Now that it’s crystal clear that hosting a big wedding at this time is just not possible due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re sharing the experiences of real couples navigating the re-scheduling, cancellation, and civil and commemorative wedding processes in an attempt to help others make informed decisions and to spread our support to all during this time.
Darragh Chase Egan and Paul Joseph Smith III met at a dive bar on St. Patrick’s Day in Washington D.C. five years ago. “We definitely believe in the luck of the Irish!” Darragh remarks. Then in the summer of 2019, PJ proposed in front of St. Silverio Catholic Church in Ponza, Italy with an emerald engagement ring, before the two moved to Singapore together.
Planning a wedding in Bermuda from Singapore wasn’t easy, but they managed to put together a four-day celebration at the Coral Beach & Tennis Club with more than 200 guests. Every detail was completed—hand-painted invitations from London, custom, block-printed tablecloths from India, late-night bonfires, and more—but as COVID-19 progressed, it became obvious that an international wedding was out of the picture.
They pushed the date to the same weekend in 2021 and sent guests a “Change the Date” rather than their invitation suite. Unfortunately, the couple was then forced to leave Asia due to strict pandemic measures. PJ returned to the States, and Darragh headed to France to complete her MBA program. After a few months apart, they finally reunited in Washington D.C. and concluded that they didn’t want to wait another year to be married.
The couple quickly started looking for micro-wedding venues with only two months to plan and found a place in South Carolina that was only 20 minutes from the bride’s mother’s home in Savannah. And as they’re both from “big and proud Irish Catholic families,” they hosted a full Irish Catholic mass to kick-off the weekend—green was the theme of the weekend.
For this occasion, Darragh wore a Jackie O-inspired look—a vintage Chanel mint green suit from the ’80s with vintage Christian Dior signet earrings. She found the jewelry at a market in Paris. “I love how the intertwined ‘C’ & ‘D’ are also my initials!” she says.
On the weekend of November 6th, family gathered at the church. “We didn’t want to make our guests sit in a super long mass, so we wanted to do it beforehand,” Darragh explains. “I was so nervous before this event that my hands were shaking! But the minute I saw PJ at the end of the aisle, I immediately relaxed. We didn’t have 200 people as our witnesses, but we had each other and our families, and that was truly all that mattered.”