COVID-19 canceled our wedding, but not our love.
But first, the grief
Postponing our celebration – When things started shutting down and we shifted to working from home, I began to realize that our June wedding might not happen. I began to feel actual grief and sadness about my big day being canceled. We had been planning for 8 months and the stress of canceling or rescheduling seemed too mentally draining. Everyone was asking questions about our plans for the wedding and I couldn’t really answer anything. There was so much uncertainty during the first few months of the epidemic and their still is a constant uncertainty. Right now, we are all feeling loss and grief for our canceled “normal lives” and our canceled plans and events. The loss of plans like a big trip to Europe or your college graduation actually causes feelings of grief. This article from Self describes how the pandemic turned our idea of grief on its head. They explained that the isolation, safety fears, and a lack of control make the grieving process even more complex than usual. They also provide ideas to help you grieve during this time, for example, taking care of your body, sharing your feelings with family or friends, and seeking help from a professional if you need it.
For us, the hardest part was coming to terms with our families not attending the wedding. I’m 31 and I’ve been thinking about my wedding for a loooonng time. One thing my dream always included was tearful hugs with my mom and dad. Laughs with my sister and joking with my brother. Those simple moments were now impossible.
We planned our virtual wedding
–> How to go virtual?
We quickly chose Zoom. It’s easy and it’s free and we had already attended several family gatherings with Zoom. I felt confident my parents and in-laws would be able to handle the Zoom technology. (We all know parents and tech don’t always mesh well 🙂 )
At the Bed & Breakfast we eloped with just the two of us and the officiant. We invited our parents and siblings to connect with us online.
–> How to make it stress free?
This stress free process was the selling factor for me, because rescheduling the wedding was already hair falling out, stomach wrenching stressful. I needed something in this process to be easy. We booked our wedding with a Bed and Breakfast in Savannah, Georgia. This way we could elope and honeymoon in one of the most beautiful cities in the south. With the elopement package the B&B took care of all the logistics so we could just show up, relax and honeymoon. Several B&Bs offer an elopement service in Savannah and Atlanta. We recommend the Historic Inns of Savannah for anyone interested in eloping in Georgia. They handled everything: providing an officiant, a wedding cake from Wicked Cakes in Savannah (delish!), and a champagne toast. All with the beautiful backdrop of southern luxury and southern hospitality.
–> How to make it special?
- Celebration Snacks for Zoom Guest – We sent snacks and party blowers to our parents before the wedding, so they could celebrate with us on the big day. I enlisted my brother to pick up champagne and a Nothing Bundt Cake dessert for the day. We sent my in-laws an edible arrangement.
- Photography – We hired a photographer to capture our day. This might have been my best idea! It was important for me to have photos of us saying our vows and committing to each other for the first time. I wanted to remember the actual day we got married. Ashley White Photos was beyond amazing! She made us feel comfortable and happy on our day and the sneak peek pictures we received were gorgeous. I can’t wait to see all of them.
- Toast – After the ceremony ended, we ate cake and toasted with our guests on Zoom. Our families wished us well with love and smiles.
Our relationship is so much more than one day. Our love is bigger than the dress, the perfect ceremony, and even the traditions.
Luckily for us, both sets of our parents have been married for over 30 years. They encouraged us to elope now and they assured us that this is just a piece of our journey together. By God’s grace, we will get to have a big wedding next year and celebrate our love with family and friends. Next time we’ll celebrate 1 year together, another step closer to forever.
my darling you you are the ocean and i'm not good at swimming as you know at times i am scared i might drown in your waves but my love for the ocean has always been bigger than my fear of drowning -- for you i choose love over fear by Lvh