My partner and I were supposed to get married this May. Because of travel bans and gathering limitations, we had no choice but to cancel our wedding. We were disheartened by the uncertainty of when we would finally be able to marry. We had already been engaged for a year and a half. It could take that long until it would be safe to launch our wedding again. So, we decided to have a backyard zoom wedding. And it was awesome.
Within a five-day span, we had everything organized. We contacted a local commissioner and locked her in. We invited two of our best friends to serve as witnesses (they work from home so had low infection risk). We set up a zoom meeting and invited our entire immediate families.
Accompanying the e-vite was a disclaimer that we didn’t really know what we were doing, but we were hopeful it could work. We ran a practice tutorial and it went well, so we figured a zoom wedding was worth a shot.
Before we knew it, we had a wedding planned.
A few days later, it was wedding day. With our dear friends’ help, we used some of our existing wedding decor to spice up our yard. We dressed up in our floral finest while jamming out to fun music. My wonderful sister-in-law even had a bottle of champagne delivered that morning to our door. Naturally, we made mimosas, played games, and patiently awaited the arrival of the wedding commissioner.
Our wedding commissioner was fantastic and had all her ducks in a row. The paperwork was prepared ahead of time, the ceremony was beautifully scripted, and within minutes of her arrival, we were off!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t wait around to see if everyone was successful in joining the meeting before beginning the ceremony. Truth be told, we were not prepared to deal with any computer malfunctions. We are certainly not tech experts and zoom was new territory. With a wishful click of a few buttons, we started broadcasting.
With the warm sun beating down on us, we took each other’s hands. Speaking as loudly as we could, we said our vows to each other. We kissed. We married. “BAM”— It was official!
When the ceremony was over, we received a quick verbal blessing from our commissioner and she was gone with the wind. We were left with two friends/witnesses/guests as our only attendees for the “reception”. Or so we thought…
Amazingly, when we glanced back at the computer we saw our entire family cheersing us through the screen. It was such a wonderful feeling to see all the smiling faces there supporting us.
Colour me impressed! Our zoom wedding actually worked out!
When we unmuted the crowd, everyone clapped for us and said congratulations. We popped more champagne and toasted them through the webcam. A moment like that really touches you.
Although it may sound disconnected and impersonal, it wasn’t. At least, it didn’t feel that way to us. Nothing was rehearsed or forced. It was truly special.
After we said farewell to our families, we continued on with an amazing evening with our friends. We made a mock set up of the head table, with a table number and all, and shared a delicious meal. Our friends wrote amazing speeches for us and we laughed until our core’s hurt.
After dinner, we migrated outside and started a fire in the backyard. A few neighbors came over to wish us congrats, and pulled up a patio chair a safe distance away.
We laughed. We cried. We ate. We drank. It was perfect.
April 12, 2020 is a day I will never forget. It was absolutely nothing like I envisioned my dream wedding to be, but it was exactly what my husband and I needed. We needed to feel that love. We needed the milestone of marriage to make all of the suffering of 2020’s crap-shoot worthwhile. It was the redemption we were all aching for.
My husband and I are extremely fortunate. We have outstanding friends and families that smother us with love and support. We consider ourselves lucky that everything went swimmingly with technology and all our loved ones could share in our moment remotely. No matter how much distance, fear, sickness, or bandwidth separated us that day — we were together.
Love is SO much more powerful than COVID.
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Photos courtesy of the author.