A canceled wedding left a $5,000 catering deposit. This couple used it to serve Thanksgiving meals.

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis lost their $5,000 catering deposit when their wedding was canceled due to coronavirus restrictions. But they got married anyway and their non-refundable deposit went to charity.



a person sitting at a table in front of a car: Emily Bugg prepares Thanksgiving meal packages for delivery to Thresholds clients.


© Elizabeth Boschma, Thresholds
Emily Bugg prepares Thanksgiving meal packages for delivery to Thresholds clients.

It’s a novel and humanitarian way to deal with a problem that couples occasionally face in the COVID-19 pandemic, when their weddings are canceled or re-scheduled.

“We’ve had a couple cancellations, but nobody’s ever said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea. Put my deposit toward a charitable cause,'” said Heidi Moorman Coudal, the owner of Big Delicious Planet catering company. Coudal agreed to use the Illinois couple’s deposit toward 200 Thanksgiving meals for Thresholds, a nonprofit whose clients include people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in the state. 

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It’s something the catering company had never done before in 26 years of operations,  Coudal told USA TODAY. It was bit of good news in an otherwise rough year for the company, which typically caters 60 weddings per year, she said. Like other caterers this year, Big Delicious Planet has been hit hard by protocols designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Christmas lights even before Thanksgiving: There’s a reason behind the ‘act of kindness,’ experts say

Big Delicious Planet, a Chicago-based caterer, prepared meals that included turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, salad, bread and butter, and a desert, Coudal said. Grace Hamilton, the company’s director of weddings and events, brought Bugg’s idea to Coudal, the owner said. 

Coudal said she and her employees jumped at the chance to help. Four Big Delicious Planet employees cooked the meal and boxed it up. Bugg and other volunteers hand-delivered the food, Coudal said. 



a bunch of food on a table: Big Delicious Planet of Chicago prepares 200 meals for donation to Thresholds clients.


© Courtesy Big Delicious Planet
Big Delicious Planet of Chicago prepares 200 meals for donation to Thresholds clients.

“My initial reaction was like, ‘Wow, that’s different,” Coudal said. 

She added, “I thought this was a really nice cause and a nice idea and I think it was kind of refreshing to do something nice when so many bad things are happening right now and too many people are in need. I was like, ‘Sure, let’s do it.'” 

Bugg, 33, works for Threshold as an outreach worker, the company said in an email. She and Lewis, 34, got married on Oct. 1 at City Hall in Chicago. The couple also spoke with the venue Salvage One, which agreed to put their deposit toward a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation, another cause Bugg has a connection to, Thresholds said.  

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“In the grand scheme of things, canceling a big wedding isn’t the worst thing that could happen,” Bugg said in a statement. “We’re happy to be married, and we’re so happy that we could help Thresholds’ clients feel the connection of a Thanksgiving meal as a result

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Couple uses food from canceled wedding to feed 200 people on Thanksgiving

Like many weddings this year, Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis’ nuptials didn’t go as planned. Because of coronavirus restrictions, the couple decided to get married at City Hall in Chicago instead of having a big ceremony. And instead of taking the deposits for their reception back, they decided to repurpose them. 

The couple put their $5,000 worth of reception food to a good use on Thanksgiving, according to a local charity. Bugg and Lewis donated the 200 meals to Thresholds, an organization that provides services and resources for people with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois. 

emily-packaging-meals.jpg
Emily Bugg packing Thanksgiving meals for Thresholds clients.

Thresholds


Bugg is an outreach worker with the nonprofit, which helps people dealing with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression, according to the organization.

Thresholds usually holds a communal Thanksgiving dinner for clients, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Instead, Bugg and Lewis’ wedding caterer, Big Delicious Planet, put the couple’s $5,000 deposit to use to prepare special Thanksgiving meals for delivery.

The caterers worked alongside Threshold staff members to box individual meals, which where then delivered to the client’s homes. Big Delicious Planet cooked turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and other Thanksgiving staples. 

thanksgiving-meals-2.jpg
200 individual meals were provided to  clients, whose Thanksgiving meal through Threshold was originally cancelled due to the pandemic.

Thresholds


The couple’s wedding venue, Salvage One, also agreed to repurpose their deposit for a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation. 

