The introduction of COVID19 created a global pandemic and flipped the wedding industry upside down. With many states issuing stay at home orders, mass gatherings have come to a stand still including birthday parties, graduations, and weddings. This state wide order left couples with 1 of 3 choices – cancel, postpone, or get married. We found one couple who wanted to share their coronavirus wedding story with us in hopes that they can encourage other couples who are in a similar dilemma.

A Coronavirus Wedding

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Hayes

Cameron and Elaine are the quintessential american couple. They grew up together in the same town, went to the same school and played sports together. They were always fond of each other throughout high school and college but the timing was never just right, until one day it was. One October day, the perfect season for falling in love, they attended the same outdoor concert and rekindled their flame. They met up for drinks a few days later as a causal date but their relationship didn’t stay casual for long. The saying is true, “when you know, you know.”
The Proposal Story!

Cameron and Elaine had talked about marriage, engagement rings, and dream proposal scenarios just as any couple does. (We all do it!) Cameron asked Elaine’s father for her hand in marriage about 4 months before he actually popped the questions. The fact that her family was able to keep the secret that long was a miracle! And with her father’s blessing Cam planned the perfect proposal. On their 1 year anniversary, Elaine came home from work to find their house decorate with roses and candles. She walked inside and to her surprise, she found her man bent down on one knee. Without a doubt in her mind, she said YES!!Coronavirus Wedding - Elaine and Cameron Hayes - Photo by Jordan Vines - Forever Bridal Wedding Shows.PNG3Coronavirus Wedding - Elaine and Cameron Hayes - Photo by Jordan Vines - Forever Bridal Wedding Shows.PNG3

Wedding Details

What was the “original” wedding plan?

The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. planned their wedding for May 2nd at Cedar Grove Acres in Creedmor, North Carolina. The couple was all set to be wed at this outdoor wedding venue and celebrate their 2020 nuptials with a roaring 20’s theme.

What was rescheduling your wedding like?
Well, you know how planning one wedding is stressful? Cameron and Elaine had to plan for two! (sort of)
First, there’s the whole dealing with the pandemic thing. The entire world is on edge right now. Trying to plan for the unknown is so difficult when things are changing daily and even hourly. “I mean, us brides are not unique in dealing with a pandemic, everyone in the world is dealing with this.” Elaine said. She then added “Not being able to air our grievances without being ridiculed for being selfish. That was hard.” Elaine and Cam planned to move forward with their wedding until March 23rd when the venue decided to postpone all weddings.
Together, the couple decided they would postpone their reception but still get married on their original wedding date of May 2nd. The couple was able to postpone their wedding until August 8th at Cedar Grove Acres. When they told family and friends about their new wedding plans, they were met with some confusion. Elaine told us, “A lot of people weren’t understanding why we couldn’t just wait until 8/8 to do everything, including the ceremony. I told them, I don’t know if you’ve been engaged for 18 months but honey I just want to marry my MAN!” Elaine, we we’re right there with you!!
What was the wedding day like?

Mr. and Mrs. Hayes hosted an intimate gathering in Elaine’s mother’s backyard while her bother officiated the ceremony. Elaine did her own hair and make up that day. Elaine’s mom cut flowers from her garden to decorate the makeshift alter. The couple traded purple napkins for face masks and gloves. Although it was not what Elaine had envisioned for her wedding day, “It was wonderful,” she said.

Elaine shared one positive note with us about having to reschedule her wedding due to the pandemic. “One of the BEST things to come of this all is the instant relief of all pressure put on weddings!  All of a sudden there was no pressure for anything to be perfect, or go right, or happen correctly.” Really though, things can’t get much worse at this point right?

Postponing the Reception

What was the process like postponing your reception?

The first thing Elaine and Cameron did was call all their vendors once they realized they needed to reschedule. All of their wedding pros were available and able to accommodate their new wedding date. “I was determined to keep the vendors I loved.” Elaine told us. Their new date is August 8th which falls just before the fall wedding season ramps up so none of their vendors were booked. Thank goodness

The couple was also informed just 2 weeks before their wedding that their honeymoon would be cancelled. “It’s the Thursday after my wedding and we’ve both been working all week.” Not the most romantic way to spend your first few days as husband and wife but the couple will plan for another honeymoon after their reception in August.

Are you making any changes to your wedding now?

The couple is taking this time to revamp their wedding reception. “The reception is going to be totally different than originally planned.  We are still working out those details though.  I’m kind of scared to lock anything down… We’ve done all this before.” Elaine told us many things will stay the same like the bridesmaid dresses, suits and flowers but the overall vibe will be a bit different since they will not be holding another ceremony just reception. They are going to forego the rehearsal dinner and instead host a brunch the morning after.

Coronavirus Wedding - Elaine and Cameron Hayes - Photo by Jordan Vines - Forever Bridal Wedding Shows.PNG4

Final Thoughts

Any regrets?

Elaine shared with us that she has no regrets about splitting up the ceremony and reception. She explained to us, “An 18 month engagement is tough. I just couldn’t wait three more months to marry my man!” We don’t blame you sis!  

Any advice for other couples?
Elaine: “Sure, there is plenty of advise I could give, but I know I wouldn’t have listened to any of it!  I knew what I wanted, even if it all changed!  Every single wedding story and love life is different, and yet sometimes it can be really hard to find your own way in it all.  So I guess one thing I can say is to remember who is most important, you and your future husband/ wife!  That kept me the most grounded, going from 200 to 15 people was hard, but I still married the same man and I am still one happy lady. I am still in love.”

Click below to watch our interview with the couple!