Michelle + Alex’s Covid Wedding
August 7, 2020
Our very own MaeMe Stylist, Michelle, opened up about her recent Covid wedding and overcoming the struggle of being a “COVID-19 bride”. Read how her wedding journey turned out to be even more magical than she ever could have imagined!
On the day we got engaged, Alex told me he was taking me to brunch at Ralph’s on the Park. I was thinking, “What is brunch because we had never done that before!” It was raining, so I was upset when he told me we had to park at City park and walk to Ralph’s (I also didn’t know that they offer valet parking). It was storming by the time we got to City Park, so Alex had to quickly improvise his plans. He handed me a large photo album titled “Our Adventure Book,” handmade to be identical to the Disney movie “Up”. In the book were pictures of our life together, including our putt-putt golf scorecard from our very first date! The last page was a picture of the City Park Peristyle, which is where we were currently parked. He took my hand and we ran through the rain to get under the peristyle, and he got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring ever! His coworker was hiding in the bushes to capture pictures of the whole thing! We were soaked, and we laughed, and then I got mad because we drove to Ralph’s after and I never needed to get wet in the first place! It was a beautiful, unforgettable moment!
Fun fact: Since I am a stylist at MaeMe, I actually tried on my dress for a social media post before I was even engaged… So yes, the whole world, including my fiance, saw me in my dress before the wedding.
I wanted my shopping experience to be extra special, so I booked a private, VIB appointment, which I would highly recommend! My co-worker and dear friend has been in the bridal industry for 15 years, is an absolute expert (she is our operations manager), and I knew that I wanted her to be my stylist! I originally only wanted my mother to be there with me, but she was nervous, so she invited both of my grandmothers, and then they felt that they needed someone young to take pictures, so my little cousin came as well.
It was so nice to receive all the pampering for a change… I arrived at the boutique to see personalized signage, bubbly, dresses pre-pulled, tasty treats… it was magical! During my appointment, I tried on a few gowns to show my family and have a fun time, but inside, I knew I needed to put on Mckenzie, and I immediately knew it was “the one”. My personality is more analytical than emotional, so I mostly just stared at myself in the mirror, smiled, and said “Yep, I’m good!” I did not cry, but I knew it was the one because I was comfortable, confident, and felt like myself, but as a bride of course. I ordered my gown in Ivory (our inventory piece is in the color honey), and since I chose a Martina Liana gown, I was able to add some custom changes, which is always really exciting! I lined the front bodice of my gown, so that it wasn’t sheer, but I did leave the side cut outs. I also ordered my dress in a custom length since I’m 4’11.” Once my gown arrived, I had The Alteration Shoppe close my deep plunge slightly for comfort. I wore my sister-in-law’s veil as my something borrowed. (It just so happened to be designed by the same designer as my dress!).
I wanted to look elegant and classy, but not over the top… Really, I wanted the entire wedding to be elegant and timeless. Our original plans were for our reception to be in a ballroom, but due to Covid regulations, we were unable to have our reception as planned. When we moved the reception to my parents’ backyard, it all became very special and intimate. Our family was incorporated throughout the entire reception. The decor company was able to incorporate florals from my great grandmother. I also wrapped a rosary and handkerchief from my great-grandmothers and grandmothers around my bouquet.
Another fun fact, my uncles stepped up and catered the entire reception! We’re from the bayou… so you know it was tasty!
Notes on being a COVID bride:
We decided long ago that we were getting married whether it was 2 people or 200 people. The marriage ceremony was the most important thing to us. We briefly considered changing the date, but most people we knew who were changing their dates ended up changing multiple times, and we knew we didn’t want to postpone our marriage that long. When the local officials started communicating the Covid wedding and events protocols, only 2 weeks before our wedding, we did have to make some last minute changes. Our reception venue was only allowing 50 people, masks had to be worn at all times, there was no music, no dancing, and no catering allowed! What a bummer! Our vendors were amazing and understanding, and we were able to receive most of our money back for the vendors we had to cancel. Our decorator and florist collaborated and created and intimate and magical venue in my parent’s backyard. We were required to wear masks in the church, and down the aisle, but I had my photographer capture special moments of us outside of the church, mask-less. We live streamed our ceremony to include all of our loved ones who weren’t able to attend. To be honest, a Covid wedding wasn’t easy to overcome as a bride on such a special day that you’ve dreamed about for so long, but Alex and I really tried to remember what was most important to us, being married to one another!
One of my favorite memories of the day was getting to watch my mom and dad relax on our swing at the end of the night and just enjoy each other’s company. In all of our pictures, they are holding hands, and seeing all those pictures reminds me of all the love that was in the air that special night. Growing up, I have always looked at my mom and dad and hoped for a relationship like theirs!
Everyone strives to have the “perfect wedding day,” and we all go through all this stress to make sure that everything is, in fact, perfect… but honestly, the perfect wedding day is getting to marry your best friend! My advice to future brides is to not over stress about the small details because the most important thing is getting to spend the rest of your life with your person. The color of the chairs may seem super important at the time, but when you look into the eyes of your special person as you say your vows, the whole world disappears and nothing else matters but the love you both share!
Any advice for brides who are also planning a Covid wedding?
Remember what is most important. Yes, a big party is what we all dream about, but the ceremony really is the most important thing. Don’t stress over everything that’s “going wrong”, instead, recognize all the things going right! Working in bridal has opened my eyes to the many different types of brides and celebrations and helping me not be so selfish in “missing out.” Many brides come in with their first choice as a small intimate ceremony, or they are eloping, maybe one of them is in the armed forces and it needs to be a super quick wedding because they are being deployed. There are so many different types of celebrations out there, and none of them are any less special than they should be. Now I’m a COVID Bride, I wouldn’t change my wedding day for the world because it is the day I got to become one with my favorite person!
I absolutely loved reading Michelle’s wedding day story! I hope you did, too! If you’d love to check out wedding dresses at MaeMe for your wedding day, click here to book your appointment!
Photographer: Peony Photography
Venue (ceremony): St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, Thibodaux, Louisiana
Venue (reception): My Parent’s House
Hair/Makeup: Logan Sapia
Florist: TPG (The Plant Gallery)
Decorator: Tah-Dah Events