“In the grand scheme of things, canceling a big wedding isn’t the worst thing that could happen,” Bugg said. “We’re happy to be married, and we’re so happy that we could help Thresholds’ clients feel the connection of a Thanksgiving meal as a result of the wedding cancellation.”

Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug said the couple’s donation is “an incredible example of the generosity and creativity that the pandemic has inspired in so many.”

“I know that Emily’s act of kindness will inspire others to do the same and build love and connection in a difficult time, in any way we can. Thresholds is so grateful for our staff, like Emily, who are so dedicated to their work serving those with mental illnesses,” he said.

The couple’s wedding may have been canceled, but their generosity helped bring many others joy on Thanksgiving.

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Check Out The Couple Taking Pheras And Performing Other Rituals



a group of people wearing costumes: Aditya Narayan and Shweta Agarwal (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@adiholic_till_last_breath)


© Vineeta Kumar | India.com Entertainment Desk
Aditya Narayan and Shweta Agarwal (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@adiholic_till_last_breath)

Singer Aditya Narayan got married to actor Shweta Agarwal in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on Tuesday in Mumbai. The wedding which would have been a grand affair if not organised in the COVID times saw a limited number of guests. The singer and his bride coordinated their outfits in shades of pink and white and looked absolutely stunning. Several photos and videos from inside the wedding ceremony are now going viral on social media. While some pictures show Aditya and Shweta performing the wedding rituals, some show the family dancing to the beats of the dhol.

The couple’s pictures from their Pheras, the Kanyadaan are also out and Aditya’s fans are already going gaga over it. Earlier, on Tuesday morning, the internet got flooded with the pictures of the singer’s Baraat in which his father Udit Narayan and other members of the family were seen celebrating every bit of their son’s wedding. Aditya was seen adding a pair of yellow shades to his look while Shweta added a magenta dupatta to give a pop of colour to her bridal look. Check out these inside photos from Aditya and Shweta’s wedding:

 

A post shared by #Shwetya my life❤❤❤ (@adiholic_till_last_breath)

The couple got married at a temple in the city. The Narayan family will be hosting a wedding reception for the newlyweds today. Talking about the same, the veteran singer recently mentioned that he had sent the invites to the biggies of the industry like Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone among others, however, he said he understands that not many would turn up owing to the COVID-19 situation.

Udit Narayan added that even PM Narendra Modi is invited to the reception. He said, ” I’ve invited PM Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha ji, Dhamendra ji, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Madhuri Dixit, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise, I don’t know if they will be able to attend.”

Our best wishes to the newlyweds!

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This Couple Broadcast a Downsized Wedding Celebration across the World

Wedding Inspiration

The pandemic didn’t prevent this Dedham bride and groom from having a joyous celebration.


Photo by IMG Artistry

THE STORY

When COVID-19 forced Chinomso Odimegwu and Onyebuchi Ogbo to abandon their plans for an elaborate 390-person wedding, the couple didn’t despair: They got to work designing a smaller (but no less joyous) outdoor fete instead. Hosted at the Villa at Ridder Country Club in September, the tented celebration featured just 50 attendees—in person, that is. With help from Wedfuly, a company that specializes in virtual celebrations, the bride and groom were able to broadcast the festivities to additional loved ones in Europe and Africa. “It was amazing,” Odimegwu says. “It felt like they were there.”

THE DETAILS

DRESS 
The bride found her mermaid-style Allure Bridals gown at Chryssie’s Bridal in Canton, pairing it with a dramatic cathedral veil and adding sheer beaded straps. “I wanted [straps] for that elegant touch,” Odimegwu says.

Photo by IMG Artistry

VENUE
To abide by capacity guidelines, the pair held their ceremony on the country club’s expansive grounds before serving dinner in a
soaring tent decked out with chandeliers.

Photo by IMG Artistry

CULTURE
During the reception, the couple, who hail from the Igbo people of Nigeria, donned traditional attire and participated in an
Igbankwu—a ceremony in which the bride carries a cup of wine to the groom.

Photo by IMG Artistry

GUESTS
For maximum safety, the wedding party quarantined with the couple prior to the wedding, the seating chart was arranged by household, and sanitizer-equipped dinner tables were spaced 6 feet apart. “A lot of this was very intentional,” Odimegwu says. The party favor for all attendants? Masks.

