Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Throw Virtual Wedding for Essential Worker Couple amid COVID-19


Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest just helped one couple say "I do" after their dream wedding was called off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Friday's broadcast of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the morning show co-hosts threw a virtual wedding for Rasheda Patton and Anthony Presley, two New York City essential workers whose nuptials in St. Martin were canceled because of the outbreak.

Patton and Presley's big day began with a surprise announcement from Tamron Hall, who agreed to be their officiant.

"You are the second couple I'll marry, which is good because I'm one for one," Hall, 49, told the bride and groom in a video conference call ahead of the wedding. "It's a huge honor to do this. I'm so excited."

The surprises didn't stop there! Before Patton walked down the aisle to Joe's "All That I Am," the R&B artist made a sweet cameo and performed a special rendition of the love song.

"I love Joe. If you listen to the words, the lyrics are awesome," Patton said. "Originally, Anthony was going to sing that song to me as I walked down the aisle. Now that he can't do that, I'll just have to listen to Joe sing it."

Patton and Presely exchanged self-written vows in their backyard in front of a small group of guests, who wore masks and sat six feet apart in accordance with social distancing restrictions. The bride wore a gorgeous white gown with a halter top neckline and lace-trimmed veil, while the groom looked sharp in a navy blue suit.

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds were treated to another surprise as Calvin Richardson performed "Can't Let Go" for their first dance as husband and wife.Patton and Presely then enjoyed a three-tier wedding cake made by Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro. As one last surprise, Ripa and Seacrest gifted the couple an eight-day stay at a private villa in the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon.

"We wanted to make sure that when the time does come to travel, you're able to do it right," Seacrest said.

Patton and Presely first met as Bridge & Tunnel officers attending a class together. They got engaged after Presely popped the question on Patton's birthday during a family game night. The couple spent more than a year planning for their dream nuptials, setting a date this June.

However, the two were forced to call off their destination wedding when coronavirus hit the United States in March, putting a stop to most air travel.

"It's a different kind of wedding," Patton said of her virtual nuptials. "Something we hadn't planned on, but it's still pretty cool."

She added, "It has not only renewed our energy, but it's renewed our friends' and families' energies as well."

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