Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 07-30-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 CUMBERLAND 7 CUMBERLAND — A local couple said "I do" from a distance over the weekend, creatively altering their wedding plans amid the coronavirus pandemic to safely tie the knot. Gabriela Gonsalves, who was born and raised in Cumberland, and Scott Crowell, of Pawtucket, met online and began chatting in January 2018. For their first date, Scott picked Gabriela up from her job at the Lincoln Mall, where she worked for Lincoln Tech. They went to Chili's. "That date was hilarious," Gabriela said. "There was a little kiosk at the table to fill out a survey about the meal, and we pretended to do a sur- vey about our date. I asked him to rate our date on a scale of one to 10 and he said "an eight." Gabriela said she knew in that moment, "This is the most hon- est guy I've ever met … I can trust him." "Now, I'm a 10 out of 10," she joked. In January of this year they took a trip to Florida together. The second night, while sitting out on the balco- ny, Scott told Gabriela that she was his best friend, and that he loved her, before dropping down onto one knee. "He pulled out a ring box shaped like a piano, which was amazing because I'm in love with music," she said. "I'm a sensitive person … I got teary. We were laughing and crying. It was beautiful." The engagement "changed every- thing" for the couple, she said, giving them something to look for- ward to after more than a year of discussing their hopes of starting a life together. They grasped onto that excitement even when coronavirus struck, forcing them to constantly change their wedding plans and pro- jected date. "We thought about July 2021, then moved it to the fall, but we weren't sure what was going to happen by then with the virus. We kept chang- ing our mind, then we heard the idea of a drive-by wedding in April." Gabriela said. "We thought it could be a really interesting and safe way to have our wedding," she said, adding that they'd always talked about having a small backyard ceremony. "This way, we could have the wedding with social distancing and masks and just offer an opportunity for people to get our of their homes and see something happy during a time when we're all having our own anxi- eties and lows." Gabriela said pulling off the drive- by wedding is something she's proud of, especially the work her mother, Roberta, put into her yard on Highland Avenue for her daughter's big day. "She made it like the secret gar- den," said Gabriela, who felt as though she was dancing among the woodland fairies in "The Nutcracker." "That's what it felt like to me, maybe because I was the bride that day," she said with a laugh, "… but I just felt like I was floating on air, like that was the theme. It was beautiful and green, like the garden of Eden, with flowers my mother planted everywhere." On Sunday, the day of the wed- ding, supportive neighbors opened up their driveways to family mem- bers to park. A small ceremony began around 3:45 p.m., officiated by the Rev. Olivier Bala. Gabriela was walked down the aisle by her father, Frank, and Scott was sup- ported by his parents, Robert and Debra. "Most people started driving by closer to 4 p.m., right toward the end of the ceremony when we kissed and James Brown's 'I Got You (I Feel Good)' began to play," Gabriela said. The newlyweds and their immediate family members stood in the yard greeting loved ones and passing out wedding favors – little boxes that said "Love" filled with candies – through car windows. Guests rolled up holding "Congratulations" signs, some stopping to take socially-distanced Drive-through 'I do' By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com See WEDDING, Page 11 BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON THE REV. OLIVIER BALA, of the Mount Hope Community Baptist Church in Providence, officiated the marriage of GABRIELA GONSALVES and SCOTT CROWELL, at the bride's parents' home last Sunday afternoon.

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