July 25, 2021
Happy Sunday! And happy anniversary (1 day late) to Allison and Thomas! We’re so excited to share our first wedding that took place after Covid-19 hit. Allison and Thomas planned to get married in May at Meson Sabika in Naperville. At first it seemed May would not be affected by the virus but as time kept passing, we realized it was smart for them to push their wedding to a later date. The date that worked best for them and their families was mid-July! But even with July in mind, the state of events in Illinois were unsure. They began looking around for other options because they were so looking forward to marrying this year and starting their lives together.
After some research, Allison and Thomas found a gorgeous space called Centennial Park that was only about an hour from home in Indiana. There was a church nearby that could accommodate their group as well, it was meant to be! We quickly scrambled and adjusted all vendor contracts and plans to make sure everyone was comfortable and on board with the change of plans. And before we knew it, it was wedding day!
July 24, 2020 was a delightfully perfect day outside, with scattered clouds and a light cool breeze to offset that typical July heat. Allison, Thomas and their respective wedding parties all got ready at the hotel that was across the pond from the venue. Their first look was in the middle of a stretch of trees, all in privacy. Their wedding party came out to join for wedding party photos on the property. It was very convenient and one less need for group transportation!
They met their guests at Redeemer United Reformed Church for their ceremony. At the time, the church was brand new! They also included wonderful live stream video coverage so that guests from afar could still partake in their big day. The pastor, who was also Thomas’s dad, took the lead for the heartfelt yet traditional ceremony. Our favorite part was Allison’s mom and cousin sang a song and played piano that Allison’s Grandfather wrote for his wife, their Grandmother. It has only been sung at family weddings and is a traditional unlike any other.
After the “I Do’s” the guests headed outside to await a “grand exit” where Thomas and Allison hopped in a convertible car and were driven away! So much excitement knowing they were finally married and could now celebrate with all their friends and family.
Over at Centennial Park, guests could spatially cocktail in the hallway, reception space and even on a terrace that overlooked the water. After taking their seats, the wedding party was introduced, they cut the cake and had a delicious dinner with their loved ones to celebrate. We are so happy to have been part of such a joyous occasion, which seemed even more joyous after succumbing changes and forgoing the original wedding plan! I think we heard all the family say that “Plan B” was much better than they could have ever even imagined for “Plan A”.
A resounding ABSOLUTELY! We loved our first venue and it was definitely hard to let go of 9 months of anticipation, expectation, and planning that we would have our reception there, but at the end of the day we both agreed that 1) having as many of our loved ones present as possible on our wedding day and 2) having it sometime during summer 2020 were the two most important things to us and we were willing to let go of our previous expectations in order to make those two things happen. In the end, our unexpected Indiana wedding was better than anything I could have imagined! Throughout the whole day I kept saying “I can’t believe this was Plan C! Why wasn’t this Plan A all along?!” So much of wedding planning (especially during COVID) is about your attitude and although it did take me a while to “let go” of all our original plans, at the end of the day I reminded myself that I was marrying the love of my life and that was all that mattered!!
I do think our guests felt safe at our wedding! I think it is most important to always plan for your most safety-conscious guest, and then allow for all your guests to make their own decisions as they feel comfortable. The church we got married in seated 400 people so our 150 guests were able to spread out as much as they would like. My favorite safety recommendation was definitely personalized masks! My aunt so graciously made hand sewn masks for ALL of our guests so everyone felt fancy and festive!! (she even went with our wedding colors and embroidered our initials and the year onto each one!) We also handed out “COVID care-kits” which included the hand made masks, hand sanitizer, a cute travel size bar of soap and a lens wipe for anyone with glasses! Our ushers, my two younger brothers, wore gloves (but like the white fancy kind) to hang out the programs at the ceremony. Lastly, instead of a traditional guest book we had photos printed of us and laid out on a table. Guests were able to touch just one photo and sign the back with a message. We even had “new” and “used” pen bins for extra safety!
This was a small moment and not documented on photo or video, but one of my favorite moments of the day was driving to our reception from the church in my dad’s convertible with my sister and her fiancé! Thomas and I rode in the back and we got so many honks and smiles and cheers from people in their cars it was such a blast and a really special moment for just the four of us to remember 🙂
This is such a tough question!! Honestly I don’t think I could choose just one! I felt like I had a great connection with each vendor before the wedding and that was a huge blessing going into the big day! It’s so important to feel comfortable with your vendors and trust they will do a good job! One of the highlights was definitely getting emotional about my flowers when my florist brought them in! I didn’t expect to at all but my florist went above and beyond my expectations with her work and when she brought them in she was so genuinely excited for me I couldn’t help but tear up!!
Planner: Ohana Events
Photographer: Ramsden Photography
Church: Redeemer United Reformed Church
Venue/Catering: Centennial Park
Video: Anchored Films
Floral: English Garden Flower Shop
DJ: Impulse Entertainment
Hair/Makeup: Texture Pointe
Donuts: BB’s donuts
Hotel: Springhill Suites
Chair Rental: Satin Chair
Bridal Dress: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux
Rings: Moses Jewelers