Newlyweds Donate Wedding Reception To Homeless Shelter

Dressed in a wedding gown and tux, Ohio couple Melanie and Tyler Tapajna spent their first few hours as husband and wife at a homeless shelter serving women and families in crisis.

Before the pandemic hit, the couple had arranged to celebrate their nuptials in a more traditional way. They had planned a large 150-person party and booked a DJ and local caterers to help ring in their big day in August of 2020.

But as venues began to cancel events due to coronavirus, the couple had to change their plans.

"It was really either have the big wedding or donate the food," Melanie Tapajna told CNN. "We were actually kind of excited I think more about donating the food than being stressed during the wedding."

The newlyweds served fried chicken, green beans, salad and mac and cheese to a total of 135 women and children at Laura's Home — a women and children's facility run by The City Mission in Cleveland, Ohio.

"It was really unbelievable,” said Rich Trickel, the CEO of The City Mission in a CNN article. “Especially when you think of many of our clients, the women and kids that are in our building, possibly have never been at a wedding like that before."

The Tapajnas, who said they support a charity every year said they are happy with the way their wedding day turned out.

“This is actually, probably the best outcome of it all,” said Melanie to reporters. “Why not spread the love. Seeing everybody happy is making us happy.”

The couple said they hope their donation inspires others whose wedding plans have been derailed by COVID-19.

"You can definitely give back in times like this," Melanie said.