Stories collected for our Resource Centers

Marriage in the Time of COVID

Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2021

It felt like the universe was conspiring against my marriage. Usually I take hardship in stride; however, this began to feel personal. When I first heard of Coronavirus, I ignored it. It was far away and irrelevant.

The virus seemed to want to prove me wrong.

In early March, with six weeks until the wedding, planning was going great: our venue looked amazing, our food was planned, my fiancée’s family had their travel plans, a family member was going to perform the ceremony. It was what we had dreamed of.

Then my university announced it was cancelling classes. Then our church suspended in-person meetings. We started to hear stories of travel being cancelled. Now I was worried. The worst part was having no idea what was going on or what to do. Do we send the invitations? Could we still have a reception? Where would we get enough hand sanitizer for the 200 people on our guest list? It was already being sold for $50 a bottle on Amazon.

There were dozens of questions with no answers. Move the ceremony forward? Move it back? Were we threatening our grandparents’ lives? Do we do the reception in waves? Do we cancel the big venue because we can’t have a large gathering? Will we ruin existing travel plans? Will we have a place to live if we move it forward? Or was everyone over-reacting, and we’d be fine in six weeks?

After working out which of the bad options were best, we decided to move our wedding forward three weeks to March 28. This meant cancelling honeymoon plans and rushing to get as much done as we could. Things were looking good, in spite of the (minor) disappointment of losing our ideal wedding.

The next weeks weren’t encouraging. The family member who was going to perform the ceremony had congenital heart failure and became deathly ill. Some of my fiancée’s siblings weren’t able to make the new date. We also wondered if travel restrictions would keep her parents from joining us, as they lived a few states away. Nothing was going right, and the questions kept piling up.

The week of the wedding arrived but Corona wasn’t done with us yet. Less than 72 hours before our wedding ceremony, we received a call that all Latter-Day Saint Temples were closing. We weren’t getting married, at least not in a way that remotely resembled our hopes.

March 25th, the wedding three days away, everyone started texting and calling to ask what we were going to do. Again, we had 0 answers, but amidst all of those questions, only one thing was clear: I wanted to marry this girl. And the universe wasn’t going to stop that.

We decided to keep the date and to have a small ceremony near where I proposed. My mom didn’t get the “small” memo, and built me the first (outside of Vegas anyway) drive-in wedding. We live-streamed the whole thing on Facebook.

It was not the wedding I expected, but I don’t regret it for a second. My wife and my marriage are worth it. And now we have a baby due one week before our year anniversary. It really has been a great adventure. I love my family.

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