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.
Emily May Gabriel postponed her October 24th wedding in South Carolina to July, 2021 because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, William Adams Morrissett Jr., made the final call and moved ahead with a micro-wedding in Charleston on their original date.
By early July, the couple decided to officially postpone and host their 2021 wedding on Kiawah Island, as they have family all around the U.S. and wedding party members in the U.K. “We wanted to do our best to make sure our families and closest friends could eventually travel and celebrate with us,” Emily states. And in September, the two leaned on their wedding planners, Heather and Mary Ruth of Gathering Events, to help put together their intimate micro-wedding of 13 people.
The bride wore Alexia María’s Margaret dress, which she found on Over The Moon. Emily wanted a timeless bridal look, so she paired the dress with wedding gloves and navy Manolo Blahnik heels. Each piece of jewelry was laden with symbolism. Her diamond cross necklace was a gift from her parents, and her diamond earrings were a present from Will. Her stack of bracelets included Will’s late grandmother’s pearl bracelet.
Her mother’s antique diamond and sapphire bracelet was the perfect “something borrowed” and “something blue.” The bracelet was her mother’s 25th-anniversary gift and features Emily’s sapphire birthstone. Lashes and Lace styled her hair and did her makeup for the day.
The groom wore a new black tuxedo. He matched the suit with velvet tux slippers from Emily and cuff-links from his parents.
The wedding party consisted of the couple’s closest family and friends. Will’s father was the best man and wore a black tux like the groom. And Emily’s mother was the matron of honor. She wore the same dress her grandmother wore to her mother’s wedding and to her own 50th anniversary in 1985.
On October 24th, 2020, Emily and Will were married at St. Philip’s Church in Charleston, where she grew up attending services. The reverend who officiated actually happens to be a dear family friend. Emily smiled and laughed throughout the ceremony. “I couldn’t believe that we were finally getting married after months of debating and worrying,” she says. The couple’s matron of honor and best man stood beside them as they signed their marriage license and made their nuptials official.
As the couple exited the church and headed into the 1950 Packard chauffeured by Lowcountry Valet, their guests tossed flower petals and cheered for the newlyweds. The celebration continued at Emily’s family’s home for hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and photos. Combining “something old” with “something new,” the couple cut their ABCD cake with Emily’s great-grandmother’s sterling silver and ate off of their new plates in Herend’s Queen Victoria pattern. Emily and Will shared champagne from the “loving cup” her parents used at their wedding forty years earlier.
Both Emily’s and Will’s father’s toasted to the couple, and then the guests sat down for dinner. The entire wedding party fit at one table, so the conversation flowed as freely as the champagne. The rest of the evening was spent singing and dancing, while music filled the entire house.
“We couldn’t be more glad that we chose to go forward with a smaller wedding, and we feel so lucky to have had the opportunity despite it not being our original plan,” Emily says about her intimate micro-wedding. “Sharing a night like this with our families was priceless, and we could tell how much it meant to our parents and siblings.”