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17 Newlywed Couples Who Wouldn't Let Quarantine Ruin Their Dream Wedding

Meet 17 couples who adjusted their wedding plans, but still pulled off an unforgettable ceremony in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.

By Mike Vulpo Jul 26, 2020 7:00 AMTags
Related: Wedding Bells Are Ringing & This Couple Is Live Streaming

Even in the age of a pandemic, love conquers all.

For thousands of couples all around the world, COVID-19 forced wedding celebrations to be adjusted, postponed or flat out cancelled. But for some Americans, they decided to roll up their sleeves and get creative with their ceremonies. 

While the guest list may have been smaller and the wedding venue may have looked different, many couples turned a negative into a positive with results that deserve a toast.

"This is a very, very unique time in our history that we might not have again…You have such an opportunity," Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings host Allison Holker shared with E! News exclusively. "Instead of looking at is as a negative aspect, you have an opportunity to have a whole new outlook. Your own story can be whatever you make of it." 

According to Emily Forrest, who serves as Director of Communications for Zola, the wedding company has seen a renewed sense of confidence and creativity in regards to wedding planning.

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"Many couples are having an intimate ceremony now, plus a larger ceremony at a later date. This trend has fondly been dubbed wedding phase 1 and phase 2," Emily explained to E! News. "Because of this trend, the No. 1 question we're receiving has really shifted to, 'How do I make sure that my intimate wedding still feels special?'"

E! News found newlyweds from around the nation who may be able to offer some inspiration during uncertain times. Keep scrolling to see how these couples celebrated their love story in clever, safe and unforgettable ways.

Jasmine Sloan El Darbey & Peter Darbey

Pre-Pandemic Vision: After renting out a beautiful boutique hotel for their ceremony and reception, Jasmine and Peter were all set to get married in Tulum, Mexico.

Post-Pandemic Reality: The pair decided to elope in a small ceremony with eight close friends including officiant Officer Byrd from Judge Judy in California's Joshua Tree State Park. "We didn't have a planner so we planned/DIY'd everything ourselves and went with the flow on our wedding day," Jasmine shared with E! News. "For our reception, we rented the cutest Airbnb called Roxaboxen and the day couldn't have been more magical!" 

"The biggest positive is that we got to dedicate our love and lives to each other in front of some of our closest friends during a global pandemic! In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, one thing that is for sure is our love for each other. Love always prevails!"

Stephen Bradford & Lisan Viel

Pre-Pandemic Vision: After the couple's baby boy Bryce passed away shortly after being born with a congenital heart defect, Stephen and Lisan wanted to do something thoughtful in his memory.

Post-Pandemic Reality: The pair organized a small gathering of family and friends in remote Northern California on what would have been Bryce's first birthday. "To honor our love for Bryce and to honor our love for each other, we chose to marry," the couple told us. 

"Our ceremony symbolized both love and loss. This ceremony symbolized our commitment and determination to choose love in the face of such heartbreaking loss. To choose love that is as pure and magical as our love for Bryce."

Maria Roncal & Brian Wuethrich

Pre-Pandemic Vision: A destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico was on the horizon for the bride and groom. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: Per CDC guidelines, the couple got married in front of eight guests at the Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas. "After saying 'I Do,' we toasted champagne flutes filled with the Taco Bell Cantina's signature Mountain Dew Baja Blast cocktails, shared a party pack of tacos and cut a Cinnabon cake," Maria shared with E! News. 

"We learned that if you want a celebration that's meaningful and fabulous, all you need is love...and tacos!"

Richard Shuster & Jessica Corcos

Pre-Pandemic Vision: During the Fourth of July weekend, the pair was planning a ceremony in Netanya, Israel with 300 guests.

Post-Pandemic Reality: "We planned an intimate dinner with our immediate families," Jessica shared with E! News. "Richard's mother's best friend from childhood whom watched Richard grow up in South Africa married us in his sister's backyard in the most perfect 'Plan B' we could have ever imagined." 

"The biggest surprise/positive that came from changing our wedding plans is that we decided not to wait to start a family and we are now expecting a baby in January!"

Maheen Sahoo & Garret Doe

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The couple envisioned a big wedding on the East Coast before moving forward with Plan B. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: "We decided to have an intimate wedding ceremony over Zoom, with our immediate families in attendance in-person and virtually," the couple shared with E! News. "We also had a big dinner, a beautiful cake and a socially distanced photo shoot to round out the day. It was amazing!"

"The greatest positive was that we got to skip right to the good part, which was getting married to each other!"

Chad Cliette & Meah Cliette

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The original plan was for the couple to get married in Maryland where they are both from.

Post-Pandemic Reality: After Chad found out he could no longer come home for his wedding due to increases in COVID-19 restrictions and confirmed cases, his leading lady flew to Louisiana where the United States Air Force Airman First Class member was located. With help from wedding planner Bree Carroll, the couple planned a safe ceremony in three days. 

"We were alone in a new state without our parents, siblings, friends, yet we were surrounded by so much love. It was so magical."

Vanessa Baral & Herwyn Silva

Pre-Pandemic Vision: Two hundred friends were planning to celebrate Herwyn, a Lenox Hill Hospital nurse, and Vanessa, a Long Island Jewish Forest Hills nurse, on May 17, 2020.

Post-Pandemic Reality: On June 25, 2020, the frontline workers got married on live TV thanks to the Today show and officiant Hoda Kotb

"We still feel the whole experience was surreal and we are definitely very thankful and honored. We are very happy to have been able to share our story with everyone on national TV as sometimes, in the middle of a life changing year for many, some good news and love brings some smiles."

