British Columbia

Social-distance wedding celebration becomes social sensation online

Even though their big day was downgraded from more than 100 guests to fewer than 15, it was still "magical," said Joshua and Anastasija Davis, whose wedding photos with friends looking on from a social distance have gone viral online.

Joshua and Anastasija Davis had 1st dance on street with friends looking on after COVID-19 upended their plans

Joshua and Anastasija Davis were married at a small ceremony in Joshua's parents' living room, before they were surprised by friends with a street celebration in Pitt Meadows — with everyone keeping to social distancing rules. (Jan Frew)

Joshua and Anastasija Davis never imagined they'd be having the first dance of their wedding day in the middle of a Pitt Meadows street to a song played over several car radios. 

Friends of the Coquitlam, B.C., couple staged a surprise street party after they were forced to adapt their wedding plans due to the many restrictions on gatherings put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

And even though their big day was downgraded from more than hundred guests to fewer than 15, it was still "magical," said the happy couple, whose wedding photos of their dance — with friends looking on from a social distance — have gone viral online.

Joshua, 27, and Anastasija, 21, say their plans for the April 3 ceremony that they had been planning for almost six months began changing suddenly.

"It was just a mess, like one thing after another, everything continued being thrown at us and it was quite heartbreaking, actually," said Anastasija.

The couple had arranged for a ceremony at a Langley golf course for more than 100 people and had invited family and friends. But then safety measures around COVID-19 started ramping up to limit gatherings, and travel restrictions caused some family members and friends to cancel.

They ended up making an impromptu decision to marry in Joshua's parents' living room in Maple Ridge on Sunday, with fewer than 15 people attending the event.

Street celebration

After a small ceremony, Joshua said they were driven to get their wedding photos taken at Osprey Village in Pitt Meadows, where they were surprised by the friends who couldn't attend the ceremony due to rules over large gatherings and social distancing. 

"They just lined the main street and when they saw us they just started laying on the horns and they had poppers. Some of them had handmade signs," Joshua said.

Friends of the couple who could not attend the ceremony parked along the street where the couple were getting their wedding photos taken. (Jan Frew)

Anastasija said everyone kept their distance in line with the social distancing rules, which say that people who are not from the same household should keep at least two metres apart..

"Most of the people that you see in the photos are all of our friends parked, keeping the social distance by being in the car ... They didn't give us a hug."

The couple had their first dance on the side of street as their friends watched.

"They tuned on the same radio [station] and the same song and we had our first dance. It was great," Anastasija said.

Joshua and Anastasija Davis perform the first dance as friends play music over their car radios. (Jan Frew)

She hopes their wedding gives other couples hope that even during times like these, something beautiful can be created.

"There are girls and couples that are having weddings so soon in the next month or two. It just goes to show it could really still happen even with the social distancing. It can be so magical for them as well."

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