Let’s face it, times are hard for absolutely everyone across the board during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you’re lucky enough, you have your health, shelter, family, cleaning products, enough food and *hopefully* toilet paper. These worrisome days are strange and difficult for so many reasons. Unfortunately, with so much of the future uncertain, it makes it really impossible to make solidified plans. For that reason, couples are now faced with the tough decision of postponing the dream wedding they’ve spent 1-2 (or more) years planning. Or else, they are faced with the even more difficult decision of cancelling altogether. However, Katie and Will persevered. They were determined and became husband and wife on their intended date of March 27, 2019 against all the odds.
While there is a much bigger picture going on here for humanity, it does not mean it’s any less of a frustration dealing with this issue day-to-day. It’s more than likely at this point that if you intended to be married between March through May, you’ve probably rescheduled. You’ve put so much time, energy and money into coordinating this celebration of life and love. What hurts the most is more than missing out on a big, lavish wedding. That isn’t really the point here. What hurts is that it’s the human condition to celebrate life events to mark time, share tradition and create lasting memories. And right now, we are unable to do that.
Sure, there is still the possibility of holding a very intimate ceremony or, at the very least, obtaining a marriage license and meeting up with your officiant. You can still get married (for the most part) but it may leave you feeling distant, disconnected from your loved ones and unnoticed. Grandparents cannot attend. Households need to be kept separated. Let’s not forget what the reason is for doing all of this; weddings are for sharing a momentous occasion of unity with loved ones. They are meant to give you, your family and friends something to look forward to. It’s really hard not to feel defeated right now. Particularly because 2020 has basically become the most popular year for weddings, thanks to the number “2020”. Even the average person outside of the wedding industry is probably invited as a guest to a handful of weddings this year.
And here lies the issue that’s making things so difficult for everyone. The COVID-19 Pandemic has made it really hard for couples to navigate rescheduling their date for later this year because many popular dates are already taken. Katie and Will were determined to still get married this year anyway. They have made the choice to renew their vows and move their wedding reception to next year, on what will be their first anniversary in 2021.
We had been back and forth with them so much about how they would be handling the rescheduling process. When Katie’s childhood priest opened his church doors to them, they finally had a solution. As long as the amount of people were limited and a safe distance was maintained, Katie & Will could still be married. Steve and I agreed to be there as we donned rubber gloves and placed hand sanitizer in our camera bags. With 3 witnesses, a priest, us and many empty church pews, Katie & Will had their ceremony despite the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Katie ordered a white sequined cocktail dress in order to keep the real gown a secret until next year. However, she still didn’t want Will to see her until she came down the aisle to maintain the wedding day surprise. Will’s sister-in-law live-streamed the whole ceremony so family members who couldn’t be there could watch. Those of us present maintained the six foot distance between one another. At first, everyone seemed a little unsure of things. It was a beautiful, sunny day with clear, blue skies. Circumstances didn’t feel normal, despite such a gorgeous Spring day. Yet once Katie came down the aisle, I think we all felt human again. After 2 weeks of weirdness and quarantining, it was honestly nice to just get out of the house, do our jobs and witness something beautiful between two people – even if we had to use our long lenses and keep a distance.
We were so grateful we could still be there for Katie and Will. The day was a beautiful thing for us to document and witness; life still going on. And even though things are unusual right now and we need to take extra precaution, we will eventually have normalcy again. For now, Steve and I are trying to stay optimistic about our own wedding plans set for October 2020. We truly hope for the sake of humanity that the dust has settled by then. However, we’ve begun to mentally prepare ourselves anyway. Our own engagement party, bachelorette/bachelor parties are already being affected. The year isn’t exactly going to go as planned. But after seeing the grace with which Katie & Will handled the whole process, we’ve been inspired if we have to do the same. This was a reminder for us, and hopefully everyone else struggling right now, that your wedding can still be beautiful – even if it comes with a Part I and Part II… or just a Plan B. We all have to try to embrace the positives here because health and safety are the most important. We hope Katie & Will’s story inspires and uplifts everyone right now because boy, do we really need it. Stay home & stay healthy everyone!
The priest offered “Holy” Hand Sanitizer.
The groom’s sister-in-law live-streamed the ceremony.
The bride and her sister had been quarantined together, so she walked her down the aisle.
The ceremony began with three witnesses present.
Empty pews, family is there in spirit on Periscope!
The organist smiled from up in the balcony, a safe distance from everyone.
Just married and so thrilled!
Across the street, a few patrons by a food truck cheer the couple on with congratulations!
The dress will be different, but Katie fully plans to wear her boots again next year!
Katie spins, feeling elated that she was able to marry Will after all.
Despite a global pandemic, she became Mrs. Stella anyway. The couple then went home to privately share some cake together.