Almost every little girl dreams of her fairytale wedding complete with a beautiful gown, and a handsome prince. What she doesn’t imagine is a national pandemic crashing her party, but unfortunately COVID-19 has been an unwelcome guest this year forcing many brides to alter their trip to the altar. Some have even cancelled or postponed the event altogether.
Having to re-imagine your dream wedding is hard for any bride, but when planning perfect weddings is your job, it can be even more difficult to let that fairytale go. Jennifer Lauzon, the Private Event Sales Director at the Dominion Country Club is an expert when it comes to making wedding fantasies a reality, so when it was time to plan her own nuptials, the bride-to-be knew exactly what she wanted. From the venue, to the string quartet, to the three-tiered cake, to the carefully planned menu for the sit down dinner, every detail was in place. Then the pandemic hit and things escalated quickly.
“By mid-March, I began to realize that things might not go as planned,” recalls Lauzon. “I was getting phone calls at work with questions from our clients who wanted to postpone their own weddings due to the pandemic.”
Then, Lauzon’s fiancé, who is the Resort Manager at La Cantera Resort & Spa, where the couple planned to hold the celebration, learned some bad news.
“He came home from work and said the resort would be closing due to COVID-19. I immediately started crying.”
After drying her tears, Lauzon decided that rather than postpone the wedding, she’d come up with a Plan B.
“We never considered postponing,” she says. “We are both almost 40 and we’ve been ready to get married since about two months into our relationship. We are ready to start a family and waiting was just not an option.”
The couple found Gruene Estate, an open-air venue in New Braunfels, and then they started scaling down. The guest list went from 60 to just four family members. The cake by Cathy Young went from three tiers to two. The string quartet became a string duet, and the bride did her own hair and makeup.
“That was the most frustrating part of the day,” says Lauzon who says that she had envisioned relaxing and being pampered on her special day. “No bride should ever have to do her own hair and makeup on her wedding day.”
The bride’s close friend Jessica Huisman, owner of Freesia Designs, provided flowers and took video for Facebook live so that family and friends could take part in the ceremony.
“Our family dressed up and celebrated with us, posting their own photos on Facebook,” she says. “It was obviously not what we had planned or hoped for, but it was nice that we had the capability to share the ceremony live, and it ended up being a wonderful day.”
Although the ceremony is behind them, the happy couple plans to take the pieces of the wedding that they had to forgo, and incorporate them into smaller celebrations throughout the year. A photo shoot with the wedding photographer will take place in the fall, and a second ceremony is planned with the groom’s family in Hilton Head over Christmas, complete with a sit down dinner featuring the original menu.
“My husband got all the recipes and ingredients from the chef at La Cantera and he has hired a chef in Hilton Head to create it for us,” says Lauzon, adding that by the time Christmas comes she will have worn her gown three times—how many brides can say that?
On their one-year anniversary, the couple has planned a casual “reception” with the bride’s family and friends featuring the originally planned live band and DJ.
“It’s all about looking at the big picture,” says Lauzon, who advises other brides in her situation to focus on the marriage, not the wedding. “Know that this will pass and that you can still celebrate at some point. Marrying the person you love is more important than all the rest of it.”
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