REAL WEDDING: A WEDDING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
7th July 2020
If there is one thing that my work as a wedding planner confirms to me every day, it is that love is a feeling so strong that it knows no obstacles. After months of lockdown, nobody would have bet on the feasibility of a wedding with loved ones in June but there are those who have never stopped believing in it. Today I want to tell you about the real wedding of Andrea and Silvia: an italian and courageous couple who, despite the little reassuring premises due to the pandemic in progress, managed to fulfill their dream of love with an emotional wedding in Abruzzo.
CONCEPT & DESIGN OF LOVE
Andrea and Silvia fell in love eight years ago during their Erasmus in Seville and since then, they have become inseparable. They traveled a lot sharing work experiences in different countries until they decided to return to Italy to settle in Abruzzo, the Andrea's birthplace. I met them last summer, they had just confirmed the venue for June 7th, 2020 and although they already knew that theirs was going to be a "Love" themed wedding, some planning issues were coming across.
In order to move forward, it was necessary to develop the "concept" akin to the couple. Starting from the chosen theme, season and venue, I created some inspirational moodboards through which future spouses could easily identify their favorite style and color palette. A romantic dream wedding was envisaged with shades from white to burgundy, passing through blush pink with a spring salmon touch. Within a few months we selected the most suitable vendors to achieve what desired and we were ready to realize the "design" but here we are soon catapulted into an improbable reality: stuck in our houses in full lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
CHANGE OF PLANS
What had to be a dream wedding was starting to become a challenge to crown the love of Andrea and Silvia.
When in Italy the pandemic seemed to subside, wedding celebrations were again allowed, but only the spouses, the witnesses and the celebrant could take part. The conditions to tie the knot were not the best and we began to reschedule the wedding imagining any scenario.
Andrea and Silvia wanted their religious ceremony under any conditions and so, if the restrictions had not changed, we had decided to replicate it with a symbolic one, which would be followed by the traditional wedding banquet, when the receptions with guests would have been allowed again. At best, the wedding would take place in June in compliance with the new restrictions to get married in total safety and fortunately, so it was at last. Although the first idea was that of a colorful fairytale wedding, the sudden pandemic gave priority to the most important values. My future spouses chose that they would celebrate discreetly and their best day soon turned into a romantic minimal wedding where love would matter more than anything else.
7TH JUNE 2020: i DO
Wake up early, Silvia has barely slept four hours, Andrea has not slept a wink. The emotion is palpable but it is time to get ready for a beautiful day to remember. Classic and elegant look for both in perfect romantic style. Silvia chose a sumptuous white wedding dress with a lace bodice, the texture of which was partially reproduced on the sleeves and on the wide tulle skirt. The delicate make-up in warm colors to enhance the bride's deep gaze and the soft curls gathered, were made by my trusted make-up artist and hair stylist.
Andrea, on the other hand, opted for a blue and medium tight in silk shantung combined with damask waistcoats and lavallière. Despite the "Love" theme, the future spouses excluded the possibility of wearing shades of burgundy and pink, without exception for the bouquet and the boutonnière, both strictly in total white.
In the meantime, the floral designer and I are fixing the final details in the church. As a backdrop to the entrance, there is a lush floral festoon that adorns the handrail of the central staircase. Floral arrangements on crystal risers have been positioned in correspondence with the kneeler for the bride and groom while lower decorations are on the steps leading to the altar. Everything is finally ready, guests arrive with the groom and we can't wait to see the bride!
While waiting for the start of the ceremony, I am used to coordinate the wedding procession but this time the anti-Covid-19 security protocols have even changed the tradition: Andrea and Silvia have chosen to make their entrance together and without mask as already cohabiting. If they had chosen to enter accompanied by a parent, they would have had to wear it and photographers would have been unable to capture the unrepeatable expression of their faces during the bride's entrance. While we await the arrival of Silvia, I coordinate the gradual entry of the guests who are led to their positions by the volunteers present in the church. Distance of one meter and obligatory face mask for all as per protocol.
Relatives and friends are settled, meanwhile the groom is alone at the entrance and I keep him company. Within a few minutes Silvia arrives and greets her Andrea. Shortly thereafter, the most exciting moment: at the first notes of the wedding march, the groom lifts the veil of his better half and they cross the nave greeted by a hearty applause. An applause for the love and courage of a loving couple who, despite the adverse pandemic, has never stopped having faith as Don Lorenzo will later point out.
COVID-19 PROOF RECEPTION
Andrea and Silvia have officially become husband and wife and everything is ready to welcome them with their guests at the venue. But how to celebrate in the time of Covid-19? The goal was to organize a wedding banquet in compliance with the security protocols issued but in a festive atmosphere as far as possible. It was therefore essential to find a meeting point between the wishes of the future spouses and the restrictions in force by preparing an anti Covid-19 plan: few but rigid indications to follow so that you could celebrate in total safety.
In collaboration with the staff of the venue, we coordinated the gradual entry of the guests into the interior spaces: although it would have been optimal to prefer the use of the outdoor space, the reduced number of guests made social distancing possible indoor. To avoid gatherings I thought it appropriate to opt for the list entry rather than exhibiting the traditional tableau de mariage; in the same way dances and any type of buffet were avoided, replaced by table service for the whole lunch.
Waiting for the newlyweds on location, we are all there: equipped with a face mask and on the notes of "Con te partirò", we see them going down the fairytale staircase in the green garden with sea view. The banquet can finally begin and the sessions of each table have been scrupulously arranged one meter away from each other so as to guarantee the social distancing between the guests even during lunch.
Romantic floral centerpieces evoke the shades of love and give a touch of color to the mise en place together with elegant personalized placeholder menus. Exciting moments interspersed the output of the courses: the poetry of the groom's father who retraced the love story of Andrea and Silvia or the romantic dance of the newlyweds and the traditional toast with the cutting the cake in "Love" theme.
2020 will see many other courageous couples getting married while the current restrictions will gradually change according to the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let's forget about the typical wedding celebrations for a while and give space to the most important values: this year getting married will have an even deeper meaning and for many future spouses it will only count to celebrate their love surrounded by the affection of their loved ones.
NEW: In support of couples who will not give up on marriage in 2020, we have created the "Wedding anti Covid-19". A service that will help you to reschedule the wedding in all its aspects and to prepare a plan for the day which will be entirely coordinated by Noemi so that you can celebrate safely.