Dearest Family and Friends,
Recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak have flipped our world on its head and, unfortunately, resulted in significant changes to our wedding plans. Although we still plan to marry in a small ceremony on Friday afternoon, we regret to announce that all ancillary wedding celebrations must be cancelled for now. We are hopeful that a new event can be scheduled during the summer, after current public health concerns have subsided. Until then, please accept our sincere apologies that our family dinner and formal reception must be postponed indefinitely.
Although it is somewhat disheartening to see many of our plans unravel, we are extremely excited to begin our new lives together and feel grateful for the blessings of health and love we share with all of you. Thank you for your kind wishes for our happiness. We wish each of you every success in keeping yourself healthy and well over the coming months.
Justin & Kelly
It was sad having to email family and friends this message two days before their temple marriage. The largest sealing room in the Payson Utah Temple of 80 seats had been booked because Justin Pinegar has a large family – he’s a seventh generation Latter-day Saint.
Justin’s parents had driven from Idaho to Utah for the wedding. One of his brother’s had driven 16 hours across a few states together with his wife and four children, only to turn around two days later and drive home without attending the sealing. Kelly and her two children had arrived in Utah just six days earlier having relocated from New Zealand to begin their new life with Justin. Kelly’s parents travelled from Auckland, New Zealand for the wedding, though many other family members had travel plans they had to cancel.
It was not long after the governor of Utah announced gatherings over 100 people was disallowed that Church leaders announced temporary changes to temple worship, and a limit of eight guests in a sealing room was put in place.
And while COVID-19 was causing havoc as it rampaged around the globe, it did not stop Justin and Kelly from having the temple marriage they so desired.
The couple’s journey began in November 2017 when they met on the Mutual Dating App. Kelly was looking for friendship – Justin too – and six weeks later, he flew to Auckland to meet Kelly. Justin had previously planned to visit Australia over Christmas that year, but decided to visit Kelly in Auckland instead, and soon their friendship deepened.
Daily use of modern technology and several flights across the Pacific Ocean happened before they got engaged in February 2019. Putting her affairs in order in New Zealand and obtaining the necessary US visa took over a year.
Finally! Their special day arrived, and they could begin their lives together and they were sealed in The Holy House of the Lord.
Elder Tad R. Callister, a friend of Kelly’s mother for many years, had kindly accepted the invitation to perform the sacred sealing ordinance on this occasion. The Spirit blessed that intimate group in abundance as they gathered in the large sealing room that had been booked months in advance. Elder Callister’s counsel was beautiful and meaningful – his teaching on the power of ordinances was illuminating and everyone’s heart and mind was fed. And then the couple were sealed together . . . for eternity.
President Dallin H. Oaks said: “Plan meticulously, work flexibly.” Wise counsel in these times of uncertainty where living restrictions and social rules can change within a matter of hours.
While Justin and Kelly had hoped for the best possible outcome of their plan A, a temple marriage, they did have a plan B and a plan C. Just in case.
Although their wedding arrangements did not go according to plan, they were delighted and felt extremely blessed they could achieve the most important thing to them – the spiritual side of their wedding day – of being sealed in the House of the Lord, in spite of all the worldly chaos.