The months before Ciera & Bruce’s wedding were some of the most overwhelming and stressful in most of her life. She felt like she didn’t even recognize her own wedding plans and was grieving the wedding the wedding that she had dreamed of. Ironically, the wedding ended up exactly what they would have wanted.
They loved their more intimate setting and that they could be fully present in the day. During their little dinner reception, nearly everyone in their families did a speech or toast, sharing funny inside jokes and teary gratitude that they had found each other. These beautiful moments, of which were Ciera’s favorite from the day, wouldn’t have happened in their original big reception. It really ended up being a perfect day for them.
In Ciera’s brother’s speech, he added a quote from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that just really summed it up.
Ginny – “Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on.”
Harry – “Maybe that’s the best reason to have it. Because of everything that’s going on.”
What made you decide to not postpone your original wedding plans, but keep your wedding date & make it smaller?“We felt from very early on that we wanted to get married on our intended day no matter what. The important part of the event was marrying each other and that was what we kept as our compass. Early on in April, before we even knew the pandemic would affect our wedding, Bruce’s Dad (who was unable to travel to our wedding) had encouraged us to still proceed with the ceremony as best we could. He said that terrible things have happened in history and people still got married. His blessing meant so much to us and helped us proceed with our date. While we considered postponing our full wedding plan, we felt that we didn’t know when life would be “normal” and that felt uneasy to us. Of course, everyone’s opinion is different but this was how we coped and adjusted our plans.:
Are you happy with that decision?“1000%! It was the perfect, intimate wedding we didn’t know we needed/wanted. Our wedding, to us, will forever be the light in a dark time. The skills and strength we used as a team to get thru wedding planning in a pandemic are resources we can tap into later in our relationship when we come across challenging times. There were many of times I cried about the “dream wedding” that felt stolen from us and all the planning and replanning that was required. Bruce was so supportive. On our wedding day, we felt such JOY that we had each other and were getting married…it was the best decision for us that we got married when we did.I also would like to say we had wonderful vendors that did what they could to make the process easier on us.”
What advice would you give to other couples that are trying to figure out what to do about their upcoming wedding?
“I’d say for you and your future husband to make the decision. Everyone is going to have thoughts and opinions, which you can absolutely put into consideration, but Ultimately, it is your day! Wedding etiquette and traditions are out the window, so you can make the best decision for YOU. Whether that means waiting to have your large gathering, eloping in the desert, or a backyard wedding, there isn’t a right way or one way to do it. I’d also recommend making a decision and sticking with it. By making the decision to proceed with our July intimate wedding in early May, we had time to find a livestream vendor and send our guests Wedding Care Packages. Having time to replan was a huge benefit to us.
When our plans changed, I tried to add some sugar to our lemonade. I had wanted to do carved name tags originally, but for a 200 person wedding it wasn’t a cost I could justify. For 16 person wedding in a pandemic – I think I can give myself that joy of costly name tags! I also bought our guest book puzzle prior to our new wedding plan. I wanted to still incorporate it and feel like our original guests were ‘there’. It’s okay to have some fun with the new plans. It might not be the wedding you envisioned, but you can add elements to your new wedding that you couldn’t have before.”
Photographer: Lisette OC Photography
Venue: Private Residence
Florist: Kevin Reeder Wedding Flowers
Linens: Create A Party Rentals
Bridal Gown: WToo from Love and Lace Bridal Salon
Bridal Beauty: Divine Bridal Beauty;
Menswear: Friar Tux
Catering: Craftsman Catering
Wedding Cake: Pacific Patisserie
Invitations: Pop Fizzle Gifts
Jewelry: Costco; Manly Bands
Videography: Storytime Motions
Crystal and Joey’s original plan was to have their wedding at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego July 4, 2020. They had already postponed it once before and were determined to make it happen this time. With so many of their guests being from out of town, they decided instead to host their wedding virtually from their home to keep everyone safe. They had most of the traditional elements of any wedding, a short, but sweet ceremony exchanging vows, first dance and cake cutting. However, they had to make a few adjustments to make things work. Their wedding arch was made out of a squat rack decorated by the bride with flowers. Crystal had a dress reveal with her bridesmaids, her mother and the mother of the groom by zoom. Speeches from the bride’s family, the grooms family, Matron of Honor and the two co- Best Men had to be pre-recorded.
After the live event concluded, they took pictures on their property outside and with their handsome dog, Kudo. Having Kudo running around was one of their favorite parts during their virtual wedding. He dressed in his best fur, and totally stole the show! They had a really fun time and were truly able to capture and share their love with their families and friends.
We asked Crystal and Joey if they were happy with their decision to have a virtual wedding.
“Yes, we are very happy with our decision! Most of our guests were traveling internationally, as well as from the east coast, and with border closures, this way we could include everyone from a safe distance, ensuring zero health risks for all. At the end of the day, we considered that the main point of getting married is to celebrate our love for one another, regardless of life’s obstacles or challenges.”
Here’s their advice for any couples out their considering switching to a virtual wedding:
“The advice that we would give a couple who is considering a virtual wedding, is to remember that the day is about you two and your love. Nothing will be perfect, apart from the moment you celebrate your love for each other, wherever that may be. We felt as though we would feel lonely having a virtual wedding, but we learned that it turned out to be quite the opposite. We got to invite 5 times the amount of guests that our original venue could occupy. We also felt that the virtual wedding allowed the camera crew to get different angles and close ups to make it feel much more intimate, and give every guest a front row seat – kind of like a basketball, sometimes sitting at home on your couch watching the big screen is much better than being stuck in the nosebleeds, not knowing what the score is.”
Venue: Private Residence
Photographer & Videographer: Stockham Media
Bridal Gown: Enzoani from The Bustle
Menswear: Men’s Warehouse
Wedding Cake: Jessie’s Bake Shop
Jewelry: CMR Jewelers