How to have a wedding with Covid-19
Updated: Jun 19
A lot of brides have had to resign all their hopes and plans for a different kind of wedding because of this recent pandemic. Not knowing how many guests can gather or when we might be on lockdown again, has put an untold amount of stress on brides and grooms as well as wedding vendors around the globe. This couple took the challenge with graciousness and decided they would get married no matter what on the date they selected and that is just what they did. With the regulations of just 5 people being present we carefully planned out the day so that their family could feel as part of the day as possible.
We started by visiting each parents home and chatted with them a bit and sat quietly while they read letters from their kids and let them reflect on the new beginnings happening for their son and daughter. They were fearful they were not going to be able to be a part of the day by this point but with some careful planning with their neighbours they were able to view the wedding from the yards of each neighbour, watching from a distance. The officiant Jeff Maeck came prepared with speakers so that everyone could hear clearly from their distances. I am sure this made them feel more a part of the moment.
Next stop was brides and grooms place. They were SO relaxed. Bride was curling her own hair, groom was cleaning up his shave and her friend was setting up her backyard with local fresh flowers.
This sign made me chuckle. It is so true.
Of course Pooches are a super important part of the day, so we made sure their baby had portrait time too.
The first look was in their bedroom and we loved their reactions.
Because of the limitations on people we actually signed as witnesses for their ceremony. This was a real honour for both myself and my videographer. The bride chose to walk up the aisle with her pooch CJ, who did a great job, though he was a little too quick ;) But Dad still gets his turn this winter as they will be doing their reception later in the year when they can be with their guests again. I'm sure Dad won't pull the bride up the aisle.
As soon as they finished signing their documents. Shouts and horns honking started from the road. A massive surprise had been orchestrated by Brides Mum. Kudos for everyone keeping the secret because every single person knew except for them! Her entire guest count was invited to show up on their day and show their support. People dressed up, decorated their cars and travelled from far away to do a car parade and celebrate the day with the couple the only way they could... at a distance. The most heartbreaking part was hearing the bride say things like. "I just want to hug you so bad!" My videographer and I were commenting on all the things Covid has taught us to be grateful for. Being able to freely dish out hugs was one of them. The air was thick with love, like you could just feel it oozing out... trying to touch them from afar. Those words, those messages, those expressions, even without touch, it was all still deeply felt.
We asked them to go around at least 3 times so we could get pictures of everyone and that the bride and groom had a chance to chat with each person from their driveway. My favourite car was the one decorated like a friends episode."The*one* where* LeeAnne* and Kurtis* gets* Married" SO clever.
The brides maid of honour actually had Covid and was unable to make the parade but they had a little cry together on facetime and thankfully she was able to see the whole ceremony from her home. Thank goodness for facetime and zoom these days!
When the parade made its third and final round the block tour and everyone got a chance to say their blessings from their car, we headed to their backyard to take their wedding portraits. I pulled up my phone and asked them what their song was. Spotify to the rescue. And here in the sunsetting golden light of their neighbours yard, George Strait sang, "Love is everything" to them. And here dancing barefoot, was Leeanne and Kurtis, now husband and wife. I honestly can't think of a more romantic first dance.
After their first dance they ordered pizza from a local Stratford shop "Pizza Bistro" they claim is the best pizza around. I plan to test it out next time I am in Stratford.. You know, just to be sure.
You don't often get to hear about childhood sweethearts getting married. I mean is there a sweeter story than young love that has stood the test of time already. And to be so smitten with each other still... Ugh cue the violins. I also loved how despite the fact they had only a 5 person wedding planned, they still had a wedding cake and cut it together on their front porch. How adorable is that!
I hope that this blogpost helps people who are in the same position take advantage of a unique opportunity to create a peice of history you could tell the grandkids about. "We had our wedding during a pandemic... these were the rules.. here is how we did it... we had our first dance in the neighbours yard under the setting sun listening to our song...:" I mean this is a GREAT STORY. This time has been so tough on everyone. I think it's really wonderful to see those moments where love still wins, against all odds.
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