The Sept. 12 wedding uniting Krystal Gil and Jack Scanlon in the Spanish courtyard of St. Mary Magdalen Church in Camarillo was not what either had in mind the day they got engaged.

Processing down the aisle, Krystal beamed like any bride on her wedding day would, except a mask concealed her smile. Those in the small, socially distanced crowd smiling back at her had face coverings on, too, an all-too-familiar scene at weddings across the county this year since coronavirus (COVID-19)-related restrictions began to be lifted for public gatherings. 

Countless weddings across the world were postponed, altered, or altogether canceled due to the pandemic. But for Catholic couples like the Scanlons, the wedding day is more than a well-planned family celebration — it’s a sacrament, the beginning of a bond created by God. 

Soon after their engagement last July, Krystal and Jack booked St. Jude the Apostle Church in Westlake Village for July 11, 2020. They were still optimistic about those plans during the first virus-related closures in March, but as shelter-in-place orders dragged on, the families’ concerns grew.

When St. Jude closed its doors to all services, the family scrambled to find another venue in order to avoid postponing the wedding date. Keeping their hopes up, they signed up for a slot at the San Gabriel Mission Church, a historic landmark for Californians and the Gil family specifically.

By then, it seemed a new plan was taking shape. That is, until, early on the morning of the scheduled wedding date, a fire erupted and left the mission in ruins. 

For Krystal, one of the biggest challenges of the tumultuous planning process was the uncertainty. “Every time we met with a vendor or a church, the constant answer we got was, ‘We don’t know,’ ” she said. “It was so difficult because I don’t think anyone had a plan.”

After pursuing and scrapping several potential plans, the Gils and Scanlons finally secured a venue for Krystal and Jack’s wedding at St. Mary Magdalen’s. Although the original July 11 wedding date turned into a much later Sept. 12 ceremony, Krystal says the stress of the past several months seemed to melt away as she processed down the aisle.

“COVID wasn’t even on my mind on that day,” she said. “All I felt was joy.”

Full story at Angelus News.