Couple has socially distanced wedding at nursing home so bride's 89-year-old grandmother can attend

The couple planned to have more than 100 people at a September wedding, but all of that changed when the pandemic hit.


Steven Shoemaker and Kirsten Haigh tied the knot in the courtyard of a Los Angeles-area nursing home to ensure that Haigh's 89-year-old grandmother wouldn't miss it.

"I joke, she's such a fantastic host that it would be just like her to find a way to host our wedding," Haigh told KABC.

The newlyweds live in San Francisco but had always planned to get married in Orange County.

"We were planning on having a big wedding in Costa Mesa on Sept. 6. Everybody was invited. Probably at least 100, 150 people," Shoemaker said.

But that all changed with the coronavirus pandemic, and it was back to the drawing board.

"We had the epiphany of what really matters here, so we asked the facility if we could get married in the parking lot because her window faces the parking lot and of course, we got so much more," Haigh said.

Park Vista Health Center worked with the family to make it happen, starting with a limited guest list — the groom's brother even stepped in as the officiant to allow for one more guest.

"Every single one counts — you bring in an officiant and all of a sudden we're at 14, 15 people, and that doesn't work," Shoemaker said.

Everyone stayed outside, and they were all in and out in about two hours.

"I am comforted when I get my temperature checked or I see all the hand sanitizer," Haigh said.

"I've never been to any like this, but somehow they've done a very nice job," said her grandmother, Jerry Goss.

Although Goss wishes they had the wedding they dreamed of, she's grateful to be a part of it.

"You know, we have to make the best in life. Not everything works smoothly," Goss said.

Park Vista says it's maintained zero COVID-19 cases since March, so all the extra precautions they've taken since then were also taken during the wedding ceremony.