On October 23, 2020, my husband and I finally got married after a year and a half of planning. Our wedding was nothing like what we had planned, but it is certainly an event that we’ll never forget! We had initially planned a very large gathering, with family and friends from around the world joining us in person to celebrate our love and dance the night away. What we got was a 2020 twist – a big virtual wedding, with family and friends Zooming in from around the world and dancing the night away from their own living rooms! We also had our dog run away just minutes before our ceremony and it took four days to find him – but that’s a story for another day! Needless to say – we’ll never forget our 2020 COVID wedding!
Despite all the hurdles and challenges we faced with moving forward with our wedding during a pandemic, we don’t regret getting married at all. In fact, while we never dreamed of having a virtual wedding, it actually turned out to be really fun and a blessing for us because many of our guests who would not have been able to travel to our wedding otherwise were able to celebrate with us. For example, my husband has friends who are professional athletes playing wheelchair basketball in Europe. If we held our wedding in person in New York, there is no way they would have been able to fly in just to come to our wedding. Because we had a virtual wedding, they were able to join us and celebrate our love.
Another bonus of having a pandemic wedding was that our wedding pictures turned out beautiful because everyone is keeping their distance right now! As we took pictures around our city, none of the parks or city streets were crowded and even when others did pass us by, they were always ten or more feet away, which made for gorgeous pictures for us.
Lastly, I was able to sneak in a really great surprise for my husband thanks to our virtual format! He absolutely loves the Buffalo Bills, so I was able to get Jim Kelly, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback and inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to record a video toast to surprise my husband at our virtual reception! Imagine his surprise when one of his all-time favorite football players showed up on the screen at our wedding! This was definitely something I would not have been able to pull off if we did not have a virtual wedding.
While we are still hoping to have an in-person celebration sometime in the future when it is safe to do so, we loved our virtual wedding and we are so happy we didn’t wait another minute to get married!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.