When bride-to-be De’Angela got the call from us less than three months before her wedding that we may have to postpone her August 2020 wedding date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was devastated.
“When Melissa informed my fiancé and I that we should start considering a backup date, I felt so overwhelmed because all of our vendors were booked and I was afraid that many of them would not be available for the backup date that we chose.”
Wedding planners across the United States were having to make similar calls to their couples, and many—like us—turned to micro weddings as the solution. For De’Angela and her fiancé Aaron, however, we held out hope. We were close to a new phase of re-opening in Virginia and knew we could come up with creative solutions to save their original wedding date and give them a dream wedding.
Despite our optimism, as professional wedding planners, we always want to be transparent with our clients and get our creative wheels turning about a backup plan when we’re presented with potential obstacles.
We waited on edge to see whether Virginia would open back up, and it did! “When we received the news that Virginia had moved into phase 3, I was ecstatic,” De’Angela shared.
“Melissa and I immediately scheduled a call with the stationery designer to change the RSVP date and have our invitations shipped right away. Although I was excited and ready to move forward with my big day, I was also concerned that many of our guests would decline due to the status of the pandemic.”
Phase 3 allowed us to plan their wedding with a guest count of up to 100 people, which inched us closer to the look and feel of a pre-pandemic wedding.
Excitement and Concern are Common Conflicting Emotions During Pandemic Weddings, but We Help Ease Concerns and Build Excitement
Getting married during a pandemic presents a host of emotions. Couples are juggling both the typical planning responsibilities and what-ifs of logistics during a pandemic, but they’re also juggling the perceptions guests might have of their decision to either move ahead or postpone their wedding, which can be a huge weight to carry.
De’Angela and Aaron made a few courtesy calls to their loved ones and we helped them think creatively and responsibly about how to make their guests feel cared for and confident.
We had custom masks made for all guests and a thermometer for temperature checks upon arrival. This not only showed thoughtful consideration to the guests, but it allowed us to personalize the masks and integrate this unprecedented moment of time into their wedding in a meaningful way.
The black masks featured the saying “Quarantined for Life” along with their wedding hashtag #Tohaveandtocaldermine. They wanted to give guests the option of wearing it on the wedding day or keep forever as a reminder that they attended their wedding during COVID-19
De’Angela and Aaron also incorporated a FAQ page on their wedding website that provided guests with an overview of the steps they were taking to protect them from COVID-19.
The message advised guests that sanitation stations would be available, custom masks would be provided, temperatures would be taken upon entering the ceremony, social distanced seating would be arranged during the ceremony, and guests would be strategically seated at an assigned table in an assigned seat with members of their family or socially distanced at a table with others.
De’Angela shared, “As a former wedding planner and current lead event coordinator for B Astonished Events, I knew that I wanted to enjoy the experience of being a bride. A month after I was engaged, I called up Melissa to get the ball rolling. Melissa helped Aaron and I navigate all of the details of our design and décor while we sat back and enjoyed our engagement. She was an even bigger support during COVID-19 as she helped me navigate through all of the uncertainties surrounding my wedding.”
For us, it was important that our couple felt supported both throughout the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 yet still got to experience the happiness and excitement of getting engaged and married.
Both De’Angela and Aaron tried to maintain that sense of normalcy and excitement throughout their journey. De’Angela experienced the highs of saying, “yes, to the perfect dress,” and Aaron got to experience the royal treatment when he picked out his tux at The Grooms Shop near National Harbor, Maryland.
The Groom’s Shop is a modern day shop that gives grooms the experience of shopping for a tuxedo in the same fashion a bride does her gown. They believe, “it’s his day, too.” Integrating meaningful experiences throughout their journey helped keep both De’Angela and Aaron present and intentional despite uncertainty.
Getting Married at The River View at Occoquan in Lorton, VA
De’ Angela and Aaron got married at The River View at Occoquan in Lorton, VA. A modern venue featuring natural wood accents and floor to ceiling windows that overlook the Occoquan River, it was the perfect scene for their big day.
When asked about her favorite moment of the day, De’ Angela beams, “My favorite moment of the wedding day was our first look. Seeing Aaron’s reaction was priceless! What made the moment so special was that it was the first time that each of us were alone the entire day and it reminded me that it would always be “us” from that day forward.”
Their wedding theme was modern glam with two grand hexagons, floral arrangements and a plethora of candles and votives weaved throughout. The entire stage was also surrounded by candles in hurricane vases.
Their sweetheart area was repurposed with the 2 grand hexagons from their ceremony and placed on a 12×12 stage wrapped in white vinyl trimmed with gold foil. Their sweetheart table was decorated with a regal emerald green couch, and the dinner table was a glass table trimmed in gold.
De’Angela and Aaron’s friends and family members were excited to attend. Many mentioned that it would be the first big event they attended since the start of the pandemic. We wanted it to be both refreshing with social interaction and safe by adhering to health standards, and I believe we pulled it off successfully and beautifully.
De’Angela and Aaron have a tradition of sharing a bottle of Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial champagne every Valentine’s Day to celebrate another year together. They write the date on a cork and save it in a jar.
For his gift to his new bride, Aaron gifted De’Angela a bottle of Ace of Spade champagne to represent another tradition in their relationship. Every anniversary, they’ll share a bottle, mark the date, and save the cap.
A cologne connoisseur with over 80 bottles of cologne, De’Angela gifted Aaron The Creed Cologne, a popular fragrance for men. The first time they met, she complimented him on his shoes and cologne and to this day he remembers it. Coincedently, both came in gold bottles.
As we celebrate how wonderful it was to share in De’Angela and Aaron’s wedding day, it’s our wish that their future is filled with the sweet fragrance of love, bubbly champagne and plenty of golden moments together.
If you have an upcoming wedding in the Washington DC Metro area, we would love to help you plan a meaningful wedding during the pandemic that both adheres to the COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions and meets your heart’s desire. Reach out to us via the contact page to learn more about our experiences.
Vendor Instagram Credits:
Planning + Design: @bastonishedevents
Floral, Decor, Bridal Backdrop: @bcgevents
Bridesmaids MUA: @taylorsimpsonartistry
Grooms Attire: @miguelwilsoncollection
Bridal Shop: @poshbridalmd
Custom Robes: @vtabi_official
Stage, Dance Floor, Lighting: @thelightsourcecompany
Dance Floor & Escort Wall Graphic Designer: @blackframecreative
Event Rentals: @nostalgia_event_rentals
Ring Bearers Attire: @_old_town_tuxedos