We nixed our wedding to protect our friends and then they surprised us with one

Updated 8:31 AM ET, Sat April 25, 2020

We are publishing personal essays from CNN's global staff as they live and cover the story of Covid-19. Zach Wade is a senior programming producer for CNN in Atlanta.

Atlanta (CNN)We were boyfriends for four years. Every anniversary was a party. The engagement was epic, complete with an Instagram-worthy surprise proposal against the Los Angeles skyline. Best of all, Kartik said yes.

The engagement in Los Angeles on April 11, 2019 -- exactly a year before the wedding date.
Then the April wedding to mark our 5-year anniversary was bulldozed by a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis.
When you have something big planned and it falls apart, it can feel like the universe has you in its crosshairs. It seemed like our wedding had a giant pandemic targ