Mike and I got married in Oklahoma City on September 26, 2020. With a year that no one predicted, planning a wedding during COVID definitely came with its fair share of challenges. But at the end of the day, all that mattered was that we were together, healthy and celebrating our new family.
Whew, it’s been a minute since I sat down and wrote an honest-to-god life update blog post. I think that like many of us, 2020 has knocked me off my feet with all the adjustments, changes and general terrible-ness. But I wanted to have a record of a very special day last year, September 26, 2020, our wedding.
When 2020 began, we were newly engaged, starting to build a new construction home, and I had started a new job in January. There was a lot to look forward to and we were just getting started. Originally when we were engaged, I was leaning towards an elopement situation. Wedding planning from top to bottom stressed me out. The majority of it was managing family and friend’s expectations, coordinating costs, travel and communication and the wedding culture and industry does not help with that at all. I have been a bridesmaid/a part of many weddings, and they can be very stressful. I was trying to make sure that didn’t happen with ours. Finally, almost everyone talked me into having a medium sized laid back celebration. I’m just laughing now thinking about how much that would change!
Early early on in the planning my Mom and I found a dress. We had a very quick appointment at David’s Bridal and I think the 3rd dress I tried on I loved. It was purchased and I went back in Feb for alterations. We decided on a venue, which was a beautiful restaurant in Western Oklahoma called White Dog Hill. We booked it for September, and I also found + booked a photographer for our engagement and wedding photos. I remember thinking I could probably wait a few months before doing anything else.
Around the middle of March we had our engagement photo session and I remember being there and slightly being like, is this safe? But there were others out taking photos and also just walking around the area like normal so I put the worries in the back of my mind, and the pics turned out great. But that next week the entire world shut down.
Obviously we know so much more now than we knew then, and it’s even hard to think back on the mindset we had March of last year. I remember being in the grocery store with my homemade mask and basically having a panic attack about not touching my face when taking the mask off in my car. Wiping down all the groceries with Clorox wipes, not seeing anyone else for months, working from home every day with that one little hour walk during my lunch break to look forward to. We were worried about the new house, my new job, and of course the wedding.
We tentatively planned getting married on September 26 in a small or even courthouse ceremony and then having a big celebration in April of ‘21, but after a few weeks of that idea floating around in my head it just didn’t seem quite right. After lots of tears and lots of discussions, we decided that we would 1) Play it by ear and 2) Tentatively plan on having a very small ceremony in the backyard of our new home with immediate family + some very close friends.
I was extremely fortunate to have one of my best friends who worked in the wedding/event industry and is also a wedding coordinator on the side help me through the process. Once we decided on a guest list (less than 20!), the rest was actually pretty easy. When you have less guests, your dollar goes further. Of course, I would have rather had all my friends + our extended family there, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us.
The last piece of the puzzle was a way to make the weekend feel “special”. You would think just being at our home with friends and family would be enough, but I wanted to make sure that we could spend our wedding weekend with little touches that would make the experience stand out from the rest of the year (staying at home LOL). Bradford House, a hotel that had just opened up in Oklahoma City seemed like just the ticket.
I quickly booked the biggest suite with the best bathtub for the weekend. I stayed there Friday night (and had dinner in the hotel restaurant with my girlfriends/only friends invited to the wedding), got ready there Saturday, and Mike and I stayed there Saturday night after the wedding. We also had the opportunity to take some wedding photos there which I will always look back on fondly. I spent the time in our room on Saturday morning watching Parks and Recreation and trying to introvert before I had to extrovert hard.
The actual wedding was really great. Our friend Cyndi married us, my old co-host Ryan DJ’d and was perfect, we had our immediate family + close friends with us. The weather was on the warmer side, and the whole event was outside. We provided masks and asked our guests to wear them when they were inside the house. We asked our guests to quarantine to the best of their abilities leading up to the wedding. Our dogs were able to be there. The rest of our friends and family watched on ZOOM. We ate Ted’s Mexican and drank champagne and for one night it felt like the world kind of fell away. I can’t believe how fast it went by.
Being a “COVID Bride” was something that was very hard. For the past 10 years, watching my friends get married and contributing, attending bridal showers, couple’s showers, bachelorette parties, and wearing very uncomfortable dresses always felt like they would come back around to me/us. It did, but just in a different way. COVID and 2020 forced us to scale down the things that didn’t really matter as much. There was no shower, a very small and wonderful bachelorette party weekend, and when it came to the day of the actual wedding, we were surrounded by our closest friends and family.
If you had to reschedule a wedding due to COVID or adjust your plans, I feel you. But also know that no matter what the day looks like it will still feel special. You are celebrating the beginning of a new family unit and you’re likely to never forget it.
Rentals – Junk & Disorderly
Rentals – Marianne’s Rentals
Photographer – Living Roots Photography
Florals – Wineglass Floral and Design
Food – Ted’s Mexican
Cake – Nothing Bundt Cakes
DJ – Ryan Drake
Hotel – Bradford House
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