You won’t believe this covid wedding was held in the bride’s parent’s backyard AND planned in just three weeks – can we book them for our next outdoor wedding venue? Alix and Braden’s April wedding day looked drastically different than they imagined, but it was every bit of perfect they ever dreamed of. In the words of the bride: “love always wins, family always wins, and that’s all that matters.” These simple words were the focus of their covid wedding day. Their intimate and rustic ceremony was full of pure bliss and abundant joy. Alix looked stunning in her beautiful gown, and paired it oh-so well with her “I Do” face mask (chic and quarantine-approved, right?). We love the fresh accents of lavender featured throughout on the couple’s homemade arbor, in the bride’s bouquet and their wedding cake; complete with pops of pink and yellow, this organic color palette was simply gorgeous. Their adorable wedding gallery by Kayley Haulmark Photography captured the couple’s elation and natural love for each other that shines through in every heartwarming photo featured below. Scroll to hear the couple’s sweet story, from the proposal to the wedding planning strategy to altering their wedding plans to fit into covid – we promise it’s worth the read!
Photo // Kayley Haulmark Photography
From the bride: “We were set to get married in June of this year! We got engaged in June of 2019 in Hawaii while I was visiting my sister. BEST surprise proposal of all time!
The focus of our relationship has always been Jesus. How is He moving us in this relationship and how are we as individuals and as a couple growing closer to Him? When we got engaged, it wasn’t a surprise that we wanted to focus more on our marriage and not our wedding. As a photographer myself, I have been a part of a lot of weddings, whether to photograph them or second shoot them. I knew the details that came with planning a wedding and all the craziness that happens on the wedding day. I wasn’t the girl that dreamt of her wedding day – I dreamt of a life of adventure with someone else.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we were planning the perfect day for us, we just agreed that if something ever came up that caused anxiety or stress, we had to put it against our top three. The top three being: 1. Is this thing fun? 2. Is this thing brunch related? 3. Is this thing creating unity and again, fun? Bonus list number: 4. Does it have something to do with photography (hehehe photog in me coming through!). If it wasn’t on that list, we resolved it and tried our hardest not to let it cause stress. Our plan was to have a fun and colorful Sunday morning brunch wedding with lawn games. Casual, low-stress and FUN! We were planning on having it at The Nest at Terra Verde in Norman (where now the reception will be held November 2020), and were so excited! Plans started to change as we got closer and closer to our date and things with the coronavirus ramped up. Neither of us wanted to admit that the wedding we planned was not happening or had the potential of not happening. My anxiety was high all the time with people asking us if we were moving the date, having to stall planning, pause writing addresses for invitations and canceling bachelor and bachelorette parties. My focus shifted away from planning our marriage and onto the wedding – the opposite of how we started this adventure. One Saturday, toward the end of March, I finally decided to sit down and plan the “Plan B” version of the wedding. I sat at my computer and cried. I was overwhelmed and didn’t even know where to start. I decided to do what any good daughter would do and went to my mom’s house. We talked about all the options, and she reminded me that our focus this whole time was our marriage and having fun and enjoying this season. 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, and I laughed. Why up? That is just closer to the virus, and she said that nothing is going to change more than likely by June. My sister was in town from Hawaii, and we could throw something together in three weeks in the backyard. We called all the vendors to see if they were okay with switching things around and having a reception later. And literally, as if it was fate, everything fell together flawlessly. My parents built a beautiful arbor out of antique doors we had gotten that was supposed to be the entrance in June. They painted their house, which was in the plan all along and just fell perfectly. Braden’s ring was able to be completed in a rush. My dress, though I wasn’t able to have a fitting, my mom did her best to tailor it. They planted flowers, got a cake, and every detail ended up being perfect.
The day was beautiful. The weather was gorgeous, despite having a week of downpours. My parents and matron of honor planned a car parade after our photos were done, and his groomsmen from Arkansas and Tulsa drove all the way down just to cheer him on (CUE THE TEARS). I joked really early on in the planning that I refused to have the wedding in my parents’ backyard, and it was more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined. We chose to Periscope the wedding so that all of our friends and family without social media could be a part of the day, and my sister crushed the commentating. It wasn’t what we planned, but it was better than we could have ever imagined or planned. 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, and that is all that matters. We have the rest of our lives to go on a honeymoon and have a reception. Our HOMEYmoon was FUN as HECK! Was it the beach? No. But it was fun to sit with each other and talk through the last month, our wedding day and what we are going to do to celebrate our old wedding date. My advice to any bride going through this: focus on each other – grow together in whatever way that looks like for you both. Marriage counseling, seminars, discipleship, mentorship, video conferences. Whatever it is focus on your marriage and the love you two share. The wedding will come together, I promise, and all you will be thinking about that day is the love of your life anyway.”