Ohio newlyweds donate, serve their wedding reception food at a shelter

The couple’s original reception was canceled due to COVID-19

Newlyweds donate and serve their reception food to women and children’s shelter
Newlyweds donate and serve their reception food to women and children’s shelter

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Parma, Ohio couple’s wedding day didn’t include the usual reception, DJ and first dance.

Instead, Tyler and Melanie Tapajna’s said “I Do,” then headed to The City Mission’s Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center in Cleveland to serve women and children experiencing homelessness.

“Why not spread the love,” said bride Melanie Tapajna. “Seeing everybody happy is making us happy.”

The newlyweds, still dressed in their wedding gown and tux, spent their first few hours as husband and wife in the City Mission’s kitchen dishing out fried chicken, mac and cheese, greens and other items originally intended to be served to guests at their reception.

“We paid for it already so we’re like we might as well donate it,” Tapajna shared just before entering Laura’s Home with her groom.

The original formal reception was canceled due to COVID-19.

“They’ve could’ve done a hundred other things you know and yet they’re choosing to do this, a real act of giving and compassion on a day that is the most important day of their life,” said Richard Trickel, CEO of The City Mission.

Trickel said this is the first time to his knowledge someone has donated their reception food to the crisis center.