Many dream of their wedding – the perfect dress, the venue, the gathering of loved ones – but, like so many events these days, plans have changed.
That is the case with one Long Island couple, who would have been saying their “I dos” this weekend. However, instead of celebrating with family and friends, they will be spending their weekend giving back.
It was in April of 2019 when Brian Fenley asked Sara Pagano to be his wife.
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The picturesque Virgin Islands proposal was supposed to be capped off with a summer camp theme wedding this Friday.
Invitations were sent out, but then, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.
“We haven’t been that worried about postponing the wedding, it seems like minimal compared to everybody else’s struggles,” Pagano, the bride-to-be, said.
That’s when the fun-loving couple decided to do something unconventional: celebrate what would have been their wedding weekend by giving back.
“It sort of just all came together on my run and we’ve sort of took it and went with it,” Pagano said.
Months ago, Sara had a makeup trial. Now, this Saturday she’ll put those skills to test when she wears a beautiful white dress. Not her wedding gown, though, but a different white dress. Her hubby-to-be will also be gussied up as they collect food and cash donations.
“This is the time when people need this, and we have to do it,” Fenley, groom-to-be, said.
Pagano believes the idea is something that people will embrace.
“I think that people want the positivity right now,” she said.
The selfless couple reconfigured their wedding website as a fundraising page for Island Harvest. The Long Island food bank staple is struggling to keep with the need as many face food insecurities during the pandemic.
“Hopefully, everyone that’s involved, it helps them feel good and feel like they can give back,” Pagano said.
Fenley’s dad – who is just as fun-loving and selfless as his son – is helping out, too.
“My dad is going to wear a tuxedo from the waist up and he’s wearing shorts and flip flops,” Fenley said.
The couple’s plans include stopping by their wedding guests’ homes and others who just want to help.
Fenley and Pagano now plans to get married in April 2021...at that same summer camp location.
“We want to be able to hug our families at the end, after we say our ‘I dos,’” Pagano said.
Though the couple knows it is only a matter of time before they’ll get their special day, for now, they are choosing to think of others.