This is one of my all-time favorite wedding stories!! Maybe because it’s my little brother and new sister-in-law, but also maybe because it was one of those instances of people pulling together and a love that would not, could not be stopped.
Seth & Heidi were looking forward to being married on Saturday, April 4th. With COVID encroaching further and further on their plans, the wedding had gone from a 150-person reception at Ft. Belvoir, to a 25-person dinner at my parents’ home, to 10 people at my parents’ home.
And then at 2pm on Monday, March 30, the Virginia governor announced in a press conference that, as of 8pm THAT NIGHT, a stay-at-home order would come into effect.
Cool. Cool cool cool. Everybody stay calm.
I got a call from Heidi at 2:19pm letting me know that, due to the new restrictions, they weren’t sure if Heidi parents would be able to cross into VA from MD in order to attend the wedding on Saturday. So instead, they were going to get married that day. At 6:30pm. YESSS!!!
We jumped into action- Heidi was on her way to the bridal salon to pick up her dress and they were furiously working to finish her alterations in the next hour. I called Holly Chapple to ask if there was any chance she had enough flowers at the farm to make a bouquet and boutonniere, and was overjoyed that she said yes!! “This is so hopeful! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited!” She had an hour and a half until we needed to pick up. Challenge accepted.
My Dad called over to McCormick & Schmick to ask about having meals delivered for the families, and Jim + Ryan didn’t miss a beat. They even brought along some of the restaurant’s dine-in rolled silverware + dinnerware to make sure we didn’t have to stress over dishes.
Heidi left a voicemail with the baker, Edible’s Incredible Desserts, but had little hope of hearing back as they were closed on Mondays… and yet the owner, Alan, walked into my parents’ kitchen at 5:15 that evening with a cake in hand, clad in an N-95. (As if we weren’t already sold on Edible’s, seeing as they did Matt & I’s wedding cake, too!)
I called my second shooter, Lauren, and asked if there was ANY way she might be willing to come help me shoot the ceremony. She didn’t hesitate- making quick plans for her two kiddos, she was in the car a short while later driving out to Herndon. Lauren, you’re a treasure.
Seth made his way to my parents’ home and started getting dressed, hyped up in his very-Seth way and offering to help out in any way he could while my Dad mowed the lawn and their neighbor Al mulched the flower beds. It was quite literally all hands on deck!
Heidi made it just before 6pm, and we cleared out the main level so her mama could help her into her gown. She was calmer than anyone had a right to be, one of the things my family loves so much about her- cool in any situation. After stepping into her dainty flats, donning her earrings, and placing her veil, she took a breath, and we called Seth downstairs.
All of the chaos of the last few weeks seemed to vanish when he saw her. Nothing else mattered anymore- not the altered plans, not the stay at home order, not the small guest list. Seth & Heidi were going to be husband and wife, and that, THAT was why we were all there.
A few minutes later, everyone took their places at the front of the house in full view of Elden Street, and as they promised forever, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, onlookers cheered and passing cars honked. This was a JOYFUL occasion in the midst of so much difficulty, a bright spot in the midst of a dark season.
Seth & Heidi, it was the privilege of a lifetime to capture your wedding. I can’t imagine being anywhere else, and the way events unfolded still makes my heart burst with joy! Your marriage is a blessing to you both and to our family, and we’re excited to support you both in the years to come- I love you two so much!!