GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For some people, your wedding day is something you spend months planning for, but what you never anticipate is a global pandemic.
With Valentine’s Day happening this weekend, we spoke to a West Michigan couple about their love story from their pre-pandemic engagement, to state mandates that changed their big day more than once.
“Everything really did come to a screeching halt, really quickly,” said Joseph Allen, who was forced to plan an outdoor wedding in November with his now wife Teigan.
“It was probably the best day you can ask for in November in Michigan,“
The two got engaged in February of 2019, just one month before the first lock down in Michigan halting their 200 person wedding at their dream venue.
“At that point that I feel like in the beginning, in March, just like everyone else I feel like we had no idea what we were in for,” Teigan said.
Not knowing what to expect, the newly engaged picked their November 21, 2020 wedding date.
“No matter what we wanted to be married, whatever that looks like we'll have to figure it out, and we knew that we were going to be up, up and down roller coaster ride for the next however long that was February until November. “
Through stay home orders, bans on indoor dining and limited gathering sizes, Teigan and Joseph pushed forward with their wedding plans hoping for the best, making adjustments along the way.
“So when it came down to the wire. things got shuffled around in a major way about two or three times in that final week before wedding,” Joseph said.
Days before their small wedding, the second lock down went into effect, meaning no venue.
As if that wasn’t enough, Teigan’s brother tested positive for COVID-19 the day before their intimate at-home wedding.
“It was plan wing it so I think at that point I was completely exhausted on making decisions, and I couldn't make one more decision. and so, Joe and my parents stepped in and stepped up and they figured out a backyard wedding outdoors, all over Zoom,” Teigan said.
200 of their closest family and friends still watched them tie the knot even their pastor officiated the wedding virtually.
“It turned out to be a great day and one that will always remember, once we were married we were like ‘wow we made it through this like all the changes of plans kind of the dashed hopes in some way’, but like the really fulfilled things and other ways and you know, we were married we were just so kind of overjoyed about that,” Joseph said.
Their message for any couple going through the stresses of planning a wedding during a pandemic, is that it’s not going to break you, only make your relationship stronger.
“There’s lots of moments where you need, we're gonna need grace for each other because you know frustrations are high but your relationship can come out stronger your marriage can come out stronger, and you guys can really run strongly together, knowing that you kind of conquered a bunch of different adversities,” Joseph said.