BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — They were on the doorstep of the biggest day of their life. High school sweethearts ready to become man and wife.
Joseph Howard and Amber Callahan picked the song they’d dance to for the first time as man and wife.
“'Can’t Help Falling in Love' by Elvis Presley, but we’re going to have the Hailey Reinhardt version of it,” Callahan said.
The new version wedding day has been scaled down and turned into a small stress-filled portion of what the day they originally dreamed of.
It was supposed to happen at the Bayfront Club in Edgemere.
“All we were asking for was just to push it back a year, because no one saw this coming,” Callahan said. “All our companies, flowers, photographer, caterers everyone seemed to be fine and understanding.”
They wanted to move their date to May 15, 2021.
Bayfront Club told them their policy allowed them to reschedule up to a year out, or pay an extra $2000 for that date because it’s more than a year away.
WMAR-2 News's Eddie Kadhim spoke to Rob Goyena with Catering by Uptown who runs weddings at the venue.
On the day they talked, he said they changed their policy and would let the couple know they could move their date to May 15, 2021 or any date up to June.
“The unprecedented actions taken by the Government to the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 have hit all of the hospitality industry especially hard,” said Goyena. “The request to fully cancel any/all events of the hospitality company would put companies out of business, put employees out of work, and make it impossible for companies to serve their obligations, including to those clients whose events would be outside the pandemic.”
The family now wants to just cut ties and get their $2000 deposit back.
“It’s not about money for us, it’s about creating that memory. Creating that happiness. We only plan on getting married once. We wanted it to be our special day and I feel like they just turned it into all about money.”
The cancellation costing thousands of dollars in much needed revenue is also shattering a dream day—both sides realizing this isn’t where anyone wants to be.
Cindy Loftus has been dreaming of watching her daughter Amber walk down the aisle
“She’s not going to be able to wear the dress that she wanted to wear because she hasn’t been able to go and have it altered,” Loftus said. “She’s not going to able to have her two brothers and Joeys sister at the wedding because of the limitation of the ten people.”
The family decided to shift their focus to tying the knot in anyway they could.
Moving the ceremony to Saint Rita’s Church, setting up a live stream, and breaking a 140 person list down to ten.
“My daughter's six, that’s Ambers niece...she was going to be the flower girl,” Amber’s sister Jessica Oswinkle said. “She’s been looking forward to this day since they got engaged on Halloween. It’s hard to explain she can’t come inside, she can’t wear her flower girl dress that we took her to pick out.”
Another look at the trickle down effect of this pandemic that is impacting so many lives.
“People are getting sick with this virus and dying. Really just keeping a positive outlook on it we’re just excited to get married together so.“
The family said they are hoping to have a celebration in a year and inviting everyone that wasn’t allowed to their wedding Friday.
Uptown Catering has kept their employees working by preparing 50,000 meals for people in need during the pandemic.