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.
Kate Steen postponed her June 20th wedding at The Duke Mansion in North Carolina because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Michael Mitchell, made the final call and had a downsized wedding on their original date.
By April, the couple realized they couldn’t move forward with a larger wedding anytime soon, and as they had always wanted a more intimate wedding, the two chose to move forward with a private family wedding of 12 guests. To help plan their June wedding at their same venue in Charlotte, they hired Reagan Events.
“We hope to have a larger celebration with everyone next year, when the time is right,” Kate says. “March and April were stressful, but once we decided to move forward with the intimate family wedding, things finally started to fall into place. We felt at peace, and we could get excited for our new vision.”
To say, “I do,” Kate wanted something timeless and serendipitously found Monique Lhuillier’s dress named “The Kate” and had it tailored in record time with some of the underskirts removed for a more relaxed look. After the main course of the reception dinner, the bride changed into a Zimmermann dress with floral embroidery.
Michael wore a midnight navy shawl lapel tuxedo from Enzo Custom with classic Belgian Shoes. “He looked so handsome!” Kate remarks. “I gifted Michael a pair of Cartier cufflinks that were hand-engraved with his initials and our wedding date, along with a personalized handkerchief.”
The morning of the wedding, Michael surprised his future-wife with a video montage of friends and family giving their best wishes. And then Kate got ready with hairstylist Jami Svay and makeup artist Haney Evans to perfect her bridal beauty look.
On the summer solstice, the bride and her father walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun”, played by Charlotte Strings for Events, in the “secret garden,” where the ceremony was held. Kate’s childhood preacher married them in a heartwarming and emotional service under a floral arch by Julep Floral. “I remember looking out and seeing tears stream down my grandmother’s face, which is something I will never forget,” she says. “There is something incredibly raw and beautiful about a private family ceremony—we felt so much love in that little garden!”
After the ceremony, cocktails were served in the courtyard, followed by dinner with their wedding china on the front porch. Acoustic guitarist, Spencer Rush, entertained everyone between courses, and at the end of dinner, everyone got up and danced together to one last song—the cicadas even joined in.
The newlyweds then invited a few close friends for a nightcap of espresso martinis and dessert. “We laughed and danced under the twinkle lights and drank one too many martinis. Our friends and brothers gave the sweetest off-the-cuff speeches,” Kate remarks. “It was the perfect way to end the night!”
Looking back at everything, the two are so happy with their micro-wedding decision. “The best part was, Michael and I were able to spend the entire evening together without the pressure of entertaining everyone,” Kate says. “While we wish close friends could have been there, in a way, we get the best of both worlds…an intimate ceremony now and a bigger party later.”