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Georgia couple in quarantine ties knot in drive-by ceremony

This couple tying the knot is a love story that goes decades beyond Madeline and John’s wedding ceremony.

ATLANTA — The orders to “shelter-in-place” throughout the state of Georgia as a result of the coronavirus has impacted several major events, and it is also affecting couples forced to cancel their special dates at the altar.

One couple decided to get married at home, according to the daughter of the bride, Amanda Koch.

“Madeline Gresham Haisten and John Orr were married yesterday, on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at 3:00 pm. While they had hoped to plan a traditional wedding and reception, the current healthcare times called for a different plan,” Koch wrote.

The entire ceremony was captured on video for family members at home to experience, a “limited but supportive family group attended the vow and ring ceremony,” and was presented by Rev. Ken Danuser of First Baptist Cumming.

Koch says everyone made the best of the occasion decorated with flowers and a chocolate wedding cake!

And the excitement overflowed as a line of cars formed in a surprise drive-by reception.

More than 30 cars of family, church friends, neighbors and longtime friends came to the celebration with the newlyweds holding signs, throwing bags of rice, and blowing kisses from inside their vehicles.

“Grandchildren hung out sunroof windows and shouted their own versions of best wishes. Love and support was shared and shown by all,” Koch said.

A couple tying the knot is a love story that goes decades beyond Madeline and John’s wedding ceremony.

“Back in the 1970s, Madeline and John's two separate families were next-door neighbors in the Hearthstone Subdivision in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Both families were dear friends, sharing children, celebrations, neighborhood parties and family activities,” Koch wrote. “Over time, the families moved, children grew up, grandchildren were born, and spouses passed away. After many, many years, the two reunited a friendship after realizing both now lived in the Cumming area, just 10 minutes apart from each other.

John and Madeline dined out as friends and went to movies together and became closer together.

”A year later, the two decided to make it official with wedding plans,” Koch wrote.

And as the coronavirus has impacted several scheduled events, John and Madeline said uniting with their families should not be on hold.

“I couldn’t be more happy for my Mom and her new husband John. I thought this occasion was worthy of sharing, to show that old friends, new love and hearts of determination can still lead to joyful beginnings even during trying times,” Koch wrote.

As we navigate different times, count on 11Alive to share your memorable moments. Use the hashtag #SendTheLoveATL to share photos and videos. We'll get through this together and your acts of kindness all over our community proves that every day.

Credit: Amanda Koch
More than 30 cars with family, church friends, neighbors and longtime friends came to the celebration for the newlyweds.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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