Love Prevails: Celebrating Weddings During a Season Unlike Any Other
The times may be unprecedented, but despite the chaos and uncertainty, we’ve learned that nothing… not even a pandemic can prevent love from prevailing. When it became apparent that our world almost overnight was drastically changing, no one had the answers on if and when we could expect to resume our normal lives. Those with weddings on the immediate horizon were some of the hardest hit with the news and faced with some of the most difficult decisions to make. For an unknown period, ceremonies and celebratory gatherings were postponed. For couples planning, it was heartbreaking and our hearts broke for them. It didn’t seem fair for uncontrollable forces to alter such significant plans. And for so many, it didn’t! Love prevailed and couples carried on with making their marriage official with more than a meaningful Plan B. Here are just some of their heartfelt stories.
Madison + Chase
We made the decision to postpone our reception, but still get married on our original date. It felt so good to know exactly what our plan was, rather than to wait and call it at the last minute. Our wedding ceremony guests included my husband’s parents, my parents and all of our siblings. It was a very intimate ceremony size compared to our original 350 guest-count projection! My florist created a stunning installment for the ceremony and a bouquet for me to carry. Afterward, we had a delicious, home-cooked meal together! It was actually better than what we had originally planned and I wouldn’t change a thing. We definitely won’t forget it! For the reception, we’re trying to stick to the original plan as much as possible, using the same vendor team, bridal party attire and special detailing. I’ve been thinking of ways to create a vibe that makes guests feel as if they’ve entered our reception space after attending our ceremony just before. At the same time, we want people to feel more relaxed and casual. Coming up with new ideas has been fun!
Mackenzie + Cliff
Although there was uncertainty in our situation, Cliff and I knew we wanted to start our forever together as soon as possible. We didn’t need the fine-tuned details. We had everything we needed. There was something so humbling about the way it worked out. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that the unexpected can lead to an even more magical day! There was so much going on in the world, and yet I was still able to marry the love of my life in the presence of both our parents, with my siblings watching from afar.
Amelia + Ryan
After looking at all of our options, we decided that it didn’t matter what or who was coming to our wedding, as long as we were still able to get married. We had a small, intimate ceremony of seven people, then we began to take photos inside of the church when our photographer mentioned she wanted to take a few photos outside; we thought it was odd since it had been raining all day, but we agreed to tackle the weather and head outside. Waiting for us outside was one of the best surprises we will never forget – a long line of cars with family and friends honking their horns and screaming our names to celebrate from afar. Even though nothing went as originally planned, it’s truly a day we will never forget, as it turned out more memorable than we could’ve ever imagined! We wouldn’t change a thing!
Photo: Emily Nicole Photo
Bailey + Canan
My wedding went from a 350+ celebration to a small gathering of our closest friends and family, due to COVID-19. However, the entire town surprised my husband and I after the ceremony by parading through the pasture with signs and balloons. My wedding turned out to be so perfect in every way!
Photo: Jessi Smith Photography // Featured Vendors: Allie’s Baking Boutique
Rachel + Patrick
I know that at the end of the day, a wedding is really just about you and your fiancé and the love you have for each other. This is true, but I feel like a wedding is much bigger than just two people – it’s about bringing a new family together. It’s about all the people in your lives who have shaped you into the person that you are, and in turn that have been a part of your love story in a way. I just couldn’t imagine getting married without everyone we loved there to witness that special moment. The day we were supposed to get married, I put on my veil from my bachelorette party and made my fiancé pose with me toasting with Corona beers! I would happily marry my fiancé any day, but I’m looking forward to spending our wedding day with everyone we love.
Shannon + Troy
We scratched our original wedding with 275 people and decided to have a backyard wedding of immediate family, vendors and the wedding party. A few days after we got all of those details worked out, the new regulations were no more than ten people. We decided to postpone our big, original wedding to August 15, 2020, but to get legally married on March 24 in Troy’s parents’ backyard, just hours before the city wide lock down. Troy’s dad got ordained online so he could marry us. We thought we would just be signing the marriage license to make it legal and save the “I do’s” for August, but Troy’s dad had the whole legal ceremony memorized! We got to say our vows and it was so special. It was just Troy, his parents, his sister and me. We are still planning on having our original wedding in August if it is safe. On our original wedding date, I put my veil on, drank Corona beer and we ordered Benvenuti’s to-go, which was our original caterer for the wedding.
Photo: Meg Rose Photography
Alix + Braden
I finally decided to sit down and plan the Plan B version of the wedding because by that point it seemed pretty clear the wedding wouldn’t happen the way we planned. I sat at my computer and cried. I was overwhelmed and didn’t even know where to start. I went to my mom’s house and we talked about all the options and she reminded me that our focus this whole time was our marriage, having fun and enjoying the season, and that at the end of the day all we wanted was to be married – we have the rest of our lives to celebrate. She suggested moving the wedding up instead of back because, more than likely, nothing was going to change by June. My sister was in town from Hawaii and we threw it together in three weeks in the backyard. My parents built a beautiful arbor out of antique doors we had gotten that were supposed to be the entrance in June. It wasn’t what we planned, but it was better than we could have ever imagined. Our families feel more unified than ever and it was so intimate. The thing I learned from all of the craziness, is to first and foremost go with the flow and trust God. But second, love always wins. Family always wins.
Photo: Kayley Haulmark Photography
Chandler + Andrew
We knew that a wedding is much more than the lavish celebration we’d been planning. It’s a lifelong commitment to another person that no pandemic can stop! We knew we wanted to keep our date even if it was just us, a pastor and two witnesses. We had a quaint backyard ceremony where my family had surprised us by setting up the sweetest little arch to be married under.
Photo: Maylee and Jacob Photography
Allison + Jared
I am from Georgia, so we decided to stick with tradition and have our wedding there. We set the date for March 28, 2020. About two weeks before the big day, Athens was starting to show signs of shutting down due to COVID-19. Over the course of the next nine days, we went through innumerable different plans that quite honestly, changed every hour. We came up with a plan to do a first look and bridal portraits the Wednesday of our wedding week due to non-essential businesses closing at midnight that night. We did our first look, read each other letters and took photos at Bluff Creek Park in OKC, and then decided to have our wedding there as well! With our parents, siblings and officiant surrounding us and all of our friends, bridal party and extended family watching from their parked cars and FaceBook Live, we FINALLY did the dang thing and got married! It was definitely not what we had planned nor what we had been working on for the six months prior, but man it was so sweet and simple. It stripped away all of the non-essential things that you typically see in a wedding and made it all about the marriage. That is one thing we will never forget and will always be thankful for. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we have one heck of a story to tell for days to come.
Other Local Vendors: Kayley Haulmark Photography, Baked Cookie Co., Ricki Thompson Media, Uprooted Designs, Amy Lee Illustration, Mark Boatright