You may be wondering how in the world COVID could have saved a wedding because all we are hearing about lately is how it completely destroys them. Well, let me just start at the beginning…
To really explain everything about our wedding let me take you back to March as we were planning a big Texas country wedding. We were planning the wedding we thought we had to have to please everyone. We thought we had to have the big white wedding complete with 200 guests and going broke off of food, tables chairs and decorations. I had crunched numbers for WEEKS and we were still over budget and spending thousands of dollars on CHAIRS. Not to mention that we didn’t even hire ANYONE except a photographer, and it was still breaking the bank and none of it seemed to be anything we were excited about. We were having to not only plan a 200 person wedding but we also were having to come up with like 10 backup plans. Weather backup plans, COVID backup plans, etc. It was terrible. If no one has told you, wedding planning SUCKS A**. And add in COVID to the mix and it is a literal nightmare. That is when we started to shift our thoughts. We had to make COVID backup plans and it was exhausting having to plan out 3 potential weddings not even knowing which one would end up even happening.
At that point in the planning process we were already UNBELIEVABLY stressed and now having to come up with backup plans too. My maid of honor was trying to help us brainstorm in the case that COVID ruins the 200 person wedding and it was just TOO much. Me and Aaron started fighting AGAIN about logistics so I took a break and jumped in the shower. It was then that I started thinking, why in the world are we doing this to ourselves if it isn’t the LEAST bit enjoyable?? We weren’t excited anymore, our dream wedding would NOT be in a Texas field in the middle of the summer, and honestly I couldn’t understand why we would spend all this money on something we weren’t even excited for. I came out of the shower and Aaron looked at me and said, “Why don’t we just do our backup plan instead and stop trying to even plan a big wedding we don’t even want?” I looked at him and almost immediately said, “Can we do that?”
YES YOU CAN DO THAT. Why in the world are we locked into this notion that we HAVE to do the big white wedding? No one said we HAD to have a 200 person wedding in Texas. No one said we had to do the traditional thing. We just thought we had to to please everyone else. But you know what COVID helped us realize? THE WEDDING ISN’T ABOUT ANYTHIGN BUT THE MARRIAGE. It isn’t about how many guests come, what location you’re at, how much food you have, if you provide alcohol, or if you go with a traditional wedding to please everyone and their mother. It is about the MARRIAGE. And honestly, we were sick of panning a wedding for everyone else and wanted to start planning it for US.
One of our COVID backup plans was to choose a beautiful place within driving distance (Colorado, Florida or something), pay for one big Airbnb, bring our immediate families and wedding party and go get married on a mountain or beach somewhere. Simple, easy, US.
That backup plan looked SO MUCHH MORE APPEALING to us then this huge hoopla of a wedding we were currently planning. So we finally looked at our plans, looked at each other and said, “Why don’t we do the wedding we are actually excited about and stop planning the one that is killing us?”
When we finally realized that, it was a no brainer. We were both EXCITED about Colorado, the logistics were easier, we weren’t doing it to please people, and we honestly were sick of planning a wedding that would eventually have to be cancelled bc of COVID anyways. So within 5 min we scrapped our entire plan and started a new one. We called our friends and family to see if they would be on board and when we got quick ‘Yeses’ from everyone we started planning. And let me tell you – planning a destination intimate wedding is SO MUCH BETTER.
We sent out a Facebook post to everyone letting them know our wedding plans had changed and no one argued, no one got mad, everyone understood. Because what else can you do when you’re going through a worldwide pandemic and trying to plan a wedding?
We started researching Airbnb’s, elopement locations, decorations, travel plans, etc. And it was a BLAST. Just a little advice – when you’re not having to plan for 200 people, wedding planning is actually enjoyable. You get to focus on pretty flowers, dresses, epic locations, BEAUTIFUL Airbnb’s for all your friends, road tripping plans, etc. We even got to have Jack (my dog) at or wedding because a lot of us road tripped, our ceremony was on top of a mountain, and the Airbnb allows dogs and that is where we had the reception. No venues, no catering, no DJ’s, no expensive tables and chairs – NONE of that. Our entire wedding planning process up until the actual weekend was all about our loved ones, each other, and the special and intimate things we got to do since it was just 30 of us.
The wedding weekend was the most special, intimate, emotional, beautiful thing I have ever been a part of. I know I am biased since it was my own wedding, but the things we got to do with our closest family and friends because of the way we chose to have our wedding was something I will never be able to be thankful enough for. The entire weekend was so unbelievably special. We weren’t spread thin between all the things we had to get done on the wedding day, we weren’t rushed around because of a strict timeline, we weren’t hustling between every person we know trying to at least say hi to a million people, and we didn’t do anything out of tradition. Every little detail was about our loved ones, our marriage and Jesus.
With only 30 people there the entire weekend we truly got to focus on each of them. We were able to write letters to every person there, really focusing and loving on each off them and the role they have played in our lives. We made it a priority to worship together and take communion together in the middle of the wedding, not just me and Aaron, but every person that was in attendance got to take part. And the entire weekend truly was about the marriage me and Aaron were embarking on. Each piece of our wedding was special, each detail was about us and the people we loved. And that just isn’t always possible in a big wedding.
This blog is not to bash big weddings, I love all kinds, obviously. And I think each person is different in how they want to celebrate and I think that is great. This is just how COVID completely derailed our big white wedding fantasy and The Lord so beautifully turned it into something better than we could have ever imagined.
Intimate Weddings, elopements, destination weddings – they aren’t for everyone. And that is FINE. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that no matter what the wedding looks like, it shouldn’t be about the wedding at all. It should be about Christ bringing you together. It should be about the couple getting married and about celebrating the MARRIAGE they are about to run into together. It should be about the people that have molded you and run alongside each of you as you grew into the people you are today. And that is one thing I think our culture had forgotten until this year. COVID didn’t come and ruin weddings or take away your change to get married. Maybe COVID came in and reminded us what a wedding and ultimately, what a marriage is truly about.
Photographer: Nicole Little