We’re having a COVID wedding!

It’s actually happening. Our son is getting married. In front of people.

After one thousand nine hundred and thirteen changes, my son is getting married on Saturday. (Well, maybe not that many changes, but it sure felt like it.) I didn’t think I’d even have time to write a blog this week, but I’m so nostalgic, I’m not capable of doing anything else right now. So here we go.

I have poured over baby pictures (well, 26-years-of-life-pictures), wept appropriately, and framed some new ones. I have chosen a hundred (I was aiming for 50, but there are not just 50 cute pictures of my kid growing up) and sent that 100 pictures with 100 pictures from his fiancée (who also couldn’t settle on only 50) to a handy-dandy media friend who has turned them into a heart-wrenching slide show for the rehearsal dinner.

I sent him the music from my Rehearsal Dinner playlist (yes, be impressed with me), and four of the songs went onto the slide show. When I watched it, I wept uncontrollably for at least 5 minutes. I’m going to watch it again tonight so I can attempt to acclimatize myself to its power. Otherwise, I’ll be a mess on Friday night (not to mention Saturday).

Twenty-six years, from beautiful baby to successful man.

How does this happen?

It’s every parent’s question. In preparation for Saturday’s extreme heat and extreme emotion, I have purchased large white handkerchiefs for the parents and groomsmen. I expect the parents will use them for tears and the groomsmen will wipe their foreheads with them. A few tissues are just not going to suffice.

So, we’re having excitement over throwing two big parties in honor of our kids. We have nostalgia over children who grew up too fast and parents who died too young to enjoy this day. I’ll be wearing jewelry from my mother and my grandmother this weekend. They will attend the wedding in my heart. We have sadness over the number of loved ones who can’t attend due to COVID-related concerns. We miss them now more than ever.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying on dresses, shoes, and garments that cinch. I have returned an even larger number of those things to the stores, once they re-opened. I have gotten a manicure and pedicure, thanks to my mother-in-law. (I never do this on my own.) I have dieted. Some of the time. At least I have this week.

I have made a billion phone calls and cut a billion flowers. It feels like I’ve spend a billion dollars.

It doesn’t matter. We have a wedding in two days.

We are feeling relief that the dark clouds of COVID will hover no longer. We have not been shut down. We will hand out face masks and distance as much as possible. But we will eat our steak dinners and social distance on the dance floor, and we will revel in the gathering, no matter how complicated it proves to be.

My son and future daughter-in-law (and her parents) are champions. They have planned two entirely different weddings for this date. We had to re-book:

  • Chapel venue
  • Reception venue
  • Caterer
  • Photographer
  • Make-up artists
  • Hair stylists
  • Pianist
  • Florist
  • Cake vendor
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Honeymoon location & travel plans
  • First-night hotel
  • Girls’ Bachelorette weekend
  • Guys’ Bachelor party
  • Rehearsal dinner venue
  • Rehearsal dinner caterer

Only the D.J. and videographer stayed the same. But compared to the spring and early summer weddings who were limited to 10 or 50 people, a masked wedding isn’t all that bad.

And because of the venue change, we are now having an outside wedding in Virginia in August. It was 100 degrees this week. Wedding clothes are heavy, People will be wearing masks. Let that sink in.

The venue is covered, and there’s a breeze that blows through the pavilion (they promised!) so hopefully, it will be okay. I bought 2 giant fans from Lowes yesterday. I’m plugging in those plus 2 oscillating fans so we don’t all melt in the 30 minutes that we are outside.

Then into the air conditioning for food and party! (Except for people in pictures.)

Restrictions remind us how liberating physical contact is, don’t they? Lately—and it must be from my Little House on the Prairie infatuation when I was young—but I keep thinking about pioneers on the American prairie. I identify with their delight over barn-raising, quilting bees, and barn-dancing. Prairie families felt isolated, and when they finally could get together, they enjoyed deep and meaningful friendships. They valued the rare gift of coming together. Anything could be a celebration.

Just what a wedding calls for, in COVID season or any other. We are blessed. We are excited. We are not nervous about the wedding going perfectly. We have already survived six months of constant, heart-breaking changes. It’s all going to be wonderful! We’re having a wedding during a pandemic, and people are actually allowed to attend!

Saturday is all about celebrating the joining of two lives. The rest of the details don’t matter so much.

If you’re interested in any COVID- or wedding-related prayers or articles, see below: