I had all kinds of plans for this blog post. I was going to wax philosophic about almost a full year of pandemic craziness and COVID weddings and optimism for the future and blah blah blah. So I brushed off my journalism degree, sat down to write and … nope. It wouldn’t come.
I’m blank. I’m exhausted. I was so happy to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror, but we’re less than two weeks in and 2021 has only increased the near-constant hum of anxiety in the back of my mind. I’m ready to get off this ride. I’m ready to get back to normal.
But as I look back on the last 10 months, I’ve realized that even with quarantine and masks and online education and strict restrictions, somehow I managed to have an incredibly rich and fulfilling wedding season. Half of the weddings I had booked were cancelled or postponed, but the ones I still shot were intimate, personal and emotional. In a year when everything was different, so many couples found a different – but still special – way to celebrate their commitment.
Here are a few of my favorite COVID weddings from 2020. I hope these bring you inspiration if you’re planning a scaled-down wedding this year! Don’t forget: Lemonade Photography is still offering $550 Micro Wedding packages!
Laura & Colt decided to postpone their big celebration to 2021 and planned a small, socially distanced ceremony & mini-reception at Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park. With about 10 people present and a strict mask rule for all attendees, this couple shared their vows near sunset with the lake as a stunning backdrop.
Social distancing was very important to Laura and Colt, who seated their guests in small groups and asked everyone to wear a mask at all times, except for during a brief meal. Even family photos were socially distanced.
After the ceremony, we snuck off to the beach at sunset for couples’ photos. While Laura and Colt removed their masks for these, I stayed masked and 6′ away at all times.
Another couple who had to postpone their big party, Stacy and Ryan, opted for a micro wedding ceremony in their back yard with a few guests present and dozens of family and friends watching via Zoom. Before the ceremony, I met them at the Edmonds waterfront for a very sunny portrait session.
With their parents watching from other states on the livestream, Stacy and Ryan put their iPad front and center during the ceremony. Their coordinator managed the Zoom meeting from a laptop in the back (which turned out to be necessary as virtual guests kept unmuting themselves to talk to each other).
Since they were getting married at home, Stacy and Ryan were able to try an old southern tradition I’d never heard of: Exactly one month before your wedding, bury a bottle of bourbon upside-down at the exact spot you’ll have your ceremony and you’ll have perfect wedding weather. Then dig it up and drink it on your wedding day. The first part worked – it was a gorgeous day – but the second part hit a snag when Ryan broke the bottle while digging it up.
In July, the governor announced that wedding receptions of any kind wouldn’t be allowed. Eventually, the date for the new rule was set for two days after Lindsey & Chris’ early August wedding – giving them just enough time to squeeze their mini wedding & reception in under the wire. They gathered an intimate group of family and friends for a fun event at a rental property in Port Gamble. More guests watched via zoom, and the couple made sure they spent time greeting and thanking their remote guests.
The small group of family and close friends ate together outside under rolling clouds, with food by Crescent Moon Catering.
Couples’ photos were important to Lindsey and Chris, so we spent a long time wandering around Port Gamble looking for perfect spots.
Kelly and Greg called off their big May wedding just days before it was supposed to take place and got married privately. Months later, we went to one of my favorite places in the world – Tipsoo Lake in Mt. Rainier National Park – for an epic adventure photo session in their wedding attire. They even brought a wedding cake.
We timed their session for golden hour, just before sunset, and took advantage of some glorious summer evening light hitting the lake.
These two were troupers during a session that involved a lot of walking (in 4-inch heels!), a lot of sun right in their eyes and A LOT of mosquitos. So many mosquitos. Shout-out to the photographer who offered to share her bug repellent; we needed it. (I started carrying bug spray in my camera bag after this)
As the sun went down, they danced on the forest path. I’m sad I never got to be there for their wedding day as planned, but so glad we were able to take some gorgeous photos for their wedding album.
So you see? While COVID – and current events – may be disrupting all our lives, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a meaningful wedding or beautiful wedding photos. My clients can tell you: adjusting your expectations and planning carefully can make small COVID weddings just as meaningful as big ones.
Lemonade Photography can help! I’ll cover a 2-hour micro wedding for $550, with 100+ digital images delivered via online gallery. Build your custom wedding package today and get in touch to set up your personal consultation!