, "If you guys can survive quarantine, planning a wedding and postponing a wedding, and then just getting married on our porch, you and Sean are superheroes and you can do whatever you want in life." That's exactly why I wanted to share the story, was to give other brides hope and spread good news in this time where it's mostly not any good news at all. — as told to James Bigley II