Jennifer Hemink Vogt is one of many brides whose wedding plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Originally, the plan was to marry the love of her life, John Vogt, on March 28 at First United Methodist Church’s historic sanctuary located next to the Washington Civic Center where the reception would later be held.

Photo Credit: Allie Link Photography

As Jennifer watched her guest list dwindle down from 200 to 10, they had hoped to still have the ceremony at the sanctuary with close family members and friends. However, concern was raised when a church staff member said that they might have come in contact with the virus, so Jennifer had to organize a plan B.

One thing was certain, family and friends were exuberant over their wedding invite, and Jennifer and John couldn’t wait to get married. Carrying this excitement into her decision for plan B, Jennifer decided to “save-the-date” and host a virtual ceremony through Zoom in her parent’s living room.

Photo Credit: Allie Link Photography

The wedding industry has taken a huge hit during its’ most vibrant season. Jennifer called her vendors to see if they could make smaller arrangements for her at-home ceremony, which they were all willing to do of course.

Carryout by Chrislyn brought dinner for the family to enjoy after the ceremony. Vanilla Bean Bake Shoppe baked a smaller cake so that Jennifer and John could still participate in the cake cutting tradition. Best of all, personal friend and local photographer, Allie Link, was able to make it to the ceremony and captured many wonderful moments of Jennifer and John as they said, “I do.”

Photo Credit: Allie Link Photography

Jennifer’s advice to other brides whose wedding plans have been impacted by COVID-19 is to “go ahead a get married now and celebrate later.” ReAnne Mayo, Event Coordinator for the Washington Civic Center, agreed with that sentiment, and was willing to work with Jennifer to find her wedding reception a new date in the Fall. Jennifer and John are hopeful that their reception in the Fall will be able to host the 200 people they hoped to spend the day with initially. Jennifer appreciated how flexible and supportive ReAnne was of her wedding plan B.

To many brides, ReAnne is a source for guidance and emotional support, not just an events coordinator. She has been encouraging her clients to have their wedding now and their reception later. For this, she offers four pieces of advice:

  1. Save the date! Every couple chose their wedding date for a reason. Whether it was for the weather of a particular season or to mark a significant moment in their relationship so that it could become their anniversary, the date chosen is the date you should keep!
  2. Ensure quality internet connection. If you plan to have guests attend your ceremony virtually through Zoom or Skype, make sure that there will be no technical difficulties.
  3. Tripod it! Don’t burden an attendee with the task of holding up the camera. Make sure you have something that is not required to be handheld. If you have a tripod, great! If not, create a DIY tripod by placing the camera on an elevated and sturdy surface.
Photo Credit: Allie Link Photography

Love will make it through this pandemic, and it can still be celebrated now. Think outside the box and don’t let a virus ruin your special day.