Couple Donates Wedding Feast to Shelter 

Like most couples, Tyler and Melanie Tapajna wanted their wedding to be memorable. But when the Ohio couple had to cancel their wedding reception due to COVID-19, they did something extraordinary.

Melanie and Tyler Tapajna’s wedding ceremony was a beautiful and intimate affair in Melanie’s grandparent’s garden. The couple said their, “I do’s,” in front of 12 guests and their dog. However, this was far from the wedding they had initially planned.

Originally, the newlyweds booked their wedding dinner for 150 people from a food truck catering service. As a result of COVID-19, the newlyweds couldn’t go ahead with the planned big reception, but they were not about to let a pandemic ruin their perfect day, so they came up with another idea.

The Ohio couple decided to donate their wedding dinner to Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center. The shelter is part of a local non-profit, The City Mission. Laura’s Home mission is intended to help mothers overcome homelessness. Currently, 70 kids and their mothers attend the Cleveland-based program.

In an interview, Melanie told CBS News that because of the circumstances, they were able to get a full refund on their venue. She also mentioned they were offered a 100% refund on the food, however, they chose to donate it instead.

Couple Donates Wedding Feast to Shelter

Right after tying the knot, the couple went straight to Laura’s Home kitchen, where their food truck caterers were waiting.

The Tapajna’s were so eager they didn’t even take time to change once they arrived. They put on face masks, gloves, and hairnets and quickly got to work serving the food. Once the food was served, the couple went out to the dining room to greet the women and children.

Melanie said they wanted to experience the full act of donating. “We could have just donated, but we would have never been able to see how happy it made everyone.”

To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, the only visitors allowed inside during the meal were the bride, the groom, and the photographer. Although unconventional, the wedding reception photos are beautiful and include pictures of them working in the kitchen, walking around the tables, and of course, all the smiling faces of the children.

The dinner menu included fried chicken, green beans, salad, and mac and cheese. According to Rich Trickel, the CEO of The City Mission, couple helped serve 135 women and children.

Trickel went on to say, “It’s not unusual for us to have volunteers serving meals in our building … but certainly this was not common, and it caused quite a stir.”

The Tapajna’s hope their donation inspires other couples whose plans have been derailed by the virus.

“You can definitely give back in times like this,” Melanie said.


At Altus Biologics, we never get tired of hearing about people’s generosity. We wish the Tapajna’s a lifetime of happiness, and we sincerely hope their extraordinary act of kindness inspires more people during these challenging times.

To learn how you can help further Laura’s Home mission, please visit them at

Couple Donates Wedding Feast to Shelter
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