Benjamin Siegel-Wallace & Jasmine Zheng

Pre-Pandemic Vision: A greenhouse and garden called the Fairmount Horticulture Center in Philadelphia was the original location for Ben and Jasmine's 130 guests.

Post-Pandemic Reality: With the help of a self-uniting wedding license, the couple said "I Do" at a rooftop deck in Center City, Philadelphia with four guests plus a photographer. 

"The wedding was perfect in a way that we never anticipated or expected. There was no worry from the pomp and circumstance of a typical large wedding. Rather, the focus was on the emotions and our relationship. If anything, the pandemic showcased that we can't take anything for granted, nor do we need to delay expressions of love."

Michael Braun & Corey Gingue

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The pair was set to be married at the Veuve Clicquot estate in Reims, France.  

Post-Pandemic Reality: "We found a winery in Brooklyn called Red Hook Winery and we cobbled together a sweet little wine and sweat-soaked wedding on the water," Michael joked to E! News. Spoiler alert: It was absolutely perfect for the couple and their 10 lucky guests. 

"It doesn't matter what your wedding looks like or how much planning or money goes into it. Just surround yourself with beautiful people that love you and hand them a pair of garden shears and a glass of wine."

Christina Monteleone & Craig Boyarsky

Pre-Pandemic Vision: Guests were initially invited to Bear Brook Valley in Newton, New Jersey for an outdoor ceremony and a late-night "Midnight Diner" food truck.

Post-Pandemic Reality: "Once Craig tested positive for COVID-19, we quickly realized how short life really is," Christina shared with E! News. "We had been quarantining at my parents' beach house in Ortley Beach, New Jersey so we called our priest and asked if he could still marry us on our original date."

"We thought we wanted this big, over-the-top wedding with friends, family, extended relatives, a 4-course dinner and live music and in reality, spending our wedding day with the people that matter the most to us and keeping things simple was the greatest gift of all."

Robyn Moore & James Patterson

Pre-Pandemic Vision: Originally, the couple was planning to get married on a cliff in Malibu, Calif. and have a wedding reception with 250 people. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: Robyn and James did their "first look" at Slide Rock in Arizona and had their ceremony at Secret Slick Rock Trail with just immediate family. In fact, Robyn's bother officiated for the couple. 

"We both believe everything happens for a reason and therefore we were meant to get married in Arizona. We loved how everything turned out. Our wedding day was simple, stress free and affordable. We remember every second of it and we absolutely love the photos to look back on that special day." 

Aisha Becker-Burrowes & Kelton Cumberbatch

Pre-Pandemic Vision: A destination wedding in New Orleans was the initial goal for Aisha and Kelton before COVID-19 spread. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: The couple had an intimate ceremony that aired on The Tamon Hall Show. The wedding, designed by Fête founder Jung Lee, was officiated by Tamron Hall and Christian Oth served as photographer in Harlem.

"This time together in the midst of a global pandemic made us realize that each moment and crazy memory we could make with each other and our loved ones is more precious than ever!"

Brooke Temner & Jonathan Grippo

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The couple envisioned a party from start to finish at Brooklyn Winery in New York with 150 guests.

Post-Pandemic Reality: After virtually obtaining a marriage license from Project Cupid, the pair said "I Do" in Manhattan's Central Park with seven guests.

"It's easy to get a little wrapped up in in the pomp and circumstance. However, COVID-19 made us realize most of the glitz is unimportant...It wasn't what we originally planned but it turned out to be perfect in a way we didn't expect. It was uniquely ours and a special story that we will one day tell to our kids."

Andrea Minken & Ethan Gnepp

Pre-Pandemic Vision: A weekend extravaganza was planned for 200 guests that would include a barn wedding ceremony in the Poconos. But because Andrea was a frontline healthcare worker, she knew things had to change.

Post-Pandemic Reality: Andrea's mom secretly reached out to celebrity party planner David Tutera who immediately wanted to help with PartySlate. What came next was the bride's "virtual wedding of my dreams." 

"With the help of David and PartySlate, we were able to transform our backyard into a magical fairytale venue, and with just our immediate family, we were able to have the best day ever."

Larsa Salloum & Victor Salloum

Pre-Pandemic Vision: Family and friends were prepared to experience an unforgettable wedding at the Hyatt Regency's Manhattan Ballroom.

Post-Pandemic Reality: Without hesitation, Larsa's sister-in-law offered up her backyard to use as a wedding venue and her husband became ordained to act as an officiant. "Our parents were able to walk us down the aisle and our friends, dressed in their wedding attire, watched from a laptop set up right in front of the altar," the bride recalled.

"Even the neighbors were prepared with bubbles from six feet away to cheer us on as we walked down the aisle. It might not have been the wedding we imagined, but we feel very blessed to have had the wedding we did."

Fitz Blaku & Edeana Mombrun

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The couple was hoping to say "I Do" at The Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. But after learning they were expecting, the wedding got moved up. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: "We had a close family friend who graciously volunteered to officiate our wedding near our home at Battery Park," Edeana shared. "Instead of the 200-person magical wedding we had envisioned, we got married on June 25th in front of only five guests."

"The greatest takeaway from our experience was the fact that in midst of a pandemic, recession and global unrest, we managed to pull off a special and safe wedding ceremony."

Armond Davis & Samara Davis

Pre-Pandemic Vision: The Atlanta couple hoped to have a small wedding in an enchanted garden. 

Post-Pandemic Reality: "We made guests wear masks and chairs were six feet apart in all directions," the couple told E! News. "We also added a Zoom component so that our friends and families who couldn't travel were still able to witness our nuptials."

"We actually had more people attend our Zoom wedding than we originally had invited. We embraced technology and were able to share our intimate moment than what our guest count originally could handle."

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