Remember Andria’s recent post, Planning a wedding during plague times? Well, here’s how her wedding turned out…
“Let’s see… we have the snowflake ornaments, the Funko Pop advent calendars, the snowy owl placemats, and the unicorn ornaments in this tub. And in this tub, we have hand sanitizer, hand soaps, temporal artery thermometers, sanitizing wipes, and disposable face masks…. Did you pack all of your face masks?“
Not the conversation I imagined I’d be having when packing for our wedding, but 2020 promised none of our wedding conversations followed the examples in the wedding binder. And with the news reporting climbing COVID-19 numbers, the closer we got to November 14th, that second tub became all the more necessary. If 2020 taught the two of us anything, it taught the importance of contingency plans.
Gone was the leisurely week spent getting the beach house prepped for the ceremony and reception. In its place, we discovered the aggravation of playing translator to parents attempting to understand everyone speaking through face masks. (Parents who insisted on turning their hearing aids off indoors) When they weren’t around, we devised plans to invent speakers one could imbed into face masks. (Patent pending) “Safety first,” it turns out, comes with a few necessary annoyances.
For instance, breaking out sanitizing wipes every time someone finished eating on a surface. The containers lived in every kitchen and every bedroom for daily wiped-downs. Our guests bowed out of plane trips, but several family members braved airports to join us. No way were we taking any chances on a stray virus getting through. It broke our hearts, but abandoning the scent of mulling spices for “lemon fresh” felt like a small concession to keep everyone protected.
And while everyone was a pro at attending Zoom meetings by that point, no one had set one up. A little trial, a little error, and some cursing finally yielded a functioning Zoom invite for our out-of-town guests. After which, we spent hours trying to figure out where to set the laptop during the ceremony. While the beautiful circle we wanted for our handfasting worked for those attending in-person, it created a “vision” problem for the laptop camera. Briefly, the computer spent time on our altar before getting relegated to a bookcase…and then moving to the opposite side when the Rehearsal Dinner blocked the view entirely. (Who knew technology could be so complicated?)
The Rehearsal Dinner brought up an old friend: the revenge of the face masks. Despite hearing aids dutifully in place (and switched on), parents struggled to hear. How to cope? We never saw a need for microphones with such a low guest count, and we were in the zero hour. Luckily, our officiant was an absolute saint. She felt comfortable enough to skip her mask, we left ours off, and we shuffled the parents to their “good” sides. We measured the chair distances and came out a little over six feet. The three of us were far enough from everyone else.
No, our plague wedding certainly day didn’t go as planned:
- It took forever to push toothpicks through three of our appetizers, eliminating the need for people to use their hands to scoop things up.
- The plastic tongs we bought only picked up one chip at a time (spoons worked better).
- At the salon, we laughed as everyone admitted we only needed eye makeup due to the masks.
- I forgot to give my poor fiancé the code to my laptop, and the machine decided to take a nap while I was getting changed.
- We couldn’t (initially) figure out how to unmute everyone on Zoom after we shooed guests downstairs.
- My brother and sister-in-law woke my poor niece up (it was 4:00 AM their time) to congratulate us, and I’m pretty sure she hates us now.
However, we’re now past the two-week mark from the wedding, and everyone’s still healthy. I married my best friend in a ceremony filled with happy tears and laughter. We shared the day with family and friends — even if some of them attended through a computer screen.
COVID-19 changed a lot this year. It made us rethink SO MANY aspects of our wedding. What it didn’t manage to accomplish was ruining how we feel for each other. That’s the one thing we took away from this experience. And I hope every other bride looking at a wedding under these circumstances thinks the same.