*For the best experience, be sure and press “play” on the song while reading and perusing. Fun fact: this was the song that we did for our first dance, in our postponed celebration.
I’m convinced that the best things happen on a Thursday. Corey and I were engaged on a Thursday, and we had plans to wed in the most beautiful intimate celebration on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
March 26 boasted the flowering dogwoods of our city and serves as a long-awaited welcome for the warmth that’s been so longly anticipated. As a wedding photographer in the Southeast, my schedule is often solidified 12-18 months in advance, since Atlanta’s busiest seasons to marry are March-May, and again in September-November. For as long as I can remember, I had always dreamed of a spring celebration and it just so happened that I had that week free.
In the beginning of March, life continued on as usual. There was much anticipation and hope for the remainder of the year. But what unfolded on March 16 and the months after, was something that nobody could have anticipated. We had just driven home from picking up our marriage license and Corey and I had also finished our haircuts. The final balances had been paid and we were only a week out from the wedding; but all of the sudden local mandates had been put into affect and our country was thrown into lockdown overnight.
What drove our decision to postpone was that we weren’t certain we would be allowed to gather and our loved ones & vendors didn’t feel safe about being present anymore (which, is, completely understandable!). It was a whirlwind of emotions that we truly didn’t have the time to process because we were forced to trust our intuitions and quickly say farewell to the lifelong dream we had always envisioned. In short – we had 24 hours to make a decision about whether or not to postpone – and we’re only one of the many other couples who were slated to wed in the spring who had to navigate this. Now, at the time of writing this in December 2020, couples moving forward have the benefit of being over 6 months removed from the initial shock and have had the time to weigh all of their options and process all of the emotions that comes along with postponing and changing wedding plans.
In our hearts, we knew we had to make the heartbreaking decision to postpone because our loved one’s and vendor team’s comfort and safety was our utmost priority. Asking someone to go against their moral compass didn’t sit right with us, and we wanted those in attendance to have the permission to feel like they could be fully present and celebratory in spirit; without the unknown risks of the virus lingering in the back of their minds.
Corey and I had closed on our first home together at the beginning of the month, and his lease was scheduled to be up in the summer. Though we decided to postpone, we felt that starting our lives together and becoming husband and wife wasn’t something we could delay any longer.
As a last minute decision, we decided to go ahead and elope on our original wedding date, and it was the best decision ever.
My dear friends Jessica Gold and Alyssa Ice we so gracious in wanting to make this day extra special, in the midst of what felt like the world was crumbling. Jessica photographed us for just a few hours and Alyssa created a foraged bouquet with dogwoods and hellebores. Our Pastor met us in the middle of a quiet park in the heart of Atlanta to wed us. We had no music, no aisle, no wedding party. It was just the two of us, committing to love one another for better and for worse, and that’s all that mattered. This day was perfect and all I could have ever asked for.
Before going back home, Corey and I spent the last moments of sunlight reading private vows that we had written to one another and it was the sweetest sense of relief to be in his arms, hearing his voice, recounting all of our blessings, and all the anticipation what was to come. We couldn’t help but just cry and pray, feeling overwhelmed and grateful to just be married after what felt like a lifetime of waiting for this day.
Some questions I’ve received…
Was it hard?
Yes, absolutely. It felt so unfair to have the wedding that I had always dreamed of, ripped away in an instant. There was nobody to blame and you couldn’t feel anything but helpless. I also had to come to terms with not having the grandmother who came to China to adopt me be able to be present – and that was heartbreaking. After multiple medical health scares in 2019, I wasn’t sure if she would be alive by the time the postponed celebration came around. And that was a hard pill to swallow and accept.
Was postponing easy?
Thankfully my vendors had systems in place and we were able to find a date that all vendors were available. We didn’t select a weekend (Sat/Sun) as the new wedding date, in hopes of retaining the original vendor team. We signed new contracts with each member of the vendor team.
What did you do to tell the guests?
In early March, we had already been in contact with our guests about COVID19. We had multiple messages going out about what our plans were. When we made the decision to postpone and cancel our original wedding plans, Greenvelope served as the perfect resource and communication tool to make the process easier. We had our guests RSVP to the new date using Greenvelope and it was easy to get the new numbers for the rentals/food counts.
March 26, 2020 was the perfect day, truly. This season showed me that love could never be cancelled and that there’s beauty to be found in the darkest of circumstances. It showed me that God withholds no good thing and that He is still good even when things (really) don’t feel good. I’m so thankful that this is a part of our story and for all that’s to come.
Photos by: Jessica Gold Photography & Florals by: Ginger Rose Flowers. Gown by: Alexandra Grecco,
Corey’s attire is from Express – which I got as a gift for him the prior Christmas. Glad that I ended up buying it for him, because who would’ve knew that we’d need it for our wedding day? 😉