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.
Maggie Breslin postponed her May 16th wedding at the Westhampton Country Club to August 1st and then ultimately cancelled because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Andrew Keister, made the final call and decided to have a porch wedding at her parents’ home in Westhampton on their original date.
In late March, the two first postponed their May nuptials to August 1st. “My wedding planner, Claire Bean Events, was able to get all of my vendors back, and it felt like a huge relief the second we made the decision; it was like a weight was lifted,” Maggie says. However, in the first week of July, they cancelled the whole event. “With the spikes in cases, it was clear restrictions were not going to be lifted—no dance floor or cocktail hour and spending so much money on a band to not dance and a photographer to have guests in masks did not make sense for us.”
Long before they decided not to set a third date, they did want to tie the knot on their original date in May. The couple preferred to get married in a church but were told two days prior that it wouldn’t be possible, so they went with their backup plan—the porch of her family’s home. “My uncle is a judge and was ready to go, when we gave him the word it would be at home,” Maggie says. “The porch is where my whole family comes together every night. Every time I’m on the porch, it’s a wonderful feeling looking back on taking my vows right there.”
Planning the wedding was fairly easy. That time in mid-May, restrictions were high, so the guest list was minimal. There was no food, as people were nervous about spreading germs, and drinks were carefully spread apart. As for the service, Claire Bean got Maggie a bouquet and helped her organize the timing of the ceremony, and the bride made a playlist, including the bridal march.
“I decided to NOT wear my wedding gown because it felt silly wearing it for only a handful of people to see at a “casual” wedding,” the bride explains. Instead, she ordered a $100 dress from Lulu’s, and Andrew wore slacks, a white button down, and blue blazer.
On Saturday, the bride and groom got ready in different parts of the home. Maggie’s sister was eight-months pregnant and didn’t feel one-hundred-percent comfortable with going inside the house, so Maggie put on some love songs and got dressed by herself, excited to say, “I do,” in a few moments.
Outside, her dad walked her down the aisle, where she saw members of her family for the first time in months. Then, she made it to Andrew. “We both cried tears of joy through our vows and just had an overwhelming sense of excitement,” Maggie says. “My heart was pounding, and my cheeks hurt from smiling.”
After being pronounced as a married couple, they walked through bubbles that their friends blew in their direction, took tons of pictures, and finally had a cocktail. As a surprise, a parade of cars—decorated with balloons and honking their horns—made their way around the u-turn driveway to celebrate the newlyweds.
Later, the couple went back inside for an intimate dinner with just the bride’s parents, and then one of Maggie’s bridesmaids hosted an outdoor after-party, where they drank, danced, and capped off the day.
Even though their wedding journey was a rollercoaster of emotions, the couple is relieved and “over-the-moon happy” that they got married on their original date. “I think that was the best decision we made in this whole process,” Maggie adds. However, there is a reality in having to cancel a big wedding. “While it was easier and faster to heal the second time around in postponing, it was still so disappointing. I feel like my time as a bride has been robbed. To any covid bride: Count your blessings, and stay full of hope! We have good things coming our way!”