'Our love can’t be put on hold': Couple makes Rocky Steps their wedding venue

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Flowers, cake, guests: Jeremy Tackett and Callie Swanlund were going to have all that and more at their wedding this month.

Coronavirus changes plans fast though, and like many other couples have been doing lately, Tackett and Swanlund had to cancel their traditional plans.

But rather than reschedule it for a later day, they moved the date up and decided to live-stream the ceremony so their guests could watch from all over the country. All they needed was a special place to tie the knot.

"Nothing really seemed right," Tackett told KYW Newsradio, "and then Callie sort of jokingly said, ‘What about the top of the Art Museum steps?’ And the more we thought about it we couldn’t think of a reason not to do it."

So their new venue was set and April 28 became their new date. They picked a Tuesday afternoon figuring it wouldn't be too crowded outside of the Art Museum, but then the couple encountered another hurdle: the military flyover in Philadelphia was announced just a few days in advance for the same date and virtually the same time.

Knowing that would likely bring huge crowds to the Rocky Steps, the couple thought they would have to make another big change.

"Even in the eleventh hour we said, 'Okay, do we need to move the wedding or postpone the wedding?'" Swanlund said. "Then we’re like, 'Our love can’t be put on hold, we want to get married!' We had this stance."

They kept everything the same and right after the flyover crowds started leaving, Tackett, Swanlund and her two children began the ceremony. They walked up the steps and said their vows at the same spot "Rocky" likes to celebrate a successful training session.

While their guests watched online, some Art Museum visitors looked on from a safe distance.

"We got a nice round of applause for the first kiss and the announcement," said Tackett.

"Our family and friends who were really far away really were heartened to see these other people just gathering around us to bear witness," added Swanlund.

Even KYW Newsradio took a break from flyover coverage to take in a moment of this unique wedding.

I thought covering the flyover would be enough excitement for one day but I attended a wedding too. This couple just tied the knot on top of the Art Museum steps???? pic.twitter.com/6rg7Ha5wld

— Andrew Kramer (@Philly_Kramer) April 28, 2020

It wasn't the wedding they drew up when they got engaged, but both say it was perfect.

"This was an incredible day that we would never have designed for ourselves," said Tackett.

"It was exactly the right thing," agreed Swanlund. "This is something our kids will tell their kids about. This is something for our guests will stand out from any other wedding they’ve ever attended and this is something we will treasure. Who gets to get married on top of the Rocky steps?"

In a way, this wedding even served as Tackett's Philadelphia initiation. He moved to the city last year from Kentucky.

"You choose this super iconic location that screams Philadelphia," Swanlund explained, "with shirtless runners and motorcycles going past and the whole city line behind was really special and indicative of his journey of embracing Philadelphia."

"It's home now," added Tackett.

The couple plans to celebrate their marriage with family and friends in person as soon as they can.

Congrats! https://t.co/5qhx51iPD7

— Andrew Kramer (@Philly_Kramer) April 28, 2020