Pikesville Senior Living Center Throws Virtual Wedding Bash

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Front Left: Ellen Donen, Front Right: Chuck Donen (Credit: North Oaks Senior Living)

PIKESVILLE - North Oaks Senior Living residents Ellen and Chuck Donen received some exciting news on Saturday. They wouldn't miss their grandson's wedding after all.

The couple was unable to attend their grandson's wedding in New York, so they reserved a small room at North Oaks to live stream the ceremony with the company of a few close friends.

At least, that was the plan.

When the Donens submitted a meal request to North Oaks Executive Chef Nate Finney for their gathering, he had an idea. Why not try to recreate the wedding right there at North Oaks?

Led by Finney and Director of Community Life Services Libby Rodriguez, the North Oaks staff did just that.

"The daughter had this idea to live stream the ceremony for them in one of our smaller rooms. They were going to invite just a couple of their close friends and maybe get some food from the dining room," Rodriguez said. "I thought, Why don't we make this like a big event? Let's invite everyone. I'll get the menu they're serving at the wedding, and I'm going to mimic it."

The Donens were able to enjoy the same food being served at the wedding in New York, as Finney replicated the menu down to the hors d'oeuvres and dessert. Rodriguez ensured that the color scheme and decorations matched as well. At the same time, the North Oaks staff went the extra mile by producing place cards, entrée cards, table numbers, and other details to make the event happening at North Oaks feel like an extension of the wedding in New York.

"It was perfect. Everything was there. The flowers, the food, the decorations, everything." Chuck Donen told Patch.

Along with the rest of the North Oaks community, the Donens were treated to a cocktail hour at 5 pm, complete with servers dressed in bowties and white gloves. Following the 5:45 pm streaming of the wedding ceremony, dinner and dessert were served to those in attendance.

Mr. Donen expressed his sincere appreciation to the staff at North Oaks for going out of their way to make the event happen.

"It was unbelievable. I had eight of my friends from outside the community come too," Donen said. "If I make it long enough to see my granddaughter's wedding, we will do it again!"

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