Photo by Tobi Makinde

FOOD
After cocktail
hour and a dinner including lemony salmon with roasted potatoes, guests indulged in a four-tier, champagne-and-cannoli-flavored cake with Hershey’s Kisses tucked inside.

THE FILE

Bride’s Dress Allure Bridals, Chryssie’s Bridal
Bride’s Makeup Roseline
Bridesmaids’ Dresses ODavid’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Makeup Merry Christmas
Bridesmaids’ Traditional Tailor Ada Uzuegbu
Cake Montilio’s Baking Company
Caterer Saphire Event Group
DJ DJ Prince
Event Decorator Elite Events
Flowers Sydney Smith Designs
Groom’s Suit Hive & Colony
Hair Pamela Mante
Videographer IMG Artistry
Virtual Broadcast Wedfuly

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings’ guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.


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Conflicting COVID test results forces Omaha couple to cancel their dream wedding | Local News

The bottom line: A negative test isn’t a free pass. Self-monitoring still is advised, O’Keefe said.

“In an ideal, non-pandemic world, tests should always be directed and interpreted by a trained clinician,” O’Keefe said. “While open access to testing is needed in this pandemic, it has shown us the difficulties in helping people understand the complexities of laboratory tests.”

As of Friday, Alex still reported no symptoms of COVID. Lauren, a private tutor, has tested twice in the past week, and both results came back negative. It’s a relief, she said, because her mother has just started breast cancer treatment.



Dr. Anne O'Keefe

Dr. Anne O’Keefe


O’Keefe’s advice to engaged couples: Sit tight on setting a wedding date for 2021. One person with COVID could turn a wedding into a super-spreader event. “It’s not worth the risk.”

Earlier this month, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on a large outbreak tied to a 55-person wedding reception in rural Maine. The outbreak was linked to 177 COVID-19 cases, including seven hospitalizations and seven deaths.

For couples who feel they can’t delay their nuptials for a few months, O’Keefe recommends having a small ceremony in the short term and a big reception after the pandemic has safely passed.

“We’re hoping that in three to four months we’ll have a vaccine that is broadly available, and things will begin to return to normal,” she said.

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Couple uses catering deposit from canceled wedding to feed 200 people on Thanksgiving

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis got married at City Hall amid COVID-19.

Emily Bugg, 33, and Billy Lewis, 34, used their $5,000 nonrefundable deposit to purchase 200 Thanksgiving dinners for clients of Thresholds, a nonprofit mental health provider dedicated to helping people with serious mental illnesses and substance use conditions.

“In the grand scheme of things, canceling a big wedding isn’t the worst thing that could happen,” Bugg, an outreach worker at Thresholds, told “Good Morning America.” ” We’re happy to be married, and we’re so happy that we could help Thresholds’ clients feel the connection of a Thanksgiving meal as a result of the wedding cancellation.”

Bugg and Lewis were married Oct. 1st at City Hall in Chicago. The couple met on the dating app Bumble in 2017.

PHOTO: Emily Bugg, 33, and Billy Lewis, 34, used their $5,000 nonrefundable catering deposit for 200 Thanksgiving dinners. The recipients were clients of Thresholds, a nonprofit mental health provider.

When COVID-19 disrupted their initial wedding gathering, Bugg and Lewis decided to team up with their with caterer, Big Delicious Planet, to make Thanksgiving dinners for Thresholds clients. The meals included turkey, vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Bugg and Lewis’s venue, Salvage One, agreed to put their deposit toward a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation, which is another cause to which Bugg is connected.

Thresholds’ yearly communal Thanksgiving dinners were canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Emily’s donation is an incredible example of the generosity and creativity that the pandemic has inspired in so many,” said Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds. “I know that Emily’s act of kindness will inspire others to do the same and build love and connection in a difficult time, in any way we can.”

“Thresholds is so grateful for our staff, like Emily, who are so dedicated to their work serving those with mental illnesses,” he added.

Thresholds staff boxed the meals with caterers, and then Thresholds staff delivered the meals to clients’ homes ahead of the holiday.

