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Baltimore County couple's wedding in jeopardy due to coronavirus

Posted at 10:26 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 23:22:33-04

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — A Baltimore County couple has been planning a wedding for the past year, but because of the coronavirus, their big day has been turned upside down.

Rick Plona and Jessica Mertz first met at the Merrit in White Marsh. It’s the same place Plona proposed. Sunday, Mertz had her bridal shower.

But now their plan to say “I do” on May 16 is up in the air because of the coronavirus outbreak and state mandates on large events.

“We still have so many uncertainties in front of us,” said Mertz.

“We called our wedding venue today. We’re on hold. We have a tentative backup date,” said Plona.

The couple also made calls to the vendors. They already paid them thousands of dollars —and some payments are due soon. Luckily, they say the vendors are willing to work with them the best they can. As of right now, there are no plans for them to change the venue.

“I would say we’ve had about 85 percent of this wedding planned so just imagine if we had to reschedule that,” said Mertz.

“We’re grateful that we had eight weeks to plan for something different I can’t imagine if we were getting married this Saturday or Sunday.”

Mertz’s brother, who’s in the military stationed in Italy, probably won’t be able to make it because of the coronavirus restrictions. It’s disappointing for Mertz because he was supposed to walk her down the aisle since her dad passed away three years ago.

“It’s just one more thing,” she said. “All I wanted was my brother to be there to walk me down the aisle.”

The outbreak isn’t just impacting their wedding but their jobs too. Both of them work at area gyms which were forced to close Monday. They’re now out of work for the time being. But fortunately they were able to save enough money to get by.

“It’s such a different unknown,” Plona said. “You almost can’t believe it’s really happening.”

“We’ve been really good just trying to take everything one day at a time,” Mertz said. “Just focusing on whatever we can do today to prep for tomorrow and enjoy today. That’s really all we can do.”

Despite so many unanswered questions and unresolved issues, the two remain optimistic the wedding will go on, saying they’re going to walk by faith and hope it works out in their favor.