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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Villages wedding combines the traditional with live streaming in age of COVID-19

“It was a seniors wedding, and the young folks wished them well.” – with apologies to Chuck Berry.

“’Marriage in the Last Chapter’ should be the title of my new book,” says Jacklyn Landis, who was featured in a Villages-News.com article in November 2018. At that time, her book, “Promise of the Road,” had just been published and she was looking forward to a summer trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada, with her three granddaughters.

Villagers Dave Pierce and Jacklyn Landis tied the knot Saturday in the Village of Fenney.

When she returned from the trip, she met Dave Pierce.

“We started seeing each other once a week or so, then twice and then three times a week,” Jacklyn says. “Then we decided we wanted to see each other all the time. The best way to do that was to get married.”

Villagers Dave Pierce and Jacklyn Landis didn’t let a pandemic stop their wedding on Saturday. They pivoted to a livestreaming ceremony with witnesses, a celebrant and a bagpiper observing social distancing rules and invitees watching online across the country.

Dave is a native of Brooklyn who has lived in many locations and ended up in The Villages in 2012. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1963 with an engineering degree specializing in building construction, did a stint in the U.S. Navy as a navigator, then taught for 35 years in schools of architecture including the University of Florida.

Like many couples, the Coronavirus pandemic shattered their plans of a family wedding and honeymoon trip. Not to be deterred by circumstances and time, “We have a limited time. We want to move ahead,” Jacklyn notes dryly.

With help from family and friends, they booked the venue, a minimum number of attendees as witnesses, the requisite piper and the celebrant. A company specializing in livestreaming weddings was hired, invitations sent out and facemasks provided for everyone.

“We had to make some adjustments,” notes Dave.

Although seniors, their wedding was ultramodern in this age of social distancing and COVID-19. The venue was under the old oak tree and Spanish moss by the lake behind the recreation center in the Village of Fenney. The attendants included Dave’s brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Patricia, and Jacklyn’s son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Kathy, who are residents of the Village of Fenney.
In the modern spirit, Jacklyn and Dave wrote their own vows.

“We’re on the sixth edition,” Jacklyn laughs.

The celebrant, Sally Hipp, led a Christian service. A bagpiper paid homage to Dave’s Scottish heritage.

Jacklyn and Dave met through a mutual friend and found that they had a lot in common – strong Baptist faith, ballroom dancing, golf, love of travel and concerts. Of course, there are a few differences. Jacklyn turns out in fashionable soft pastels and makeup. Dave tends to be a bit more cavalier about his appearance – ball caps, T-shirts and shorts.

Dave has written several books on construction and engineering. Jacklyn’s book is historical fiction. Jacklyn is a gardener; Dave is a Trivial Pursuit enthusiast.

There are concerns for them entering into a “senior marriage,” they admit. “The possibility of illness or death in a few years is a concern,” Dave says. “But we’re making a commitment to love and every day is a gift,” Jacklyn concludes.
Dave will now sell his home and move into Jacklyn’s comfortable cottage-like villa in the Village of Buttonwood.

“I have such great neighbors and friends here,” she says. “And I’m not going to start all over again with my garden.”

The Buttonwood neighbors honored the happy couple with a decorated golf cart parade through their neighborhood after the service.

John W Prince is a writer and Villager. For more information visit HallardPress.com. If you know of someone with a good story, contact John at John@HallardPress.com.

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