Change of Plans: Couple Gets Campus Wedding Day Surprise

Caroline Bell '17 in car with husband and Davidson flag hanging out

Cheers and tears of joy greeted Caroline Bell ’17 and her husband Tyler Peterson as they were driven up to a surprise car parade at Davidson College after their Saturday afternoon nuptials.

Organized by Hollins Worsley ’18 and a few other friends, the CDC-compliant gathering allowed the couple to extend a wedding celebration that was significantly altered due to COVID-19.

“Caroline is a Davidson grad, and both of her parents attended and fell in love at Davidson, so the ceremony was supposed to be at Davidson College Presbyterian Church to give them that additional family connection,” Worsley said. “When we realized it couldn’t happen the way they planned, we started thinking about what we could do to create a way to make them feel celebrated and seen.”

After a small ceremony in town with only family and close friends, the couple hopped in the black BMW convertible Worsley borrowed for the surprise. Grateful for the picture-perfect weather, they drove to the Baker Sports Complex parking lot where they were welcomed by dozens of cars filled with loved ones who could be there without traveling long distances.

“I live in Davidson and was riding my bike around campus a few weeks ago. I immediately thought this would be the perfect location for a car line if we could partner with the college to do it,” Worsley said. “It worked out so perfectly.”

The newlyweds met through their involvement with the Young Life program at Lake Forest Church near campus, the same way Bell met Worsley. Bell and Peterson have been together for six years. Worsley calls them adventurous and “seriously intelligent,” with hearts for serving others.

The bride and groom were planning to honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico, but have put that on hold and are celebrating their marriage at a beach house closer to home. At a later time, they will hold a reception for everyone who was originally invited to share their big day.

“I have never once heard Caroline or Tyler complain about all the changes to their plans,” Worsley said. “They are always thinking about how to make everyone else feel involved, and how they can make things easier for friends and family. That’s why we knew we had to do something.”


  • May 11, 2020