Chris Grady and Melinda Kukurich

Chris Grady and Melinda Kukurich

Love is patient, love is kind — which is probably a good thing because love in the time of coronavirus needs an abundance of both.

Weddings that have been planned months, sometimes years in advance are being canceled or postponed and brides and grooms-to-be are left wondering when they might be able to reschedule their big day.

Melinda Kukurich and Chris Grady had originally scheduled their wedding for April 11. It was a date that Kukurich had set her heart on. But the spread of COVID-19, and the emphasis on isolation and social distancing that followed in its wake, has interrupted their plans.

“We picked the 11th because 11 is my favorite number, and April because it’s not too hot and not too cold,” Kukurich said. “We sent out the invitations two weeks ago because we wanted it to be fresh on everyone’s minds. Now, every day I go to the mailbox and there is an RSVP that was sent out before we postponed. It breaks my heart every time.”

Even though the RSVPs are no longer valid, Kukurich said she can’t bring herself to get rid of them. Instead, she keeps each one in a special box.

“I just couldn’t throw them in the trash,” Kukurich said.

The couple had already spent around $10,000 in preparation for the event. Thankfully, Kukurich said, everyone has been willing to work with them to reschedule and it looks like they won’t be losing any of that money. From a deposit on a string quartet to her wedding dress, Kukurich said for now the only money that was truly gone was what they had spent on the invitations.

“Everyone has been willing to work with us and we are so grateful for that,” Kukurich said. “We lost some money on the invitations, but if that’s all we have to worry about, we’re lucky.”

Kukurich and Grady have been together for three years, so having to wait a few more months — possibly even a year — to get married isn’t going to come between the two.

“I knew I was going to propose to her,” Grady said. “We both already knew what we wanted when we first started talking to each other. She was basically on the same page I was on. I think I knew right at that moment that she was the one.”

Family is important to the couple. Grady has three children, Kukurich has five, and together they are planning to form a big family unit. Grady also is very close with his brother in South Carolina.

“We talk every day, not always on the phone, but somehow or other we try and communicate,” Grady said.

It was Grady’s brother, who also is serving as his best man, who delivered the first sign that their wedding might not go forward as planned.

“Chris’ brother is active duty military at Fort Bragg,” Kukurich said. “After we got the call that he wasn’t allowed to travel we knew right then we couldn’t go on without him being here, and from there we just sort of watched as things crumbled.”

Even though the current pandemic has disrupted their plans, the couple said they keep themselves going by reminding each other that it isn’t canceled — simply postponed.

“We have to keep saying that we know it’s going to happen, we just don’t know when,” Kukurich said. “We just want to make sure people are safe and that everyone can come.”

The couple are staying in good spirits and taking every moment they are taking every moment they get to remind each other that love endures, even through a pandemic.

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