We met at college in 2016 after we both went through a really tough time and began dating right before Valentine's Day. Each month Noah would make our "first date anniversary" so special. Every year I thought, oh he is gonna ask on our anniversary I know it. But I was truly surprised. I always said I would want family and friends around and for us to both have finished school before becoming engaged. And well, he did, he proposed at the graduation party I threw for him where our family and friends were. The years starting going by and the cute romantic things were no longer what held us together. It became a time in our lives when we'd both start to really go through loss and grief and days that we truly needed to lean on each other. This prepared us somewhat for the whirlwind that became 2020. We began the year going to every bridal expo, including our favorite, the Austin bridal extravaganza, and every open house. We toured several venues and went suit and dress shopping until March started collapsing right in front of us. At first, we did not see a big deal we thought surely by December this would all be over. Bans would be lifted, dancing would be allowed, masks would be a thing of the past. Until it just kept going. The wedding I only began to dream of becoming reality seemed like it was becoming a nightmare. I share this because I honestly felt so alone at this time. Other brides in other states or situations seemed to be able to achieve their dream wedding with 100+ people and fireworks shooting off packed dance floors and amazing photos. I thought no one else seemed to be as hopeless as I felt. The week before the wedding was truly a game-changer. Both of our parents would start their chemo treatments for the first time since the lockdown began and because it was their cancer had spread since the last time both my dad and mother in law were on aggressive treatments which meant not only were they immune-compromised but they could not sit through an 8 hour wedding with much energy at all. So we made some hard calls. We had to cancel our caterer and serve the food we meant to be for our cocktail hour so that we could have a cocktail-style reception. We did not want to encourage people to stay seated for such a long period without a mask on so we served a large charcuterie board, meat, salad, hot and cold drinks, and dessert. We cut out open dancing, and sadly because of their conditions had to cut the father-daughter and mother-son dance. Otherwise, we tried to keep things as normal as planned. Since my dad missed his dance we changed the first look from being with the groom to having one with my dad. We had communion, light our unity candle, and had a very religious ceremony. Thankfully my dad got to walk me down the aisle. The bridal party only walked with each other if they lived together so everyone got to walk mask-free but sat down and put masks back on. We then took pictures while everyone took photos in the photo booth, ordered their customized ornaments from our on-site calligrapher, and grabbed a coffee or tea to warm up. We had a sparkler entrance into the dance floor for our first dance "in the clouds". Which I am so glad our parents were there for. We then had toasts and speeches, cut our cake and went to eat and drink and say thank yous. It was such a compact version of a day that took years to plan but a day to change. In the end I would not trade the intimate, short, covid safe day for anything. Everyone was safe and healthy and felt comfortable. From the standing thermometer at the door to the glow stick bands for people who preferred others know to keep extra distance, to our mask policy. We loved our vendors and the experience that brought us so much closer.
VENUE: House on the Hill WEDDING PLANNER: Fancy Lane Weddings PHOTOGRAPHER: Gypc Girl Photography VIDEOGRAPHER: Cloud Craft Studios CAKES & SWEETS: Bonjour Brigadeiro & Nothing Bundt Cakes DJ: Weddings Unlimited DRESS: Signature Bridal Salon/ Essence of Australia MENSWEAR: Men's Warehouse OFFICIANT: Janelle w/Standing Ovations : : : : : :