Is love unstoppable? Coronavirus weddings thrive despite the pandemic
Coronavirus weddings have currently taken over the wedding industry as cities and states remain in partial shutdowns. Couples across the nation are not waiting for the novel coronavirus to run its course, as a vaccine is still in the works. Instead, hundreds of couples are being united with small weddings that uphold social distance guidelines; some weddings are even taking place over Zoom.
Lindsey and Bri Leaverton are just one example of two people in love who took great strides to show their commitment to one another.
The couple had originally planned their wedding to be a large, elegant get-together in downtown Austin. Hand-spun cotton candy, cocktail hour, floral centerpieces and salmon/steak dinner was all planned for the special night of April 10, 2020.
“By February, almost every bit of the wedding planning had been completed, which enabled us to spend the last few weeks of our engagement dreaming of the perfection of our day – but more importantly, the beauty of our love and marriage,” Lindsey Leaverton said.
After the pandemic became a serious issue in the United States and their home state of Texas went into lockdown, the couple had to scratch everything and go back to the drawing board to create their dream coronavirus wedding.
Bri and Lindsey decided on their location after hearing that a single drive-in movie theater had been opened up during lockdown. Friends and family would be invited to stay in their cars, the ceremony could be played on two large screens, and waiting for an unknown amount of time would no longer be a concern.
Lindsey Leaverton said: “We still didn’t have a plan, but we did have each other, and we knew our love would be stronger than any pandemic or unforeseen circumstances. We also knew that no one is promised tomorrow, and who knows what the world would be like in the next few months to a year.”
On April 28, 2020, the couple and their families gathered together to make their vows to each other and to their children at their wedding ceremony.
Expressing their love was not the only priority, however.
Lindsey Leaverton said she and her wife were “borderline obsessed” with keeping their guests safe at their wedding ceremony.
“There was this one moment where I saw my parents in their car on the first row,” Lindsey Leaverton said. “I immediately started bawling because I wanted so badly to hug and squeeze them, but I simply could not; they are high risk and we didn’t want to take any chances.”
The restrictions coronavirus brought with it do not just change for those getting married. Photographers, videographers, guests, and officiants all have changed roles with the heightened fear of infection.
Jenn Brook has been a wedding officiant for three years; she has performed 137 ceremonies for people all across Utah.
Brook said she has had to become more flexible and willing to adapt to these difficult times and unique weddings. She contacted all of her clients early and created guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety, including her own; yet, the work has not stopped.
“There is something magical about super small intimate ceremonies that you have to experience to understand,” Brook said. “Every expression of love is an honor to witness.”
Bri Leaverton expressed the same feeling; she stated that the uncertainty and difficulty of changing plans, while not fun or easy, brought her and her wife closer together.
“These challenges really showed our commitment to one another and our resilience, and although they were hard, I know that I will look back at this time and see that the weeks leading up to our wedding were truly a gift,” Bri Leaverton said.
While it is easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day life and the overwhelming amount of news and anxiety that comes with a global pandemic, it is important to remember the one thing that is always there: love.
“We all are going through some heavy stuff at times, but finding love, recognizing love, and remembering our connectedness is what matters most and it is what will help us all through the darkest times, in marriage, in our personal lives and beyond,” Brook noted.
Featured image courtesy of Greg Fulks (@fulksvision).