Your wedding day. You plan and dream for months and sometimes years. If you have an outdoor wedding, you hope for a sunny day and come up with a rain plan. As adults we learn to plan and adjust, but – honestly – nothing could have prepared our world for what is going on right now. Couples and wedding vendors alike are having to make decisions and adjust due to the Coronavirus. This bride and groom chose to forge ahead and have an intimate wedding with the most beautiful results. Here is their story.
An Intimate Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Making Changes in the Middle of a Crisis
It’s a difficult time for couples.
In the middle of an outbreak, they are wondering whether to cancel their wedding, have a small ceremony, or possibly postpone it all together? No one wanted the current conditions with COVID-19, which has literally turned our world upside down. Of course, being alive and healthy is the most important thing, but for some couples, one of the most significant days of their lives has had to look different – and in a hurry.
There are many logistics to think about.
What do contracts with wedding vendors say? Will they be available on a new date? Are they willing to work with their couples? The quick-thinking that is required to alter original wedding plans can be daunting and discouraging for couples. I hope the story of Connor and Robin and how they handled things is an encouragement to those who are facing these same decisions.
Making Intimate Wedding Plans in the Middle of Coronavirus
Why did you decide to still go ahead with your wedding?
Robin: I had been resistant to changing my plans for weeks. I was hearing about changed wedding plans and I didn’t want that to be us. However, when my mom had asked me the question “would you want to be quarantined here with us away from Connor or with your husband?”
The answer was easy. I didn’t want to postpone our marriage for who knows how long we might have been quarantined to our homes. Which was GOOD timing since the executive stay at home order was then released the following Monday.
Robin and Connor’s original wedding invitation. The date was changed due to Coronavirus.
What changes did you make to hold your wedding during this time?
Robin: We had to inform all of our hired vendors that we would be rescheduling our wedding day, which meant a lot of messaging and phone calls. We had paid nearly every single vendor, so it also meant some communication regarding finances.
We had been preparing ourselves for the fact that a lot of vendors wouldn’t be able to refund during this time or ask whether they would be willing to hold onto deposits and possibly be willing to still provide service for our rescheduled celebration.
Before reaching the decision to postpone the big wedding day, Connor and I were communicating daily our concerns and feelings relating to possibly canceling, and my mom helped us start to set up a “back up” plan.
How did you find a location on such short notice?
Robin: We also had to find a new spot to hold a small, intimate ceremony in a place where we knew a lot of people wouldn’t be both for intimacy and so we wouldn’t have to worry about gatherings of 10 or social distancing.
I then thought about where he proposed as being the perfect place. It was away from people and a beautiful spot for photos! I thought it would make that location even more special than it already was.
Despite a change of plans and having an intimate wedding, many traditional details were still present.
What was it like to communicate with your wedding vendors?
Robin: I had to message certain vendors, like my photographer, videographer, officiant, hair and makeup artists, etc. ASAP to ask whether they were all available on Friday to make this all possible. Thankfully, they all were!
Finally, just coordinating times with those vendors and our small group of family was a bit more challenging, especially when some did not know where the overlook we were getting married on was located.
How did your vendors react to these changes?
Robin: Honestly, all of my vendors were so full of grace and understanding! Not one of them made us feel overwhelmed or even immediately started talking about the money part. They all firstly conveyed their sorrow for us that we wouldn’t have the wedding day we envisioned but shared in the joy that we would be getting married still.
We were offered nearly full refunds from at least 2 of our vendors. A lot of them are holding onto the deposits we had given them with the intention of being there if their schedule allows for the rescheduled celebration reception.
Our photographer and videographer wrote up entirely new contracts for the “elopement” that factored in a good amount of what had been paid already. They even offered to capture my “getting ready” moments at my parents’ house, which was at least an hour from the spot we were wanting to have our small ceremony.
Robin got ready at her parents’ house, which was about an hour away from their ceremony site.
What precautions did you take with social distancing?
Robin: We were very specific with who we invited. As much as I would’ve loved to invite our aunts, uncles, friends, my cousin – we knew that we needed to keep it as small as possible. We figured we were getting married in a big, open, overlook, so we weren’t too worried about closeness as much as we would’ve normally been in a more confined space.
We also had to share how many people we would be inviting and where they were coming from (all from Lynchburg area) as one of the vendors felt better knowing that information beforehand.
What were the pros and cons of having an intimate wedding?
- We both said that we weren’t as nervous as we would have been on our big wedding day with a larger crowd of people to mingle with and stand in front of.
- Less “moving parts” to coordinate.
- Pictures took less time.
- More intimacy with family.
- Beautiful ceremony site that we technically didn’t have to pay for.
- Still got to have beautiful flowers!
- Not being able to do our special first dance we had been working on.
- No reception, which meant we weren’t able to celebrate and dance the night away with all of our friends and family members.
- Felt like it went by really quick!
- Missing out on “wedding moments” like father/daughter and mother/son dances, having the full wedding party, the music, the “grandeur” of it all.
- No big bachelor and bachelorette nights as planned.
Beautiful flowers were in store for their wedding, despite the interruption of COVID-19.
Did you personally learn anything by having to change your plans?
Robin: I learned that my plans fall short compared to God’s plans. Seriously, I kept reminding myself that His plans are better than the best formed human plans out there. I also learned (or should I say reminded myself) that I can be very achievement and perfectionist oriented. Somehow I felt like a small ceremony wouldn’t feel as “powerful” or “matter as much.” But that was so the opposite. The ceremony was so impactful to the two of us and the start of our marriage, which is more important than having the big day.
Connor: Humility. Because the big wedding was almost becoming a source of pride for me. I needed to focus on learning to be humble and grateful for starting our marriage rather than focusing on the “impressive, beautiful” day. I also learned that part of being married was about coming together and overcoming obstacles, and this was one of the first major challenges we overcame as a couple. It showed me that we really could face any challenge thrown at us.
“…part of being married was about coming together and overcoming obstacles, and this was one of the first major challenges we overcame as a couple.”
What are you doing about a honeymoon?
Robin: We postponed our romantic cabin rental in Gatlinburg due to concerns that we wouldn’t be able to do as much as we would have liked in that area as well as concerns about possible quarantine orders. After the ceremony, we came back to our house. My parents had decided to order carry-out so we could come home to a nice dinner and our beautiful cake.
The following weekend was beautiful outside, so we made sure to get outside as often as possible, but otherwise, we didn’t go out and do anything since most everywhere was closed because of COVID-19. Our cabin was automatically rescheduled for the following year, so we are letting that become our first-anniversary trip. So, we have talked about possibly taking a trip later this summer once Coronavirus clears up (I am hoping we can make a Disney World trip happen!)
Robin and Connor overcame their first obstacle as a couple with beauty and grace.
Despite Coronavirus, They Had a Stunning Wedding
Their wedding was beautiful, but the fact that they had a positive response to something that they could do little about is so encouraging! An intimate wedding where Connor proposed to Robin had such lovely results as you will see. Enjoy their intimate wedding.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus Vendors
- Officiant – Brett Clubb with Waymaker Church
- Florals – Lauren McQuillan with Max & Dexter Event Design
- Alternate Coronavirus Venue – Sharp Top Mountain
- Intimate Wedding Photographer – Sadie Lynn Photography (single cake by Smith’s Sweets)
- Videographer – Monika Garland Productions
- Dress – Caryn’s Bridals
- Hair – Bethany K Hairstyles
- Make-up – C. Hope Makeup
- Cake – Smith’s Sweets
- Cupcakes – Bakey the Cakey
Love this intimate wedding color palette? Save it!