YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WFMJ) - The pandemic wiped out plans for many of us in 2020, but wedding plans are a lot different than canceling a vacation or missing a baseball game. One local couple wasn't about to let anything get in their way, even if it meant a wedding without a single guest.

John and Michelle Ramunno had originally planned to get married in 2021, when a health scare in the spring moved up the timeline a bit.

"In May, John had gallbladder surgery and he had a lot of complications. During the COVID time we couldn't see each other or barely talk to each other during that time, so when he was getting better, we just decided we're going to get married this year," said Michelle.

So they set a date: November 28th.

They booked the reception hall, a DJ, a photographer; everything was in place until the COVID numbers started going up again in the fall.

"I cried for days," said Michelle. "I cried for weeks, didn't know what to do."

Eventually, they had to make a tough call.

A little more than two weeks before the wedding they took an invitation list of 160 and whittled it down to 30.

Then, just nine days before the big day they got their own COVID test results back: both positive.

Suddenly, all those plans went out the window.

No matter what, they still viewed November 28th as their wedding day, even if it was just the two of them.

"We came down to realizing and especially after that day, all that we did, that it is just about the two of us," said Michelle.

So they created their own special day.

A mutual friend performed the ceremony at the perfect spot, with a reception for two right at home.

"We had a beautiful day. We had it at a beautiful location," said John.

"The suspension bridge is where we told each other we first loved each other," said Michelle. "We changed our dining room into a small venue. We moved things around... We got a smaller cake and just did everything you would normally do at a reception."

They say, in the end they had a wedding that most people would only dream of.

The funny part is, it's actually pretty similar to what John actually proposed all the way back in May.

"When I was in the hospital, my plan for us was to get married on the bridge right away, just the two of us or a small amount of family," said John. "Then we decided to make a larger wedding for a lot more people,
and it ended up being the plan that I thought of from the beginning."

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes; plans can change, but sometimes it still turns out better than you dreamed.

In another fitting pandemic twist they did a socially-distanced honeymoon, hiking down at Hocking Hills.


They do plan to have a bigger celebration with friends and family at some point next year, as long as everything's at least sort of back to normal by summer.