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.
Teachers Crystal Waters and Vicky Vitale postponed their May 24th wedding at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and are sharing here how they made the final call and decided to elope.
About a month before the wedding, Crystal and Vicky officially called off their big event with their guests and vendors—everyone except for their photographer. “The governor had just announced schools would be closed for the rest of the year, and we knew it wouldn’t be safe to have the party we had planned to have,” Crystal says. (As of now, they are hoping to host a reception later on, but are waiting to see what happens with the world.)
Since the couple knew they still wanted to get married on the original date, they started re-planning what a ceremony would look like. “We had favors and a logo with that date on it, so we decided to keep our original date of May 24, 2020,” Vicky says. After going through a lot of feelings of loss in the beginning stages of organizing, they focused on how they could make the day special. They staged their apartment for getting ready photos, prepped their dining room table with a setting from their original plan, and tested a few live streams.
On the day-of at 1:30 p.m., their photographer arrived for a boudoir-style photo shoot. “We loved having that time to ourselves before we got ready,” Crystal says. Then their parents, officiant, and live stream shooter met them to head out to the venue. “Once we were at the arboretum, we had more photos taken, some with our 10 year old son, and then, we made our way to the remote ceremony site we had chosen the previous week.”
Their service was captured via live stream with around 100 guests in virtual attendance. Immediately after making it official, the two had their first dance in a field of buttercups and blasted love songs on a Bluetooth speaker. They toasted with their parents, and then everyone drove home.
Once settled in, they continued the fun with a Zoom call, so their families could continue the festivities and several toasts were given. For dinner, they ordered a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant, Barcelona Wine Bar, and ate while listening to their original dinner party playlist. At the end of the meal, they indulged in a wedding cake their officiant had sweetly made them.
“For what it had to look like, it was absolutely perfect,” Vicky says. “We felt so loved and supported. We got to really put our time and energy into our vows and ceremony, and we still got to connect with people, even if it was in different ways.”