Couple Didn’t Allow A Pandemic To Ruin Their Honeymoon



OK, so maybe they didn’t get the tan that they originally expected on the island of Antigua. And there was the minor inconvenience of cooking almost every night and making their own beds.

On the bright side, there were no long lines at the airport, and no itineraries to plan.

When Kelly and Ryan Shanley recently returned from their honeymoon, it was as if they had never left.



Which was actually the case.

Even though the coronavirus pandemic thwarted plans for their honeymoon to Antigua, the South Jersey couple wasn’t going to let that spoil their fun. What occurred was a honeymoon that played out in public, with the couple receiving rave reviews on social media for their daily updates.

The couple chose to look on the bright side. At least the pandemic didn’t interfere with their wedding.

This story began on Oct. 5, when they married in Cape May. Since Kelly is a third-grade special education teacher in Cherry Hill, she and Ryan decided to schedule their honeymoon during Easter break, beginning on April 4.

With everyday living limited due to the pandemic, both were resigned well before that day that there would be no actual honeymoon.

But they still had a backyard in their Haddon Township, Camden County, home, so not all was lost: The idea struck to have their honeymoon at home, but to make it feel like they had all the amenities of the island.

As Ryan said, “Kelly was the brains behind it, but I was the star.”

On April 4, the day they were supposed to have left for Antigua, Kelly found herself thinking about what their actual honeymoon would have looked like.

So with good weather, the honeymoon was off and running — and documented on social media with funny posts.

“We started the week off by relaxing by the ‘beach,’ hanging out at the ‘Tiki Hut,’ laying out in the sun, and splashing around in the ‘pool,’ and ended our honeymoon at our ‘favorite restaurant’ with a candlelit dinner.

“The first day we posted pictures on Instagram, and everybody said, ‘We’re so sorry, but this is great,'” Kelly said. “The second day, we got even more response.”

They both agreed that the tropical tiki hut they “built” was one of the more fun scenes to create.

The couple did their best to recreate things in the most accurate of ways. That’s why one day, Ryan filled up a storage container with water, jumped in, and splashed around his makeshift pool.

Wasn’t it a little cold, especially since they weren’t actually in Antigua?

“It was probably about 60 (degrees),” Ryan said.

His wife added, “It took a little bit for him to get in.”

Still, that stunt is one reason why he called himself the star of the show.

Another day, Kelly posted that they gave “the help” the day off, so she made the beds.

As for actual cooking, she did do it most of the time, although they left the “island” for takeout on two occasions.

“I love that they wrote this about y’all!” one Facebook commenter posted. “I was following along on your honeymoon.”

Kelly said she and Ryan felt like they had “no choice” but to play the hand they were dealt.

“We decided we could either be upset about the vacation and memories we were supposed to create as newlyweds in Antigua,” she said, “or make the best of the situation.”

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  1. As soon as the airlines fly again I hope the government can award them a free honeymoon to Antigua. They deserve it. And it would be good PR for the country

  2. We hope that you both get to visit and enjoy Antigua and Barbuda in due time. We welcome your POSITIVE VIBES and fun spirits.

  3. I love this story! My fiance and I were to marry in Antigua, (from Buffalo NY) on 4/24/20- a wedding we have has planned for 2 years. We then had to reschedule it to a wedding on 6/2/20, and then again to 6/23! We are hopeful to make our dreams come true on your beautiful island for the third time! There’s nothing we want more than to exchange our vows with our toes in the sand, surrounded by the love of the island. All our love and support is with everyone on Antigua. We cannot wait to be there!

    • We look forward to welcoming you and yours to our lovely island. Congrats to you and your partner on finding and loving each other. See you soon.

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