The Way it Was Meant To Be

PHOTOS BY Jaime Emfinger—Truphotography
PHOTOS BY Jaime Emfinger—Truphotography

Being a bride in the year 2020 was definitely unforgettable. As a young girl, you dream of having the most elaborate, beautiful wedding, with a great number of family and friends there to witness one of the most memorable days of your life. For us, that all drastically changed in a matter of months.

Our love story began in the summer of 2015. There was something about that southern drawl, and I just couldn’t steer myself away. I grew up in the city and loved the night life of Dallas and Fort Worth. There are some pretty nice gentlemen in DFW, but there’s just something about a “good ole country boy” that makes your heart skip a beat. Plus, Mama was his biggest fan, and she still is to this day. You know you’ve got a good one when the entire family asks more about your husband than they do you.

Josh and I were engaged in February 2019. We were more than ready to begin a new chapter of our lives and celebrate our love with all those we adore. Josh and I decided on having a destination wedding, but wanted to keep it in the United States. We love the mountains and thought, “there is no better mountain destination than Colorado.” We toured three different venues in June and fell in love with one in particular. From then on, it was go time. We chose July for the wedding date, and I was excited to be getting married in the year 2020. It just felt like it was going to be THE year for all that is good. I was ecstatic! It was finally my turn to feel all the excitement of being a bride! From the bridal showers to the bachelorette party, I was ready and pumped!

I always knew weddings were super expensive, but no one ever tells you how much time and energy it takes to plan your own wedding. I grew up loving movies like Father of the Bride and My Best Friend’s Wedding. The brides always looked so relaxed and carefree. I didn’t feel that at all. At the end of summer 2019, Josh could tell I was feeling overwhelmed about everything that needed to be done. One thing he knows is that I don’t do well under pressure. He quickly helped me realize hiring a wedding planner may be what I needed. To save our sanity, mostly mine, we hired a wedding planner. Finally, I could again feel all the excitement of being a bride. One of the best feelings is finding your dress and saying “YES” to the dress!

Things quickly got moving in the fall of 2019. One of my bridesmaids hosted the most beautiful ornament/holiday shower for me during Christmas. It was wonderful! I couldn’t wait for more of the festivities coming in 2020. Once January rolled around, I started to get anxious. “We’re getting married this summer, in only 6 months!”

Then the world stopped… a worldwide shutdown. A global pandemic had overtaken the planet. At first I thought, “No way! How is anything like this still possible? Is this a joke?” Working from home became the new normal, and Zoom classes and meetings were an everyday occurrence. It was difficult, and the worst part was in our heads, “Surely this won’t last long. We’ve got a wedding to finish planning. We’re getting married in four months!”

PHOTOS BY Jaime Emfinger—Truphotography

I frequently received messages from our friends and family asking if the wedding was still happening. I had no idea, but my mind and my heart were hopeful. My planner and I kept up to date with each other, but she was wading through the same uncharted territory I was. It was a waiting game.

I kept hearing about late spring weddings getting canceled or postponed, and a sense of panic came over me each time. I prayed and tried to stay positive because that’s all I could do. With each month that passed, I felt a multitude of emotions. I went from crying “ugly tears” to being frustrated with the whole situation. COVID-19 was stealing every ounce of happiness from what was supposed to be the best day of our lives. There was a time when I started giving up hope. I realized I had no control, and there was nothing I could do to change any situation.

We were also learning that the Texas regulations and protocols were different from those in Colorado. As the date drew near, what was allowed in Texas was not allowed in Colorado. So, with only two months until the big day, we realized we had to make a decision, and we had to make it quick. I wanted to wait; I wanted it all to disappear so our dream wedding could happen. Finally, a little over a month before the wedding date, we decided to postpone until July 2021. Even though we were devastated, we recognized we are extremely lucky to have each other and to be healthy. Our dream wedding was not out of sight, just put on hold.

When August rolled around, I noticed a lot of couples were eloping or minimizing their dream wedding into a much smaller event with fewer family and friends. It inspired us to consider options. Waiting a whole year felt so far away, and we were ready to get married, even if it meant some sacrifice. Navigating restrictions and COVID-19 protocols was overwhelming, but this time it was worse because without a wedding planner, it was all on me. Fortunately, I have the best family in the world. They were definitely not going to watch this bride fall apart. My mom and cousin, who is my Maid of Honor, quickly came to my rescue and helped with as much as they could. I am ever so grateful for their love and support.

We decided on a special date in October that meant a lot to both of us, however I was in full panic mode trying to secure all the potential vendors for our date. I was on the hunt everyday while still managing my nine to ten hour a day job. Every day I wondered if we could really pull it off. Was our small COVID wedding actually going to happen?

On October 17, 2020, two finally became one when we were married in front of our closest family members. It was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Even though we couldn’t invite any of our friends, including our bridal party, we still had 30 of the most important people in our lives there to witness our perfect day. We are more than thankful to all the vendors and family who helped make it possible. From the balloons to the mariachi band, to the flowers and food truck, all of it was beautiful. We added a few personal touches with our corn hole boards and Jenga blocks for an intimate, backyard, feel-good wedding.

The best part is, we are still planning for our big, beautiful mountain destination wedding to be held this July. It will look a little different from what we originally planned, but we couldn’t be happier or more excited to finally celebrate with all the family and friends we originally intended to have. As we still experience restrictions with the pandemic, I want to encourage all the 2020 and 2021 brides—our day may not have been what we initially envisioned, but it will always be a beautiful memory we’ll share forever. What a year to have lived. It’s the way it was meant to be. 


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