HOUSTON — Andrew and Christina Young intended to get married in April, a day filled with dancing, hugging, and lots of fun with about 150 guests.
COVID-19 quickly changed that plan. The church where they planned to get married closed. Christina Young is an occupational therapist at Texas Children's Hospital, and takes the virus very seriously. Their large wedding became an intimate ceremony in their backyard. Andrew Young built the arbor; Christina Young decorated it.
About a dozen people, socially distanced, witness their ceremony.
The couple did have a second, small church ceremony on Halloween so the bride's parents could attend.
But Andrew and Christina Young did not want any gifts. Despite their wedding dreams differing, they stuck to at least one of their original plans: donate any gifts to the Habitat for Humanity of Southern Brazoria County.
“We were looking for a way to change the focus a bit," Andrew Young said. “Why does getting married have to be about getting gifts?"
“The most important part of it was us getting married," Christina Young said.
They set up a GoFundMe page for friends to give money directly to the charity, and raised about $8,000. The Youngs have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Southern Brazoria County before.
“The selfless generosity of the idea just astounded me," said Dave Edgington, executive director of the Habitat for Humanity chapter. "I said, ‘Well, I’ve never done anything – we’ve done lots of fundraisers, but nothing like this before.'"
Instead of kitchen appliances, the Youngs' wedding registry listed windows, doors, shingles, shutters, and more.
"For them to dedicate the whole thing to helping others, I was blown away," Edgington said. "For a young couple to do something like that, it's very inspiring."
Andrew and Christina Young went out for a "build day" to help construct the new home. Construction is still underway, and organizers expect it will be ready in a few months.
"To get someone who comes and does both, that's just phenomenal," Edgington said.
“It’s making your actions match your words," Andrew Young said.
“Literally, our donations are inside that house and helping build a structure that’s going to hold a family," Christina Young said.
They are still accepting donations. You can donate here.