We have all been looking forward to this day for longer than we can even remember. It has been in our minds since we were little girls, growing infinitely more real as soon as we fell and love, and then the question was popped. And now it feels a bit like we’ve been robbed. This time in a bride’s life should be the happiest, most magical, and instead, it’s full of sadness, fear, and confusion. And on top of that, you’ve probably felt guilty for feeling this way because there are so many people that are being affected by this pandemic in all different sorts of ways. But maintaining perspective is hard in moments when you feel heartbreak.
We have asked one of our recent brides to share her story about COVID and her wedding. Come to find out; you don’t have to be sad, fearful, or confused. Just read Callie’s story. It certainly made me shed a happy tear for her.
How did you feel leading up to your wedding, knowing it was not going to be exactly how you planned it?
I was devastated. I went to bed crying and woke up crying. I couldn’t believe the day I’ve dreamed of for so long wasn’t going to go as planned. I was a bride for Halloween when I was four, and that’s how long I’ve looked forward to this day! Devastated would be an understatement. It seemed trivial with all that was going on, but it was an important day for us.
Was it hard for you to decide not to postpone your wedding? What details did you have to think about to make your decision?
Our wedding date was May 2nd. After the initial CDC recommendation banning gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks, we realized something would have to happen. That was back in March, so I immediately started contacting vendors to see about a plan B. Ultimately, this day was about marriage for us, and after talking to the preacher, he said he would still marry us May 2nd because that is what it is all about. The rest can come later.
What helped you cope with the fact that your wedding was not going to be how you expected it to be?
This question was a tough one to answer. After breaking the news to our family and friends, they were beyond supportive. They gave me a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. Having that support was ultimately what got me through. Then, Sam and I got a puppy, and he has been the best distraction! Sam was working out of town, and it gave me something to do and somewhere to focus my energy on besides a wedding.
What did your original planned wedding look like versus your quarantine wedding? And what was the difference in the guest count from your initial guest list to your quarantine wedding guest list?
Our original wedding included a guest list of 180 with a big church wedding and an indoor reception with a band and a time to party. We also were supposed to go to the Bahamas on our honeymoon, which was postponed. Instead of that wedding, we had 10 of us in all- the two of us, the preacher, Sam’s immediate family, my parents, and cousin. We had our ceremony in the church, and I wore my dress and Sam wore his tux. I didn’t choose that dress to party in; I chose it to marry him in.
We had it set up on zoom and had over 50 calls join in, and when it was over, we had a parade of cars with our friends and family present to congratulate us! Sam and I ate GianMarcos for dinner and had our first dance in our kitchen. One of our friends even made us a wedding cake!
What was your favorite memory from your big day?
Our photographers (AL Weddings) encouraged me to make this day special because we didn’t know what the future holds for weddings. So we did a half-day, starting with detailed pictures and pictures of my two bridesmaids (Sam’s sister and my cousin), and continued from there. Our first look was my favorite part. It was so sweet and just about us two, and we could take it all in. Regardless of what the day held, we would be married.
What advice would you give to current brides that are trying to decide if they should postpone their wedding, have their wedding on the original date with a smaller amount of guests, or have two celebrations?
I love this question now! We originally planned to get married on May 2nd and then redo the full-day July 25th. After the ceremony, we took some pictures with our photographers. I felt so content with the day (plus it was exhausting, and I can’t imagine having energy for a reception too). We decided right then and there that we didn’t need another ceremony because this one was PERFECT! It was so intimate and filled with so much love. So we will party and celebrate in July!
I’d say you have to do what is best for you. Take time to grieve what has been taken from you because it is okay to grieve. I know some friends that have entirely postponed because they were not able to get their immediate families together, or they didn’t have time to come up with a plan B, and that is okay! But I know that for us, marriage was the most important thing.
Looking back on the day, would you do things differently? Would you still rather have the wedding that you had initially imagined?
I wish I could have the day I originally planned, but I feel content and happy with this. Except that I’m not on the beach right now! Our wedding day, to me, was a joy. We had time to savor the moment and enjoy every second without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. We were probably on plan D by the time the day got here, but that plan was perfect.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your situation?
It is an awful situation. What are the chances your wedding will fall during a pandemic? But hang in there, because it can be delightful. I wish I knew what I know now. And lean on your family and friends. We had the sweetest wedding week, not just day. Our friends sent us flowers, cookies, and were there for us each day and so happy. It showed us the goodness and love our people have for us.
And then came July 25th, Callie and Sam finally got to have their real first dance in the ballroom of the Florentine. These pictures melt our hearts! Wishing Callie, Sam, Finn, and Walt a lifetime of pure happiness!!!
Dress: Anne Barge
Tux: Mr. Burch
Photographer: AL Weddings
Church: Trinity United Methodist
Florist: Michael Sanchez
Ballroom: The Florentine
Bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids
Invitations: Fine Paperwork
Sweets: Sarah Bakes Cookies
Hair: Perfectly Undone Beauty
Makeup: Cosmetics by Mackenzie
Rings: Diamond DIrect