Now that it’s crystal clear that hosting a big wedding at this time is just not possible due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re sharing the experiences of real couples navigating the re-scheduling, cancellation, and civil and commemorative wedding processes in an attempt to help others make informed decisions and to spread our support to all during this time.
Chelsea Rae Cozen, who postponed and later cancelled her May 2nd wedding at Parker Palm Springs, is sharing how she and her husband, Marc Philippe Patijaud, made the final call and decided to have an at-home wedding at her parents’ place in Malibu.
Chelsea, who works in marketing at Netflix, and Marc, who works as a strategist for Apple’s advertising agency, Media Arts Lab, first pushed their wedding to September, after California declared a stay-at-home order in mid-March. “As we approached our original date of May 2nd, it became increasingly clear that there would be a strong chance that Marc’s family and friends, who were traveling in from Europe, would not be able to—or not feel comfortable enough to—attend our new wedding date in September due to the international travel required,” Chelsea explains. On April 24th, they cancelled their September wedding entirely and decided to get married on their original date.
In eight days, they took care of her wedding dress, the food, the flowers, and a cake. “The most stressful moment of the whole week was realizing that our wedding bands were locked in a safety deposit box at a closed bank branch, due to COVID-19,” Chelsea says. “My amazing sister convinced the bank to open the branch, so she could retrieve the rings, which she did just in time for the big day.”
Marc wore his French Blue wedding suit from The Kooples, which they bought on vacation in London, and paired it with a cool pair of white Vans. The bride chose to wear a slip dress because her original gown was still at Saks being altered. She reached out to local dressmakers and had six options sent to her over the course of the week. The Gatsby Gown from Stone Cold Fox was overnighted and arrived two days before the ceremony—Chelsea loved it and paired it with Jimmy Choo champagne sandals.
The night before the wedding, the bride slept at her parents’ house, and the next morning, she got ready with her mother and sister. Her bridesmaids also surprised her with a “getting ready” video, which made Chelsea cry hysterically—thankfully, before she applied makeup.
The bride finally saw Marc for the first time at the altar, decorated by Pigsty, and his best friend, Francois Pied, officiated in English and French for the groom’s family on FaceTime—including his 90-year-old grandmother, who never imagined seeing something like this in her lifetime. He also translated the vows and sent the whole service in French ahead of time to Marc’s side, so they could follow along.
After the ceremony, Chelsea’s sister set up a Zoom toast with all of their friends, many of whom decided to dress up in wedding attire to help celebrate. “My bridesmaids all wore their bridesmaids dresses,” Chelsea says. “Our bridal party also surprised us with speech videos that made us laugh so hard we cried.” Then, the newlyweds changed into casual clothes and spent the afternoon relaxing around the pool and eating their favorite foods with champagne.
“While the whole situation is still a bit bitter sweet, the day was so perfect,” Chelsea says. “If we could go back and do it all again, we wouldn’t change a thing.”