Love Prevails: Celebrating Weddings During a Season Unlike Any Other
by Brynlee Handy September 24
The times may be unprecedented, but despite the chaos and uncertainty, we’ve learned that nothing… not even a pandemic can prevent love from prevailing. When it became apparent that our world almost overnight was drastically changing, no one had the answers on if and when we could expect to resume our normal lives. Those with weddings on the immediate horizon were some of the hardest hit with the news and faced with some of the most difficult decisions to make. For an unknown period, ceremonies and celebratory gatherings were postponed. For couples planning, it was heartbreaking, and our hearts broke for them. It didn’t seem fair for uncontrollable forces to alter such significant plans. And for so many, it didn’t! Love prevails and couples carried on with making their marriage official with more than a meaningful Plan B. Here are just some of their heartfelt stories.
Adriane + Wade
Due to COVID-19, most everything we had originally planned was out the window. Unfortunately, the wedding we had intended to have at Camp Lucy had to be cancelled less than a week before our wedding day, which didn’t leave us much time for planning. Thankfully, our vendors were extremely accommodating and agreed to meet us in New Braunfels. Due to COVID-19, I had two bridesmaids and Wade had one groomsman. His niece and nephew, along with my sister, were readers. We will be forever grateful for our Rector, Ripp Hardaway and St. John’s Church for allowing us to have our intimate ceremony in their beautiful church. We had our first dance in our living room and enjoyed a delicious meal catered from McAdoo’s. Next, we toasted for our first time as husband and wife and then cut our cake. We spent the rest of the night with our family; laughing, sharing stories and enjoying our first night as husband and wife! Our favorite wedding day memory was the intimacy of the wedding and being surrounded by our immediate families. Although it was not our original plan and we look forward to celebrating with all of our family and friends, it was a very special day that we will cherish forever
Bethany + Blake
Our wedding day was seamless and magical. We had originally planned a huge 200 person wedding for September, but had decided to cancel due to COVID-19. Soon after we canceled our big wedding, I saw an Instagram ad for a central Texas intimate wedding giveaway. Blake and I created a parody song about COVID crashing our wedding for our entry video, and we won our entire wedding! Our guest list went from 200 people to 20, but we honestly loved having a very intimate wedding ceremony. We had everything we could have ever wanted at our wedding and more, just on a smaller, more intimate scale. Our best friends gave speeches, we did all the traditional dances, we cut the cake and we were able to talk to everyone there while still having time to enjoy our wedding! It was the most special thing, because not only was it the biggest day of our lives, it was also gifted to us by such an amazing team of people.
Erin + John
John and I were married in our front yard on the one-year anniversary of purchasing our dream home. The people who raised us, supported us and taught us how to love were hundreds, even thousands of miles away and working through their own personal trauma of living in a world that was suddenly so foreign. Ultimately, we came to realize that those people are ALWAYS with us, just as we are with them. Life is messy and chaotic even in the best of circumstances; but together, John and I can weather any storm and this was no different. We resolved to celebrate our love and be recognized as a family in our own right, so we opted to have a virtual wedding as we combined pre-recorded videos with a YouTube live stream ceremony and a Zoom reception. The original plan was out the window and the new plan included my brother’s pre-recorded officiant speech in Chicago, my godson pretending to walk down an aisle as our ring bearer in California, my nephews throwing flower petals, our parents giving us their blessings, family and friends sending us love, John and I’s first dance and even my favorite local celebrity, meteorologist Zack Shields of Good Day Austin, sent a video wishing us sunny days ahead.
Jordan + Brendan
At the beginning of April, my fiancé and I were faced with the same very difficult decision that many engaged couples at the time were faced with: should we postpone our wedding? We went back and forth for weeks trying to decide what the best solution was. Ultimately, we did not want to put our loved ones at risk and decided that with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it would be best to go ahead and postpone our wedding. As difficult as this decision was, we knew it was the right thing to do. That same day, we decided that since COVID-19 was forcing us to change our wedding plans, why not go ahead and get married with a small ceremony surrounded by our immediate family and close friends? We went down to the county clerk, obtained our marriage license, and proceeded to plan our small ceremony in two short weeks. The entire experience of having to reschedule our big wedding and planning an intimate ceremony made us realize that a lot of things we were originally worried about, ultimately were not important. What really matters is the love that we share, and that, despite all the chaos, we were able to become husband and wife. While our wedding wasn’t exactly what we had originally envisioned, it was the most special, wonderful day of our lives. We are so dang excited to spend the rest of our lives loving each other!
Lauren + Michael
I grew up in Austin, and with most of my family living in Texas, I thought I knew that it would be where I would eventually get married. As news of the pandemic started to gather momentum, suddenly our guest list began to dwindle. Due to age and comorbidities, all of Michael’s extended family had canceled. We got to thinking about the remainder of the guest list and the risks that we would pose to these loved ones as we, living in Charlottesville, Virginia, would inevitably have to pass through a major airport in order to reach Austin. Less than five days prior to our wedding date, we made the tough decision to call off our Austin wedding. I was absolutely devastated. Later that afternoon, Michael and I threw around the idea of finding a local officiant to still marry us on the day we originally planned. My dad is a private pilot, so fortunately he was able to fly himself, my mother, and my original bridal bouquet up to Virginia without passing through any major airports. It was a short ceremony, but it was beautiful and very ‘us.’
Photo: Annette Dusenbury // Featured Vendors: Flora Fetish
Lihn + Kyle
Kyle and I are college sweethearts and have been together for six years. We had planned our dream wedding to be near the water at Horseshoe Bay Resort with 200 of our closest friends and family, but unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we had to postpone. I lost my dad to cancer not long after my engagement, so planning a wedding and trying to be excited for our big day wasn’t something that I was fully present for until the past couple of months. It truly devastated me knowing that the one day I was looking forward to, the one happy day I was going to have to make the year a little bit better, was going to have to be changed. The date aside, we needed to cut our guest list and our dream day wouldn’t look like what we had imagined it to. And for me, that was okay. At the end of the day, I’m marrying the love of my life and I don’t want to wait for that anymore — especially not another year. My dad always taught us that life’s too short and to always follow our hearts. With that in mind, I’m excited to be a wife and to begin the next chapter of our journey.
Photo: Honey Gem Creative
Lyle + Josh
We were certainly torn on how to proceed as COVID-19 loomed and Texas was reopening. We decided we would move our larger reception to next year and keep things to family and close friends for this year. After some navigating, we decided to also move this year’s celebration to our family lake house, which is all outdoors. It was important to us for some snacks and champagne to be passed pre-ceremony as guests were arriving, and we were married under a large oak tree with the lake as the background. Our dog, Sonny, being part of the ceremony was always a top priority and his collar was one of our favorite things! My uncle officiated, which was unbelievably special. We laughed a lot, and we cried. It truly was the most special evening, and we were honored to have shared with family and friends.
Featured in this Post
Sweet Treets Bakery
Bella by Sara
The Oasis on Lake Travis
Bouquets of Austin
Other Local Vendors: Tailor James Photography, Honey Gem Creative, Elsie Event Co., Altstadt Brewery, Emily Figurelli Photography, Britni Dean Photography, Simplylace Photography, Annette Dusenbury