McCrabb: Wedding postponed? Party missed? No job? Put on a bunny suit

Don Brun and Kellee Thomas should be enjoying their first morning as Mr. and Mrs.

Maybe breakfast in bed in their historic hotel room, followed by a late morning romantic walk on the beach, then a relaxing Easter dinner with family and friends who attended their wedding last night.

A honeymoon.

The good life.

Then the most unwelcome wedding guest spoiled the party: Coronavirus the Wedding Crasher.

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Butler County and Middletown jails sanitizing, adjusting for coronavirus precautions

The destination wedding they began planning last August has been temporarily postponed due to COVID-19. They got engaged in Beaufort, S.C., so they figured they would return for their wedding. They were going to be married on the beach, then hold their reception at the 100-year-old Beaufort Inn.

Numerous relatives and friends from the area were expected to attend.

Since Thomas, who calls herself “very hands on,” didn’t like any of the china and silverware the rental company offered, she purchased her own. Those items are still in the boxes.

“We don’t know what we’re doing,” Thomas said, echoing the sentiment of countless brides-to-be whose weddings were postponed due to the coronavirus.

Brun is 74, and Thomas is 57. This will be the second marriage for both divorcees. When the wedding got postponed, they even thought about being married in a local courthouse.

Some of their deposits are non-refundable, though they have been told the money can be put toward a rescheduled wedding. She isn’t sure they will have their wedding at the same location.

MORE McCRABB: She had a heart transplant at 1. Now, this West Chester woman stays home in fear

“Do you really want to re-do what you already had planned?” she asked. “It’s disheartening.”

If postponing a wedding wasn’t enough, the coronavirus caused the Springboro residents to miss her granddaughter’s first birthday and cost him his job.

Last month, they were scheduled to drive to North Carolina for the birthday party. Instead, they watched on a video call.

“Just not the same as being there,” Thomas said. “Really sad for me.”

Then her fiance, who works for a local car auction, was furloughed, and he’s having “a very tough time” getting unemployment benefits, she said. No matter what time or day he calls, he can’t get through.

With all this free time, they’re working on projects around the house and have expanded what they call the “coronavirus-19 victory garden.”

And what would a garden be without a bunny, right?

As a joke, Thomas bought a bunny suit for Brun in hopes he’d wear it while walking the dog. Luckily for him, the suit was too small.

But it fit Thomas. Of course it did.

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Living through coronavirus: A Journal-News series about how our neighbors are living and coping

She’s now the Lady in the Bunny Suit. She wears it around the Warren County neighborhood and has made special appearances. It’s hard not to smile at a waving bunny.

“It’s such a positive response,” she said. “People stop and say, ‘Thanks for spreading happiness.’”

On Wednesday, Thomas took a walk in the suit and a teenage boy stopped his car, rolled down his window and yelled: “I’m glad you haven’t lost the joy.”

To that she said: “It’s great to spread some joy and see some smiling faces when there’s not a lot to smile about right now. It makes me happy to make other people happy.”

Like the rest of us, Thomas doesn’t know if or when life will return to normal. A time when wedding plans aren’t postponed and brides-to-be don’t wear bunny outfits.

“This is scary,” she said. “You don’t really know where it is, who has it, nothing. You go to the grocery store and you don’t know if the people walking next to you is the carrier. At least we have each other. The unknown is scary.”

And to think, before the coronavirus, they expected to walk together on the beach.

About the Author