Next in our series of stories about Greenbelters adapting to the pandemic is an especially happy one – of how two Greenbelters tied the knot and celebrated with friends and family – covid-safely. Where there’s a will…
Dee Sweeney and Tim Saurwein’s plan was for a ceremony at the Annapolis Courthouse, followed by a luncheon at Reynolds Tavern and then in August an informal crabfeast reception. The date was to be April 3. We all know what happened just before then.
After the lockdown, they learned that no weddings were being done at the courthouse, period. By June 6, weddings would resume, but only by Zoom. Dee recalls that “That was a setback, realizing they’d be by themselves.”
So they waited until the courthouse opened for in-person weddings and arrived as walk-ins (no reservations were allowed) on July 24.
Plan B Wedding
That was the day that Dee and Tim went alone to the courthouse – no guests or even their own witness was allowed – and stood behind plexiglass as the court employee/officiant performed the ceremony with preprinted official vows (nothing personalized). They were required to wear masks until the very end, when they were told “You may remove your mask and kiss the bride.”
Immediately after the ceremony they went to Miss Shirley’s for breakfast.
Plan B Reception(s)
Next came a roving “reception” of sorts. Or as Dee puts it, “It was an opportunity to be creative!” They made a series of four visits to family and friends in Annapolis, Edgewater, Bowie and Columbia, handing out the 36 cupcakes they’d had made by Cakes Plus for the occasion.
Then back to Greenbelt, where they discovered the front of their house on Ridge Road had been decorated by their next-door neighbor Hopi Auerbach and Tim’s sister Laurie Crunk, and enjoyed “an amazing dinner with & cooked by Laurie and Terri Goodnow.” Laurie and Terri had also organized a parade in their honor of 13-15 people, including drumming by Katy Gaughan. Dee writes that “Sooooo many drivers honked & waved good wishes to us, as if they were feeling ‘Yes! Finally! A celebration!'”
After dinner, the newlyweds proceeded to a large outdoor party (also organized by Laurie) that was gathered behind the home of Amethyst Dwyer and Dorian Winterfeld. What they found upon arrival – watch in the video below – was a “semi-surprise” and a “great way to end the day!”
Dee writes that “We are so grateful to Laurie for making our day so special.”
Speaking of music, Tim also is a musician, one of the Musicians of Greenbelt on this site.
Plan B Honeymoon?
The couple describes the day’s events as a “blast” but a bit of “social overload,” so they spent the next day mostly sleeping. Definitely NOT off to the airport for a honeymoon.
Instead, they left in late September for Glastonbury, England for a several-month-long stay. Tim describes the town southwest of London as an “older and bigger version of Greenbelt.” I found Glastonbury described online as a “center of New Age culture,” which sounds about right. They plan to have a Celtic “hand-fasting ceremony” there with their many Glastonbury friends. This time, they’ll be using their own vows.
Their plans for that big crab feast are still in the works, though – hopefully in the summer of 2021, maybe on their first anniversary. If life is back to normal by then.
Read about another covid-times wedding – of Shayna Skolnik and Eddie Gonzales.
NOTE: By contributing these pandemic stories, photos, et cetera, Greenbelters are making an unconditional donation of the material to the nonprofit Greenbelt Online.org and the Greenbelt Museum/City of Greenbelt, which reserve the right to keep, lend, or otherwise dispose of the donated material, and may use the material on our website, for social media or other postings, in promotional materials or in future exhibits.