“Let’s go back, back to the beginning…” But seriously, let’s go back to our engagement. Joe proposed last year over Memorial Day weekend. At the time, no one had heard of COVID-19 or could even imagine what was going to happen over the next 12+ months. We were excited, oblivious and so happy to start this wedding planning journey together.

We started planning a downtown Chicago wedding, sending out 350 "Save the Dates". Joe and I both come from HUGE families and it was always my dream to have a big wedding with all my friends and family there to celebrate.

As time when on and COVID became a big and then even bigger problem, we had multiple ZOOM calls with our parents. I was in denial for a while, thinking this virus would blow over and we could still have our big wedding in Chicago. The plan was to get ready at The Ritz-Carlton, where Joe proposed. We then would get married at Old St. Pat’s in the West Loop, which is a Catholic Church Joe’s family has been going to for decades. The reception was planned at Revel Fulton Market and we were so excited. I remember touring at the venue with my parents, sister, and Joe, and I got giddy and knew that was the place I wanted to celebrate marrying my best friend.

As we all know, the world had different plans.

After weeks of mulling it over, we decided to cancel our big wedding and plan a much smaller wedding in Chicago for the same date. Well, we didn’t really decide it, the City of Chicago decided for us. You legally couldn’t have more than 50 people gather inside, so it was a done deal. Joe and I knew we wanted to get married this summer, so come hell or high water, we were getting married on August 29th.

Then came Plan B. We planned a new wedding at The Ritz-Carlton for 50 people. We would still get married in the church and just go back to the hotel for a dinner and dancing reception with our closest friends and family. After a couple months of putting together the final touches on this wedding, the City of Chicago still wasn’t doing great with COVID numbers and a lot of the businesses in the downtown area were still closed due to the protests and looting. So we decided to pivot, again.

With 4 weeks until our wedding date, we put together Plan C, which was my family’s home in Northern Michigan. We could have all the events outside, people could social distance and Joe and I felt comfortable asking people to travel there since the numbers were extremely low and everyone could stay in individual cottages.

So that’s what we did! Two weeks ago, Joe and I got married in Northern Michigan and it was perfect. I’m going to share more once I get the professional photos back, but I wanted to share our story since I shared our engagement and a little bit about wedding #1.

Part of me will always be bummed we didn’t get that big wedding we dreamt about, but our story is also perfect because it’s ours. Things worked out in the end and I got to marry my best friend, which is what is most important. For other COVID brides, I feel for you and hopefully you’ll end up getting exactly what you wanted even if it’s different than what you'd imagined. At the end of the day, it’s in God’s hands and love conquers all.