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An Intimate and Meaningful Micro-Wedding on Juneteenth

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

DeJohn Davis Photography

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.

Jenny Joseph, who changed her larger June 19th wedding in Hunt Valley, Maryland, to a smaller celebration, is sharing how she and her now husband, Nathan Diggs, made the final call and put together a 30-person wedding.

The emergency medicine nurse and an Epic trainer were initially planning a 100-person wedding, but in March, as Jenny saw surges of COVID-19 patients, they realized that their big celebration wasn’t happening. They had committed to their date, so they decided to celebrate with as much of their family as they safely could could, get creative with the setting, and take pictures that they could one day show to their grandchildren.

From the beginning, they very purposefully chose their wedding date—Juneteenth—a holiday commemorating African American freedom and the end of slavery in the United Staes. “It’s exactly what my husband and I wanted,” Jenny says. “Me being Haitian American and him African American, we take pride in our roots and wanted to celebrate our union on this memorable day.”

Planning the wedding during the shutdown was no easy feat. “Everything from reaching out to possible venues to obtaining a marriage license was a journey,” the bride says. “It wasn’t until May—a month before the day—when we were able to solidify the venue and begin officially planning our small wedding.”

The bridesmaids and maid of honor took on a lot of the planning, and Coastal Tented Events and photographers from DeJohn Davis Photography made the day that much more eventful. To say, “I do,” the couple also decided to wear their original gown and suit.

On the day-of, no more than 30 people gathered outside for the ceremony. And once the two were happily and officially wed, they treated everyone to a tented reception for dinner and dancing. “Honestly, I preferred the smaller wedding,” Jenny says. “It felt more intimate; although, we do wish more of our loved ones could have attended.”