couples hoping to get married this spring to make the hard decision to cancel or postpone their
wedding ceremonies.Rescheduling a ceremony is definitely not a catastrophe relative to the health and safety crisis currently facing the United States and other countries around the world, but for couples who have been dreaming of their weddings for years, investing their savings, or even planning to honour elderly parents and grandparents while they may, shelving a wedding is a surprising option.
A few couples cancelled, postponed their weddings thinking it was the right choice for them. But for other couples, seizing the moment and getting married now—even if friends and family can’t be present, even if there’s no time for a dress or a corsage, even if the threat of death looms over everything—just feels right. Getting married during coronavirus is nobody’s dream, but it’s been some couples’ lovely, fragile reality.
On balconies, through windows, in the produce aisles of halogen-lit supermarkets—couples have consecrated their love and bound themselves to each other in the face of the especially dark unknown. Here are a few of my favourite stories of couples getting married during coronavirus:
Reilly Jennings and Amanda Wheeler were married on the street, out a window, in under five minutes, by a friend who also happened to be an ordained Universal Life Minister. After four years together, the Manhattan couple had planned to marry in autumn, they told The Cut, but realizing that one of them might lose her job and insurance, they decided to marry quickly. Wheeler, a fitness instructor at a boutique gym, finished teaching a virtual class from her apartment and showered, and they were ready to go. One bride wore a borrowed jumpsuit; the other wore a jacket. Their officiant read a passage from Love in the Time of Cholera out a fourth story window. The neighbours cheered.
On March 14, the Israeli government banned gatherings of more than 10 people at a time to limit the spread of the virus. The exception was grocery stores, where up to 100 people were allowed to gather. In keeping with that rule, at least one couple got married in a local supermarket, inviting guests and a full band to celebrate on the brightly lit linoleum. Meanwhile, in a city in southern Israel, guests maintained appropriate social-distancing standards at an outdoor wedding by dancing from covered balconies.
Anastasija and Josh Davis canceled the DJ. They canceled the venue. They canceled on all the guests who hadn’t yet canceled on them. In deference to social-distancing rules, the Canadian couple got married in Josh’s parents’ living room in front of family and one friend, surrounded by white roses, Insider reports. Then, taking what they thought would be a short ride in their prepaid limo (to be fair, limos literally create a lot of social distance), they saw it—separated by their cars, their neighbours had formed a parade to celebrate the new couple. Friends and well-wishers waved pompoms and held signs with messages like “Nothing stops love.”
A couple in Yorkshire, England, fed their 400-person wedding feast of “hog-roasted sandwiches” and puddings to the hardworking staff of a local hospital. A couple in Miami donated their wedding meal, which they had planned to feed to 170 guests, to a local food bank. A couple in Austin donated their flowers to the senior living center nearby, where the bride’s grandmother and all other residents are in lockdown. A couple in Mississippi did the same. And one in Alabama. And one in South Carolina. And in Arizona.
No one dreams of getting married in a pandemic, but it is nice to know that there are still creative solutions, and generosity, and lots and lots of flowers.