What Weddings Look Like Right Now: How Couples Evolved Their Ceremonies During Coronavirus Quarantines
Coronavirus has left most of the world stagnant. Affecting the lives of people across the globe, that regular day-to-day you’ve grown so accustomed to, for the moment, no longer exists.
Most are self-isolating, doing their best to social distance and stay six feet away from others in order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means any and all plans you might have had, including birthdays, graduations and even your own wedding, might not go on as planned.
But we as a country are resilient, eager to persevere despite the toughest of obstacles. When it comes to something as special as walking down the aisle with someone you love, naturally, those with set dates to get married are finding alternative ways to say “I do” in the middle of this global pandemic.
For New York City’s Mitch Case and Brian Brown, becoming engaged last summer after 10 years together, they figured now was as good a time as any to tie the knot — here’s why.
AskMen: After getting engaged last summer, when were you actually planning to have your wedding?
Brian Brown: We hadn’t made concrete wedding plans yet, but we knew it would probably happen sometime in the spring or summer of 2021 when I get one of my breaks from school.
What did you have set in terms of guests, a venue, your outfits and those other important details?
BB: Honestly, we were never as concerned with the details of the wedding itself as we were the celebration that followed. We were just beginning to shop around for venues to throw a party with a few dozen friends and family, but hadn’t made much progress before everything started happening with the coronavirus outbreak. The celebration planning is on pause for now until we all weather this together.
What pushed you two to do this right now in the middle of everything that’s going on in the world?
Mitch Case: I work at an arts and culture nonprofit, which I love, but I am somewhat concerned about long-term job stability given everything that’s going on economically. We figured it was a good idea to pull the trigger on getting married so that I could be added to Brian’s health insurance, if it gets to that.
Was it an easy decision or did some convincing have to be done?
MC: I think I initially mentioned the possibility, but Brian did the legwork of looking into what we needed to do, legally speaking. We went back and forth about how necessary it was before ultimately deciding it was the right move.
Did anyone try and deter you from getting married that day in this way?
MC: We really didn’t tell many people outside of our immediate family and the two friends we asked to be witnesses. They were all super supportive.
What was the process of wrangling up an officiant and those witnesses you mentioned?
BB: It took a little hunting, but one of my coworkers’ best friends is a licensed officiant and has been marrying couples for years. She was more than happy to help us with our ceremony, [and] we asked two of our close friends to be our witnesses — they said yes right away!
Given the circumstances, how did the day pan out compared to any expectations you might have had? Better or worse?
MC: I don’t think it could’ve gone any better. The intimacy of it all was nice, and [it] took away a lot of the typical stress of the “big day.”
BB: We both had a little pre-wedding jitters, like, “Is this really about to happen?” But the first words out of Mitch’s mouth after the end of the ceremony were, “That was cool!”
When all was said and done, was there anything you wished you’d done but didn’t have the opportunity with the time crunch?
MC: It would’ve been nice to have a cake!
BB: Thankfully, an order of Insomnia Cookies was a great stand-in for the cake.
Are you planning on having another ceremony when the world stops imploding?
BB: Maybe not another wedding ceremony itself, but we’d love to get everyone we love all in the same room less than six feet apart. Our first priority is definitely getting through this together along with all of our family and friends, but as soon as we regain some sense of normalcy, we can’t wait to celebrate properly with everyone.
How would you two have handled replanning an entire wedding ceremony, something that many are dealing with at the moment?
MC: I’m not sure my anxiety could handle it.
The reaction to your marriage has been overwhelmingly positive online — did you think your decision to tie the knot right now during this pandemic would be noticed by so many people?
MC: There’s been an outpouring of support and congratulations on social media, both from family/friends and strangers. We didn’t expect that we’d get so much attention, but it’s a nice feeling having created some positive news when everything else seems so dark.
How do you think this will affect weddings going forward? Will people realize they don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars in order to marry the person they love?
BB: I think to an extent that’s something that people have always known, that weddings don’t need to be these extravagant displays. But if our wedding can serve as a real-life example of that, all the better to those couples who are financially hurting but want to celebrate their love.