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Wedding Rings Lost in Shipwreck Will Be Returned to Migrant Couple

The red backpack had been floating for two weeks in the central Mediterranean between Libya and Italy when a rescue boat came across it. Inside, along with clothes and some notes in Arabic, was a simple treasure: two wedding rings engraved with hearts and the names Ahmed and Doudou.

For rescuers with Open Arms, a nongovernmental organization that picks up migrants making the perilous journey by boat to Europe, the discovery on Nov. 9 was “like a punch,” Riccardo Gatti, the director of Open Arms Italy, said by telephone on Thursday.

Wreckage found later on the day of the discovery only heightened their dread. “We didn’t know if it belonged to someone that died or had a shipwreck — or someone alive,” Mr. Gatti said. “Without knowing anything, you’re holding a piece of a story of someone.”

It might have remained yet another presumed loss in the notoriously perilous Mediterranean crossing that migrants from North Africa have made to reach Europe. “Who are Ahmed and Doudou? ”the Italian newspaper La Repubblica asked.

But in an unusual stroke of luck, the rings will be reunited with their owners, an Algerian couple who survived a capsizing in late October in a boat from Libya and were found two weeks ago by Doctors Without Borders representatives who have been providing support to the migrants in a reception center in Sicily.

When they saw pictures of the newly found rings, they “couldn’t believe it,” the couple, who declined to provide their last names for privacy reasons, said in a statement provided by the organization.

The rings were broken, and Ahmed 25, and Doudou, 20, had wanted to repair them after arriving in Europe. “We had lost everything, and now the few things we had set out with have been found,” they said.

The couple are among 15 survivors of a boat that left Zawiya on the coast of Libya in October. After a two-day journey in the Mediterranean without food or water, the boat ran out of fuel about 40 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa, according to Doctors Without Borders. As the weather worsened, a wave capsized the ship and five people died, including a 2-year-old girl.

It is one of at least nine vessels carrying migrants that have sunk in the central Mediterranean since Oct. 1, according to the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency. In one sinking this month, at least 74 migrants in a boat from Libya drowned, and in total at least 900 have died this year while trying to reach Europe.

More than 11,000 others intercepted at sea have been returned to Libya, exposing them to possible human rights abuses, the U.N. agency said.

Passing fishermen rescued Ahmed and Doudou from the ocean, and the pair were put into quarantine as a coronavirus prevention measure before being moved to a reception center in Agrigento, Sicily. The backpack and the clothes inside have been washed and will be returned to the couple as soon as possible,

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Chicago couple cancel wedding reception, use catering deposit to feed others for Thanksgiving

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis had been planning a big wedding in a funky West Town warehouse, with catered food and 150 guests coming in from both coasts and lots of places in between.

But then the pandemic did what it’s done to so many giddy couples — it wrecked those elaborate plans.

“It just didn’t feel like it was in the cards,” said Bugg, 33, who lives in the Avondale neighborhood.

So last month, Bugg and Lewis, 34, decided to tie the knot anyway, alone, except for their photographer, before a judge on the 13th floor of the Daley Center. Bugg left her $1,400 wedding dress in the closet, choosing a simple white dress instead, as they made their way through the first-floor metal detector to the elevator and then to the courtroom.

With no guests, there would be no reception and no food — not for them at least. Bugg and her new husband decided that wouldn’t mean no celebration.

Bugg supervises a team of community outreach workers for Thresholds, a Chicago-based nonprofit that offers a range of services for people with serious mental illnesses.

Every year, Thresholds organizes big Thanksgiving gatherings for its clients. That couldn’t happen this year because of the pandemic.

“Our members look forward to the Thanksgiving party every year. So when they started asking when it would be and what would happen, that’s when the wheels started to turn,” Bugg said.

The couple persuaded their caterer, Big Delicious Planet, to use their $5,000 deposit to instead package up 200 Thanksgiving meals, including turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. Bugg and some of her co-workers personally delivered those meals last week to 200 Thresholds clients at their homes on the West Side.

The couple’s generosity was first reported by The Washington Post.

“She took what could have been a really sad situation for herself, her husband and her family and she turned it into something magical and beautiful,” said Bugg’s boss, Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO.

Or as Bugg puts it: “Even while we were disappointed, we realized we still have so much. Canceling a wedding compared to what other people were going through wasn’t as big a deal.”

