Love in the time of coronavirus is a little different.
Getting someone’s number is facilitated by drone, dates happen over Zoom, and couples are having to make swift adjustments to their wedding plans.
Jamie Douglas, 26, and Stephen Bradford, 28, had to cancel their $45,000 wedding due to the pandemic, but didn’t let that stop them tying the knot.
The couple were supposed to wed in front of 170 guests and instead became husband and wife with just a judge present.
They tweaked their wedding to fit social distancing guidelines, posing for photos in the rain, having their first dance in their living room, and baking their own wedding cake.
The couple also pulled out of their romantic honeymoon in Italy, but are still ecstatic with their alternative take on their special day.
Jamie said: ‘I am 100% happy that I went ahead with the wedding.
‘We have moments when we feel sad, but we know we don’t have to stress about it anymore.
‘We have no regrets at all.’
Jamie, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, spent over a year planning her wedding to Stephen, a sales coordinator, who was at the time stationed overseas with the military.
‘He was deployed in the military and we were engaged for 16 months so I had a long time to plan the wedding,’ she said.
‘It was going to take place at a museum in Chattanooga with 170 guests.
‘I had picked up my wedding dress, I had all the flowers picked out, our band was ready and our photographer and videographer were booked.
‘The total was going to be around $45,000.’
Jamie added that vendors had refunded almost all of the money the couple spent on their planned wedding.
Jamie and Stephen first began to worry that the pandemic would affect their wedding when they had to cancel their honeymoon in Italy, but they still hoped they could go ahead with the ceremony.
When the rules in the US were updated to ban gatherings of more than 10 people, the couple realised they’d need to cancel their plans.
But rather than letting this get them down, the couple simply adjusted their wedding plans to fit the new normal.
‘I have always had a vision for how I wanted my wedding to be and I knew that if I postponed it, it would be a watered down version of what I wanted it to be,’ Jamie explained.
‘After being engaged for 16 months and Stephen being deployed, we just wanted to be together.
‘The wedding planning had been stressful and I just wanted that behind me.
‘Instead of worrying about the stress and disappointment, we decided to make a totally different plan.’
The couple wed on 17 March after deciding to tie the knot the night before.
The date had special meaning for the couple as it was the one-year anniversary of the day that Stephen left for deployment.
‘It was very last minute,’ Jamie said. ‘The night before we decided to go for it.
‘We took off work and met our wedding planner, who is a licensed officiant, at the courthouse at eight in the morning.
‘We got our license and performed our little ceremony.
‘Afterwards we wanted pictures but it was storming outside so we took pictures in the rain.
‘We wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on anything.
‘I wore the robe and slippers I had picked out to get ready for my wedding in.
‘I baked us a wedding cake and we ate that.
‘We had a nice fancy restaurant deliver a dinner and ice cream.
‘We still did our first dance just me and him in the living room.
‘Everything we wanted to do in the wedding, we tried our best to replicate.’
Jamie is sharing her story to encourage other brides to tweak their wedding plans, urging them to still celebrate love, even if it’s not in the way they expected.
She said: ‘I want brides to know that it’s OK to take an alternative path.’
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