DUBLIN, Ga. — Chandler Reynolds and Rusty Watson’s love story started at summer camp.
“We met the summer before ninth grade. And then our friendship kind of, I guess, grew. You know, each summer that we went back,” said Reynolds.
Almost a decade later, Reynolds now works as a fifth-grade math teacher at Camp Creek Elementary in Lilburn, Ga. But she says "summer camp" will always be a special place to her.
"The Friday morning of camp when you're saying goodbye to all your campers, it was Rusty down at the docks surprising me,” said Reynolds.
Her fiancé proposed on the same dock where they would sit together and talk when they were students.
“And that was June, I believe, June 7th. So we've been engaged now for about nine months,” said Reynolds.
Her wedding day is one she has had mapped out for years.
“When you pick your wedding [date], you think of all the things that every bride gets to do. You get the first look with your dad. You get the walk down the aisle with your groom at the end, like staring at you thinking, wow, this woman is beautiful. And you get all of the people there saying, you look great, you look amazing. You are the greatest couple. We're having so much fun. You get the food and the cake cutting,” said Reynolds.
“It's that was probably the hardest thing to come to grips with. Is that the dream wedding that I've pictured since I was old enough to think about getting married is not the wedding that I'm going to be getting," she said.
As the coronavirus began to spread and restrictions set in place, the couple realized their big day was not going to be the cakewalk they envisioned.
“The discussion started to happen probably about the same time that the virus was first spreading,” said Reynolds. “The CDC said maybe gatherings of 50 or less, but that was just a recommendation at the time.”
Reynolds grew up in Dublin, Ga.
“I'm from a small town," she said. "Everybody has watched me grow up and I'm getting married at my home church. And so we have 425 people who have RSVP'd to attend this wedding."
The couple turned to Facebook to get out the message that they are postponing their wedding.
“We are hoping that all of this is blown over by July 11th. We contacted all of our vendors and everyone had that date open. So I'll give credit to the good Lord on that one, just because that was probably the biggest worry,” said Reynolds.
Through it all, Reynolds managed to find the silver lining.
“If anything, this whole situation kind of reminded me of, you know, this is about me and Rusty, and it's about us getting to start our lives together," she said. "And whether we have 25 people there to watch, or just the pastor and a witness, we still get to be married after this. And I still get to be with my best friend for the rest of my life."
On their original wedding date -- March 28 -- Reynolds and Watson plan to elope.
They've rescheduled a larger ceremony with their friends and family for July 11, 2020.
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