STREETSBORO, Ohio (WJW)– Kelsi Brooks and Eddie Smith grew close through their mutual love of photography, so after their engagement, the couple planned an intimate wedding ceremony in Utah, with a picture perfect backdrop.
“We’re wedding photographers, so to us, the elopement style with the mountain pictures was everything we had dreamed of,” Kelsi said.
The coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold. But the couple determined postponing their planned April 23 wedding wasn’t an option. The date holds special significance for them, as it’s the wedding anniversary date of both Kelsi’s maternal and paternal grandparents. It’s also the date Eddie proposed last year.
“We both kind of just looked at each other, and when you’re ready, you’re ready,” Kelsi said.
As the couple weighed options, Kelsi, a urology nurse at University Hospitals, learned colleague Dr. Lee Ponsky is a certified efficient. The chairman of the Department of Urology offered to help.
“Kelsi’s my nurse. I work with her side-by-side, every day. She’s my right hand, she’s my left hand,” Ponsky said. “I never thought that would be one of the roles I play, but I guess it’s like being captain of a ship, and you stand up for people and do whatever we can to help them.”
With family and friends looking on, and even sometimes chiming in to offer words of wisdom, Ponsky officiated the wedding via Zoom video chat on Thursday, marrying Kelsi and Eddie in their Streetsboro kitchen. Those attending offered cheers and congratulations, virtually.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Eddie said.
The photographers then set up a tripod and captured their own wedding photos in their backyard after a ceremony they never dreamed possible and will never forget.
“It wasn’t about a big show and it wasn’t about all the catering and all the music and dancing. It was about I love you, you love me, we’re a family, and let’s do this,” Kelsi said.
“It kind of gave us that break and release and that time to focus on what really matters and to prove there can be happy times in the most crazy circumstances.”
The couple said they’re still hoping to plan a party later this year and maybe even make a trip to Utah, but, for now, it’s back to work. Kelsi returned to a nursing shift the day after the wedding.