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After ceremony plans change, Cleveland doctor officiates nurse's wedding

A special date and an important connection allowed a local couple to walk down the aisle, even if it was in their living room.

CLEVELAND — Weddings are being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 but for some the celebration will go on.

A special date and an important connection allowed a local couple to walk down the aisle, even if it was in their living room.

“We decided not to let COVID take our wedding day away from us and still do it anyways,” explains Kelsi Brooks.

She and her husband Eddie Smith had planned a small ceremony at a distillery in Utah but were unable to travel due to restrictions.

They didn’t want to push back the date because of the significance. Both sets of Kelsi’s grandparents were married on April 23, she and Eddie were engaged on April 23 and that’s their wedding anniversary too.

“It was never going to be really big to begin with but it turned into pretty much a zoom meeting with Kelsey’s doctor and all of our friends and extended family,” says Smith.

Kelsi is a nurse partner at University Hospitals in charge of all of Dr. Lee Ponsky’s outpatient clinic practice. Dr. Ponksy is the chairman of Urology and UH and offered to officiate the ceremony.

“Kelsi is my nurse she’s my right hand, she basically runs my work life for me,” he says.  “So I kind of said jokingly, well if you’re really desperate I could do it, I can officiate your wedding for you,” he says.

Kelsi took him up on that offer.

“We just told him we wanted it to be casual, something about just us as a couple and our close friends and family that have supported us so much through all of this,” she says.

The ceremony was performed virtually in their open concept kitchen, living and dining area. Extended family and Dr. Ponsky attended virtually while immediate family were there in-person and practicing social distancing.

“Me being a nurse it was very important I didn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable or risk anyone’s safety,” says Brooks.

Dr. Ponsky is someone who the couple looks up to and he was honored to play such an important role in their day.

“We said we’re not going to let what’s going on stop her wedding, let’s get creative and fun,” he says.

“Dr. Ponsky is a very important person in my life, we’ve worked side by side for four years, I see him almost as much as I see Eddie and he is just so talented,” says Brooks.

The couple eventually plan to travel to Utah and have a party.

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