Bride’s shock: ‘16,000 people came to our wedding!’

Such inspiring stories!

Despite the changes and challenges the coronavirus has brought, people are persevering to bring love, light and joy…

Looking in the mirror, I gasped at the wedding dress.  

After I decided it was the one, the shop assistant took my measurements so she could order me a custom-sized version from overseas.   

My fiancé, Aaron, and I could hardly wait for our big day to arrive.  

He’s from Perth and had moved to New York seven years ago, which is where we met. 

We were planning to get hitched in Central Park with 30 of our nearest and dearest, and his parents had booked flights from Oz. 

But as the date approached, the coronavirus was rapidly spreading across the world.  

Sadly, my wedding dress wouldn’t arrive until after the wedding. And a week before the day, Aaron’s parents were forced to cancel their flights.  

We were devastated, but it made sense – any arrivals were having to self-isolate when they landed so they’d miss the ceremony anyway. 

Over the next few days, shops were closed and some of our other guests told us they could no longer make it.  

Jera and Aaron
Aaron and me

Over the next few days, shops were closed and some of our other guests told us they could no longer make it.  

My dad, Jeremy, who lives in another state, was now also unable to come. 

‘Let’s cancel the reception and just have the wedding,’ Aaron said. ‘All I want to do ismarry you.’ I agreed. 

‘We could stream the ceremony on the internet,’ I suggested. And luckily, with a few tweaks, I was able to fit into the sample dress in store.   

It wasn’t what we’d planned, but it didn’t matter.  

On the day, we had 11 guests come to our Central Park ceremony. Then we set up a tripod and iPhone and streamed it on Instagram for everyone else.  

In total, more than 16,000 people watched our wedding!  

It didn’t matter if there was one guest or 1000 though – as long as Aaron was there. ● 

Jera Foster-Fell, 30, New York 

The show goes on!

Landing back in Sydney, I breathed out a heavy sigh.  

What’s going to happen next? I wondered.   

I’m a flight attendant and I’d spent the past few weeks on holiday in Mexico.  

It had been blissful until the coronavirus outbreak developed.  

Penny Tration
My alter-ego Penny Tration

Back home, my job was uncertain because planes were grounded.   

And when pubs and clubs closed around the world, I was worried about the event I run  
– Gender Bender Bingo.  

Dressing up as my alter ego, Penny Tration, myself and 12 other drag queens loved entertaining people in Sydney.  

The next few days, the news was full of negative stories. 

Wanting to do something positive to cheer people up,  
I had an idea. 

I could stream my drag performances online! 

If Penny can’t go outside, then Penny can entertain from home, I thought.  

First, I set up a Facebook page, Tration In Isolation. 

Then I dug out my sparkly dresses, glamorous wigs and overflowing make-up kit.  

Daniel and Penny Tration
It’s incredible to bring joy…even when at home!

Singing and dancing around my living room, I noticed the viewers racking up.  

Determined to keep up the good vibes, I decided to stream a show every lunchtime.  

My mate, DJ Dan Murphy, joined in and played the tunes remotely from his lounge while I danced.   

Soon, thousands of people were watching and my inbox was flooded with messages.  

I’m at home waiting for my chemo which has been delayed. Your performances have really lifted my mood, one person wrote.  

COVID-19 may have changed our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves. ● 

Daniel Floyd, 44, Sydney, NSW 

Happy campers

Packing up the camping gear, I felt a mix of excitement  and nerves.  

My daughter, Laila, seven, and I were getting ready for our annual trip, but with the coronavirus,  I still wasn’t certain if it was going ahead.    

Later, as we watched the news, my heart sank.  

New rules meant non-essential travelling was no longer permitted.  

‘I’ll come up with something,’ I promised. 

Romy and Laila
Me and my girl

And I did! 

‘Just because we can’t go camping, it doesn’t mean we can’t camp,’ I said. ‘Let’s do it in the garage!’  

Laila’s face lit up.  

‘Really?’ she asked.  

‘Absolutely! We’ll have heaps of fun,’ I said.  

The next day, I kitted out our garage with blow-up mattresses and board games.  

‘The only time we can go in the house is to use the bathroom,’ I declared.  

Romy and Laila cooking on camp fire
Cooking on the camp fire

‘Okay,’ Laila giggled.  

We spent our days playing, going on bike rides and having picnics.  

For dinner, I’d cook meals on the camping stove, serving them up on paper plates.  

At night, we made a fire in the backyard, toasted marshmallows and sang.  

‘I love being with you, Mum,’ Laila beamed, giving me a hug.  

We may not have travelled far, but our camping trip was fun! ● 

Romy Glenn, 38,  Melbourne, Vic 


Related stories