RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Engaged couples across the country are reinventing their weddings, as the pandemic is forcing people to stay apart, even on one of the most special of days. Richmond newlyweds Ian and Danica Lovern just transformed their entire ceremony, streaming it on Instagram live to hundreds of their guests.
After a picture-perfect engagement last September, the pair solidified their big day for April 11. The ceremony was set for Blue Bee Cidery. All the vendors were booked and paid. Every detail was arranged with attentive care.
“Everything, down to even my engagement ring, has been very, very thoughtful,” said Danica, during a Zoom interview with NBC12, while still wearing her breathtaking wedding dress.
After the global pandemic forced Governor Ralph Northam to limit crowds to fewer than 10 people in March, Danica and Ian faced a painful decision.
"We canceled about two weeks ago,” she said. “In that short period of time, we had to figure out… how is it possible for us to still get married?”
So, with a bit of adjusting and letting go of the expected, Danica said they pivoted to a barebones ceremony of four people.
"It's been a really emotional two weeks,” she said.
Ian and Danica created their alter at the top of Libby Hill Park, a block away from their apartment, picking the spot the night before. After waiting for a truck to clear out, Danica made her way to Ian and their reverend, while a favorite love song played from Ian’s cell phone. The pair pledged their vows, streaming the nuptials for nearly 300 of their closest family and friends (and probably some random viewers) on Instagram live.
“Yesterday, my mom did a test run on Instagram,” Danica said. “I think a lot of (our guests) understand that we did this for their well-being, as well as their loved ones and their loved ones, and so on.”
Champagne toasts, first dances and wedding photos were taken at the most familiar of places, the couple’s apartment.
“I think this is the best thing we could have imagined,” said Danica. “At the end of the day, it’s about the love and the celebration of your relationship and partnership that you have with that person... and whether there’s 500 people or two people there to celebrate with you, that’s what important.”
Danica and Ian said all of their vendors were also very accommodating, offering to adjust in any way they could or refund their money.
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