CUMMING, Ga. (CBS46) -- A local couple had to dramatically decrease the size of their wedding because of the Coronavirus.
They gathered with a few family members and had their wedding in an empty church.
But while the wedding was going on…their loved ones planned a big surprise.
Friends and family secretly gathered in their cars in the parking lot. They cheered, clapped, and honked their horns to greet the surprised bride and groom.
It all started at their weekly meet-up with mutual friends at their favorite pizza spot a few years back.
“I’m a recent widower, and Aleathia was available,” said Bill Johns.
“Oh, can I sit next to you, and he was like, oh certainly!” Aleathia Johns joked about the night they started dating.
The newly wedded couple says it’s important to be able to laugh these days.
74-year-old Bill Johns and 69-year-old Aleathia Johns got married Wednesday at Eastgate Church in Cumming.
“It was much different than what we had envisioned,” Aleathia added.
Instead of the 200-guest list they had planned for April, they had ten people for small ceremony on March 25th.
“Because of the possibility of quarantine,” Aleathia said.
But friends, family, and even the Pastor were in on a big surprise.
“At the end of our ceremony, he says, let’s go outside and take some pictures in the sunshine,” added Bill.
When they walked out, there were cars they were not expecting spread out in in the parking lot.
“They were flashing their headlights, honking their horns, standing up in their sunroofs,” Bill said.
“It made the day; it was like the icing on the cake,” added Aleathia.
Friends and family didn’t want to miss out on the big day, so they thought of a safe way to participate.
“It was perfect, actually, couldn’t have asked for anything nicer,” Aleathia said, “I’m just overjoyed, and I loved every second of it.”
The couple says they’ll have a big party at a later date with all friends and family who couldn’t come because of the coronavirus.
“You can find love at any age, and that you can go forward and still, in the middle of something that’s seemingly so bad, there can be bright spots in it,” said Aleathia.