While spending 2019 engaged and beginning to plan the wedding she had envisioned since she was a child, Annette Vaul took on 2020 with excitement and ready to finish up planning her wedding for June to Stuart Vaul, her fiance.
“I was planning my fairytale wedding when it all took a different path because of the lockdown and covid. Our date was in June so I was holding out through April, but when things weren’t looking to get better I had to start figuring out other options,” Annette Vaul said.
In mid-april she changed her course of action. The uncertainty of the global pandemic was effecting everyone around the world at this time. Contracts and agreements between vendors and the venue took on the battle of getting money back or rescheduling to a later date that the wedding could be held. It was an unprecedented situation and there were no clauses in the contracts suited for wedding couples or to protect vendors or venues.
“We lost about $5000 of the money we had put into our venue when we decided to postpone our wedding. We didn't have an idea of what we were going to do at that point, so it was either reschedule for next year or lose the money. I knew I didn’t want to get married next year.”
She knew for certain they wanted to get married in 2020. The couple both thought that maybe towards the end of the year, covid-19 might be in a better state.
“Looking into alternative options was heart breaking and sad for me. Everything was up in the air and stressful. I had to go back to the drawing board basically and this time consider protocol for COVID-19 into my plans no matter what I chose to do.”
They decided to both brainstorm any important dates in the later months of the year. Things started to look better, they decided on the day they originally started dating November 8th. They dated for seven years before their engagement. While chronic health obstacles took place in those years for Annette, Stuart was always there for her through it all. Those seven years strengthened their bond and love for one another.
“I knew Stuart was the one in my heart I wanted to be with forever. He cared for me in my sickness and stuck around through it all by my side in serious health problems. His kindness for others really stood out through out are relationship. It all started on November 8th, so what better day to pick later in the year” Annette said.
From their it was all about rescheduling vendors and solidifying a new venue and cutting down on the 150 guest list. The new covid precautions limited the number of guest that could attend per the venue capacity. After searching for a new venue for the next couple months and monitoring how COVID-19 was impacting the world, they found a venue in Austin, TX.
“We found The Oasis in Austin, TX overlooking Lake Travis and it was a different version that what I originally had planned, but I loved the views and the potential pictures I would be able to get. I limited my guest list down to 75 including the vendors. I got masks for the wedding party and arranged the seating chart for the tables based on who I knew was family and had been together in there own covid bubble,” Annette said.
Making preparations and having to make revisions to her original plan led to stressful weeks, wondering if it was all going to be able to happen, and the couple leaning on each other. The couple had a back up plan to elope and celebrate with friends and family when it was safer to do so. This back up plan came about in June when they attended another wedding.
“It was a lot of prep work and time, but we wanted to make sure that everyone was safe as we had attended a wedding in June and contracted COVID for almost a month and half. We both quarantined for 14 days and passed that as we were still not well after those days. We both thankfully had each other and helped each other out as best we could,” Annette said.
Making it through COVID together and having to replan of their dream wedding ended up making them stronger in there relationship. Though they had to postpone everything til later in the year, everything fell into place on their wedding day.
“Our wedding was still a special moment in the time of covid. Everything that day after I walked down the isle felt special to me. It was just about us. I had the people that mattered most to us there,” Annette said.
No matter what day or how many people show up or don’t, it is about the love they share and commitment to build a life together full of love and happiness. Getting married is a joyous thing, during the time of COVID it is bringing some joy and hope back into the world as love lights the way.
Weddings hit an all time low since 2018, but there is still over a million couples that have followed through with getting married in this covid era.
The wedding industry hit a low in 2020 due to COVID-19. They are expected to be back on trend in 2021 with 41.5% already having moved thier date.
Covid precautions for weddings require face masks and social distancing as well as limted seating at recpetion tables. The arrangement of where everyone is seated at tables or chairs in a given space has to abide by social distancing regulations. In addition, couples are now providing masks for the wedding party.
This couple chose to have a drive-in movie theather wedding to celebrate their marriage with family and friends in a small safe way.