Grand Rapids, MI – Grand Rapids Police Officers Cole Hoyer and Kelly Momber worried like most engaged couples about what the pandemic would do to their wedding plans, but they never thought about the possibility of having their plans derailed by their jobs until it actually happened.
After re-planning their large wedding into an intimate gathering scheduled for May 30, the unthinkable occurred, WXMI reported.
Violent protests broke out across the nation in response to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis on May 25.
The riots spread to Grand Rapids five days later – the day that Officer Momber was scheduled to marry Officer Hoyer with a wedding party that was supposed to include numerous other police officers, WXMI reported.
“It wasn’t the wedding I had imagined in my dreams,” Officer Momber told WXMI. “Absolutely. It’s just our life. It’s just what happens.”
The officers were called in to deal with the mounting protests 10 minutes after the wedding pictures were finished.
And the bride and groom volunteered to go in to help, too, WXMI reported.
“We were like hey, we’ll come in.” Officer Momber said.
But the rest of the wedding party and their police officials told them “not on your wedding night,” according to WXMI.
“I don’t regret staying home the night of my wedding,” Officer Hoyer said. “I felt like I owed it to her. But there is a small part of us that will always wish we were here that night.”
The Grand Rapids Police Department shared pictures of the happy couple in wedding attire on their official Facebook page juxtaposed next to a picture of them kissing in riot gear just 18 hours after they said “I do.”
“What a difference 18 hours can make,” the department wrote. “Cole Hoyer and Kelly Momber are two of our finest young officers. They met here at the GRPD and fell in love.”
“On their wedding night, rioting began in downtown Grand Rapids,” the post continued. “Their wedding party, many of them police officers, were called in for duty shortly after the ceremony. Cole and Kelly were heartbroken, but their loyalty to the community they serve and the desire to be with their law enforcement brothers and sisters brought them into work the very next day, less than 18 hours after they were married.”
“This type of sacrifice often goes unnoticed,” the department pointed out. “It can be thankless work, but the call to serve never sleeps and it does not take time off. Cole and Kelly are the epitome of what a GRPD officer is; self-sacrifice and stepping up to serve the community when they are needed the most.”
Officer Momber – who has since changed her last name to Hoyer – said she and her new husband never even considered sitting out the next night, WXMI reported.
In fact, she still had her wedding hairdo, makeup, and nails when she reported for riot duty.
“Had she not been in law enforcement, and I was, or vice versa, I could see that being a real issue with a newly married couple…” Officer Hoyer told WXMI.
The pictures of the couples’ wedding day quickly went viral and garnered a positive response in their community and beyond.
“I was like, holy cow. People do like us. People are thankful for what we do,” Officer Momber told WXMI.
“We’re not usually giving people good news. Or showing up to people in great circumstances anyways,” Officer Hoyer explained.
The couple has not yet had a honeymoon, WXMI reported.