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Chicago couple turns catering deposit into donated meals after canceling wedding

A Chicago couple who canceled their wedding reception due to the coronavirus pandemic instead used their nonrefundable catering deposit to buy 200 Thanksgiving dinners for people struggling with mental illness, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.



a group of people sitting at a table with plates of food: holiday dinner, talking about politics at a family gathering, talking about politics with family


© iStock
holiday dinner, talking about politics at a family gathering, talking about politics with family

Clients of Thresholds, the nonprofit where Emily Bugg works as an outreach worker, received boxed dinners from caterer Big Delicious Planet after Bugg and her husband Billy Lewis opted for a City Hall wedding.

“This just seemed like a good way to make the best of a bad situation,” Bugg told the Post.

The couple, who were engaged in July 2019, pared back their wedding plans several times before finally canceling it altogether and opting for a civil ceremony on Oct. 1.

“We had come to a place where we had some big decisions to make,” Lewis told the newspaper. “We decided to just go ahead and get on with our lives.”

Jane Himmel, owner of Chicago’s Jane Himmel Weddings and Special Events, told the Post she anticipates similar attempts to give back as the pandemic disrupts more nuptial plans.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, it was just total chaos. But as it stretched on, people started adjusting to reality,” she said. “There’s been a mind shift. Couples want to turn lemons into lemonade.”

Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug said the donation came at a time when the pandemic has severely cut into the nonprofit’s services, harming fundraising and forcing it to cancel the group’s communal dinners. Ishaug said he’s hopeful a high-profile act of charity like this one could spur “copycat activities,” particularly around the Thanksgiving season.

“We hope they can still feel the warmth of knowing that we care about them,” he told the Post. “These small moments of connection are what’s keeping us going during these difficult months.”

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Couple canceled their big wedding and instead gave Thanksgiving dinners to the needy

When the pandemic upended their wedding plans, Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis tied the knot at Chicago’s city hall last month instead.

But there was still one piece of unfinished business: What to do about their $5,000 nonrefundable catering deposit? The newlyweds decided to turn it into 200 Thanksgiving dinners for people with severe mental illness.

“This just seemed like a good way to make the best of a bad situation,” said Bugg, 33, an outreach worker at Thresholds, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions.

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, dozens of Thresholds clients received a boxed dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and other fixings from Big Delicious Planet, a high-end Chicago-based caterer.

Bugg and Lewis, 34, got engaged in July 2019 and began planning their wedding. They had booked a hip Chicago event space, a fun DJ and a photographer. Bugg purchased her gown, a slip crepe dress with spaghetti straps, and their guest list topped 150 people.

But as the pandemic stretched on, they went to Plan B, first scaling down their guest list to 50. Then, Plan C: changing dates. And finally Plan D: canceling altogether and heading to city hall on Oct. 1.

The couple, who met on the online dating app Bumble in 2017, decided they’d rather go ahead and get married than wait for a seemingly never-ending pandemic to subside.

“We had come to a place where we had some big decisions to make,” said Lewis, who works for an advertising technology company. “We decided to just go ahead and get on with our lives.”

As for the nonrefundable deposits and purchases, the newlyweds chalked them up to the pandemic. The bridal gown — still in its garment bag and hanging in the closet — was a lost cause. So was the check that went to the DJ. The venue, Salvage One, a 60,000-square-foot warehouse, agreed to put the couple’s deposit toward a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation, a cause Bugg has a connection to. The photographer, Sophie Cazottes, offered to document the nuptials at city hall.

But there was still the thorny issue of the $500 catering deposit.

Bugg hatched a plan: Have the wedding banquet morph into Thanksgiving for clients at Thresholds, where she has worked for nine years.

Jane Himmel, owner of Jane Himmel Weddings and Special Events in Chicago, said most wedding vendors have a nonrefundable deposit or retainer policy, but most also try to find mutually agreeable alternatives, such as allowing the deposit to roll over to the next calendar year or swapping wedding photos for family portraits.

As for charitable gifts, she knows one bride and groom who donated all their floral arrangements to area nursing homes. Because weddings look so different in the pandemic, she said she thinks these gestures will become more common.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, it was just total chaos. But as it stretched on, people started adjusting

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