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.
Rachel Silverman and Daniel Guillory were eagerly awaiting their October wedding at the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Virginia when COVID-19 escalated into a global pandemic. After careful consideration, the couple pivoted their wedding plans to better comply with CDC recommendations. “We did not feel comfortable hosting an event with our families given the current conditions at that time. Ultimately, we felt tremendous guilt if someone were to contract COVID from our wedding and decided to move forward with getting married on our original day with a smaller group,” Rachel explains.
Curtailing the guest list from 100 people to 25 members of their immediate families, Rachel and Daniel started organizing their micro-wedding in August 2020. “We plan to reschedule our reception for a future date,” Rachel mentions before adding, “Maybe a one-year anniversary party!”
The planning process was a remarkable contrast from the whirlwind of the pandemic. Rachel admits, “It was pretty smooth, actually!” The Goodstone Inn was accommodating. Plus, the couple’s wedding planner Tricia McLister had actually gotten married at the same venue for her own 2020 wedding. Rachel insists, “It definitely helped to have her guidance planning our wedding.”
Everything fell into place for this Virginia micro-wedding—even the bride’s dress! Her comfortable Jenny Yoo “Piper” gown was the first and last dress she tried on. She paired this with light blue Stuart Weitzman heels and borrowed vintage jewelry from her soon-to-be mother-in-law and mother. Georgetown Bride styled Rachel’s makeup to reflect her natural, everyday beauty.
The groom and groomsmen donned suits from Georgetown Custom Clothiers, while the bridesmaid selected their own unique gowns. “I wanted them to pick something that flattered their body and something they could wear again,” Rachel says. Each bridesmaid chose a dress in different shades of blue.
On October 17, 2020, Rachel and Daniel were married by the owner of their favorite local bar, Chadwick’s in Old Town Alexandria. Asking Trae Lamond to officiate was the first decision the couple even made about their wedding. “We didn’t want a religious ceremony or have a stranger marry us,” Rachel mentions. “Our ‘love story’ began at Chadwick’s, and Trae has become a friend of ours. He also watched us grow from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend to, now, husband and wife.” The ensuing ceremony was the right amount of funny, personal, and touching.
The newlyweds joined their guests for cocktail hour, featuring signature drinks like Aperol Spritzes and Sazeracs. The passed Goodstone Inn hors d’oeuvres included mini chicken and waffles, crab cakes, and Caprese salad skewers. The beautiful florals were arranged by Enchanted Florist.
The first dances commenced poolside, followed by the cutting of their Sweets by E cake. Guests sat down for dinner and enjoyed heartfelt speeches from Rachel’s father, the maid of honor, and the best man. Because the small wedding party was staying at the inn, the festivities continued late into the evening.
Reflecting on her micro-wedding, Rachel can’t help but gush. “Now I can’t even imagine having done our wedding any differently. It was perfect in every way!” she says. “I feel fortunate that we were able to celebrate with some of our closest family and friends.” Rachel empathizes with the couples who had to change their original plans, but she encourages them to remember the bigger picture. “At the end of the day,” she says, “the most important thing is that you are marrying your partner.”