Good Neighbors

Wedding Crisis Averted! Mayor Helps Couple Say Their ‘I-Do’s’ When Reverend Doesn’t Show

In a scene straight out of a romantic comedy, he stepped up to make sure the wedding could go on as planned.


Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, life goes on. Babies are being born, students are graduating high school and college, and people are getting married. And, same as before the coronavirus, sometimes the life-changing events we spend days, months and years looking forward to don't always go as planned.

Dr. Matt Kalliath and his new wife Dr. Naomi Wiens know this well. Like most engaged couples in 2020, they had to cancel their plans for a big wedding once the pandemic hit. Instead, they planned an intimate, beachside celebration in West Yarmouth, MA with just a handful of family members and close friends.

When their big day finally arrived, and Kalliath and Wiens were dressed to the nines in their wedding attire, there was just one small issue – the minister who was supposed to marry them never showed up. Turns out, he had a family emergency and had to cancel last minute.

Matt Kalliath and Naomi Wiens are both doctors, and are heading to New England for new jobs in the fall. Naomi J Kalliath/Facebook

Without a state-certified officiant to marry them, Wiens' mom did what any mother-of-the-bride would do. She went on a frantic mission to find a solution to the problem.

She spotted Carlo DeMaria, the mayor of the nearby town of Everett at the beach and after explaining the situation, he reluctantly told her that he wasn't certified to perform the ceremony. However, after DeMaria made a few phone calls to Massachusetts' Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito, he got special permission to serve as the couple's officiant.

Mayor DeMaria stepped up to marry the couple in front of their closest family and friends - and of course, their beloved pup. Nancy Gould Photography/Facebook

With the backdrop of beautiful Lewis Bay, Mayor DeMaria welcomed the wedding guests and read a ceremony script from the brother of the bride's iPhone. The couple, with their dog at their feet, read the personal vows they had written for each other and DeMaria officially declared them man and wife.

After the ceremony, DeMaria posed for a few photos with the couple and signed their marriage certificate. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito even reached out by phone to personally congratulate the newlyweds.

"Lt. Governor Polito and Governor Baker care about their citizens it was nice to hear that directly from them," Wiens told CBSN Boston.

Gov. Charlie Baker reached out by phone after the ceremony to personally congratulate the couple. Nancy Gould Photography/Facebook

Nancy Gould, the couple's wedding photographer, was surprised by her clients' laid-back attitudes throughout the day, even when they found out their officiant wasn't going to make it to perform the ceremony.

"They were so gracious," Gould said. "I was very impressed by them."

Kalliath and Weins got to thank DiMaria in person when they met him for lunch last week. Careful to keep their spending under the $50 allowance for gifts for elected officials, the couple gave the mayor a card and a bottle of wine "as a small token of our appreciation."

The couple got the chance to thank Mayor DeMaria in person over lunch last week in Cape Cod, MA. Reagan Communications Group/Facebook

"You have to give him credit, he kind of went out on a limb for us," Kalliath said. "It really meant a lot to us."

What an amazing act of kindness from DiMaria who graciously stepped up to make the wedding go on as scheduled. We're sure the family will never forget the mayor who saved their special day!

Congratulations to the lovely couple! Nancy Gould Photography/Facebook

How can you start something good?

We love stories where people step up to do acts of kindness for strangers!


You might not get a chance to serve as an emergency wedding officiant, but if you do, you might as well be prepared! For information on how to become a licensed wedding officiant in your state, click here.


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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