Weddings could look a little different in the post-COVID-19 era

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Margaret Anne Smith had it all planned out as a kid. The perfect dress and shoe combo — and to marry her husband at the same place her parents did 32 years earlier, to the month.

Margaret Anne’s mother and father on their wedding day in 1988.

More than anything, she wanted her loved ones there.

Little did that little girl know, only months before her wedding date on April 4th, a pandemic would force her to cut the guest list down to a fifteenth of what it was before.

“Of course it was super upsetting. Because I have a lot of friends in Texas and around,” said Margaret Anne.

 But that wasn’t going to stop them from accepting each other in holy matrimony.

“We never hesitated,” she added. We were always going to get married, we didn’t want to wait, we were just so ready to be married.”

Contrary to what that little girl may have thought, planning a wedding was much more than just picking out the dress and shoes. She and her then-fiance, Grant, hired the principal planner and owner of M. Elizabeth Events, Meghan Cease. Luckily, she was there to help her navigate the sudden change of plans too.

Cease told Margaret Anne and Grant they can still make this wedding happen.

“Let’s do something meaningful,” Cease said.  Let’s do something that we’re creating a cherished moment. Let’s just do it on an intimate scale”

That may be the way couples have to think of weddings for a while.

Regardless, the soon-to-be-Smiths were all for it.

They whittled the guest list down to ten – which according to Cease, may be what couples have to do, at least while the coronavirus still poses a threat.

“For safety and to make people around you feel more comfortable,” Cease added.  “Thinking about grandparents and older guests and older family members.  They may not feel comfortable sitting in a ballroom with 200 people anymore.” 

The common buffet style dinners may be a thing of the past as well.

“We do know that things may change,” Cease said. We might have to pivot and rescale and do a seated dinner. Right now, buffets are just not allowed.”

So in the event of a smaller scale wedding, or planning a wedding during this era is a wedding planner going to be as needed? Margaret Anne thinks so. She says the conveniences of having a wedding planner is that she is “not really worried about everything.”

“Just having her do everything and cancelling everything I needed to cancel and postpone and all of that stuff, it was worth every penny at that moment.”

The couple did exchange vows on their planned wedding day.

Even though details changed, she still got married in the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, and right where her parents did 32 years ago.

“As a girl, you think about this and that changed but we wouldn’t have changed anything about it.”


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