First off, hi! My name is Kristine and I am the Marketing Manager here at Jay’s Catering. I am the girl behind all of our blog posts, emails, website updates, styled shoots, social media posts and pretty much anything consumer facing at Jay’s. I wanted to hop on here and write about my COVID wedding experience to give any brides (or grooms) some hope for their special day because I personally was affected by COVID and all my own wedding plans had to abruptly change too. Where to start...
The stay at home order was announced on my birthday back on March 19th, so that was fun (not). In that moment I knew many things were about to change and my fiancé and I would need to make some very tough decisions quickly in the coming weeks for our planned wedding date of May 24th, 2020. Our May 24th wedding date was extremely important to us because it was the day my fiancé asked me to be his girlfriend in 2013, the day he proposed to me 6 years later and was going to be our wedding day this year (and miraculously happened to land on a holiday weekend). So, not only did we have to worry about figuring out our wedding that was supposed to happen in about two months, but we now had to worry about staying healthy and keeping our families safe from the virus, our job stability, where and how we would get our marriage license, figuring out what to do about our bachelor and bachelorette parties that were all planned and paid for, and what to do about my bridal shower. We ultimately decided to cancel (put on hold for now) the bachelorette and bachelor parties and bridal shower and postpone our ‘big’ wedding with all 100 invitees to September. I immediately contacted all my vendors to check if our new date would work for them and LUCKILY all of my vendors were able to move to our new September date - I know I got SO lucky. So now all pre-wedding festivities are canceled (well on hold for the time being) and the ‘big’ wedding rescheduled, but now we had to figure out how to tie the knot on our original date in May.
Every day we checked the news to see when the courts would open up so we could get our marriage license. We even considered making the trek over to Arizona to get our marriage license and tie the knot there because we were so desperate to get married on our important date. The week of April 13th we got news from my grandma (of all people) that the courts in Orange County were going to open up for marriage licenses. Thanks Grandma! I hopped on their website, filled out an online form, and called the next morning as soon as their phone lines opened up. I called 143 times consistently in a row with my fiancé rolling his eyes telling me to just wait 30 minutes and try calling again. I was not going to miss this chance at getting our license! On the 143rd call, I finally got through and was placed on a 30 minute hold before getting through to a real human being to make our appointment to receive our marriage license at the Honda Center in Anaheim the next morning. At 9:15am on April 21, 2020 my fiancé and I walked up to ticket booth #2 at the Honda Center with our masks and gloves on, talked through glass and by walkie talkie to the court official, and received our license to wed!
Flash forward to about 10 days before our wedding because I am extremely indecisive and couldn’t decide on where I wanted to have our minimony and I didn’t want to do any other planning until that was figured out... We finally decided that we were going to have our minimony (small wedding ceremony of about 10 people) at a local public garden near where we lived. I wanted to include as many of my original ‘big’ postponed wedding vendors to support them during the pandemic because I knew it must be tough for them too to keep their businesses afloat. I reached out to my florist, photographer and officiant and they were all in! I ordered my dress off Revolve and it came in the next day. My fiancé is a mens clothing designer so he actually made my veil by hand and my garter in one night. Luckily, my parents had China, flatware and glassware that they were gifted at their wedding many years ago so we just repurposed that and it worked out beautifully. My dad and I made my grandma’s white wedding cake recipe with almond frosting for my wedding cake the night before the wedding which was extremely special to me and him. Now, being the stubborn creative person I am, I wanted to make a wooden backdrop to sit behind our sweetheart table with smaller wooden pieces scattered around as decor. After four trips to Lowe’s, two pieces of plywood, one bag of plaster, two two-by-fours, four cans of paint, one jigsaw, and multiple trips to different Walmarts to find block letters (since almost all craft stores were closed at the time due to the virus), we had cut, sanded, plastered, painted, and glued our backdrop masterpiece together in just three days! Moral of the story here is: You can plan your dream day in a very short amount of time with support from your loved ones! Also, I’d just like to add that since salons were still closed, I went to Target and bought press on nails and some glue and that stuff worked magic. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it - Haha!
The day of the wedding was SO special. I spent all morning relaxing in my pjs with my mom, dad, brother, and cats. We ate bagels, got the tables ready in the backyard for dinner later, and I slowly got ready throughout the day before leaving later to the minimony. We left the backyard in the hands of my florist who was decorating the tabletops alongside an amazing balloon artist who was doing an install as well. Only immediate family was invited to the minimony to ensure the safety of everyone and to follow CDC guidelines and it was beautiful. I walked down the aisle arm in arm with my dad while a live saxophone player serenaded us. My fiancé and I exchanged personal handwritten vows, and our officiant announced us husband and wife. We decorated our getaway car and headed back to the house for dinner where we were surprised by our closest friends congratulating us on our marriage.
I know times are tough and everyone has their own personal lives going on on top of trying to re-plan a wedding and it can get extremely stressful, but just try to take it one day at a time. Remember that you are going to marry the love of your life and that is what really matters. Everything will fall into place and you will have the best story to tell all your friends and kids one day! I encourage you to celebrate your original date either how my now husband and I did, or have a small date night in with your fiancé and pop some champagne and eat cake! If you can support your vendors, please do so as they want to make you happy and are dying to get creative again! Don’t stress about having to postpone your wedding. Your guests will be so ready to let loose, really party, and celebrate your marriage more than ever!