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They Got Married in a Pandemic

February 6, 2021

Another Way for week of January 29, 2021

They Got Married in a Pandemic

My sister-in-law, Barbara, created all these lovely corsages, boutonniers
and bridal bouquet out of dried flowers.

[Second of two posts on our daughter’s wedding. All photos here taken by family; we don’t yet have official photography.]

As the days counted down to our youngest daughter’s wedding, I kept humming the song Johnny Cash made famous, “Jackson,” which starts: “We got married in a feve-ah,” and changing up the last words to “We got married in a pan-dem-ic.” Here’s how the outdoor wedding went down.

Parts of their wedding ceremony were what you could expect with any wedding: discombobulation by either the bride, the groom, the bride’s mother, or assorted relatives close to the couple. Add a pandemic to the occasion, and yeah, there’s gonna be befuddlement.

The happy couple and pastor, glad this day finally arrived.

The wedding was just outside Washington D.C. in Silver Spring, Maryland. My husband and I arrived a bit early, so we stopped at a nearby Costco to use their excellent bathroom facilities. But Costco on a busy Saturday of a holiday weekend in a pandemic in any modern city is a pretty crowded place to be. My daughter’s future mother-in-law had warned her, “Never go there on a Saturday.” We got out as quickly as we could, picking up a slice of pizza for lunch in our vehicle.

Which item at Target did my daughter want?

I was glad we did that when we got a last-minute distress call from the bride saying she had forgotten her concealer (make-up). Could I run to the Target on the other side of Costco and pick some up? I found it after texting her photos to make sure I was getting the right thing.

The shoes we left at home.

When we arrived at the church where our daughter was getting dressed, we couldn’t find my husband’s dress shoes anywhere in our minivan. Finally I said he should just wear his bright white tennis shoes (with navy suit). Doreen assured us that NO ONE would be looking at his shoes anyway.

The bride enjoyed Chick fil A for her lunch and kept windows open for ventilation.
Wedding location, near bridge over creek. Ahmed’s mother, Hisanatou is to the left in a brown coat.

It was a small crowd, just 20, including pastor, photographer/videographer, and immediate family members and their loves. The temperature was hovering near 48 degrees at 3 p.m., start time. Our daughter had picked a small creek and bridge near her church, where we gathered in family bubbles, masked, and at least six feet apart. I was missing the help of my sister-in-law who did the flowers for all our daughters’ weddings, but was not there to take care of pinning on the lovely corsages and boutonnieres she’d made. She had also made a beautiful dried bridal bouquet.

Edward, 2, delivers the wedding ring basket, with the help of his Mom.

The day went very well, all things considered, if you don’t count a cute but tearful two-year-old ring bearer who didn’t quite understand his job, a lost key lob by a harried mother of the bride—who also dropped her glasses in the leaves—still thick in that park. I didn’t even realize they had fallen from my neckline, but I must have lodged them there temporarily to get the fog off. I was also trying to talk by phone to my sister in Indiana who was trying to join the scheduled Zoom meeting so she and my 96-year-old mother could watch.

When I got back to our van after the ceremony, I could not find my glasses there. My middle daughter launched a search in the park. Praise be, my new son-in-law found them, one lens squished out of the frame which I popped back in. He won points for that one! And I looked again for the van’s key lob and found it in a small bag. I had no memory of placing it there. Wedding discombobulation, my middle daughter said, not dementia. Let’s hope so. I hurriedly passed out the wrapped gluten free cupcakes I’d made for folks to enjoy on their way home, or for supper. You have to have cake celebrating a wedding, right?

Gluten free cupcakes with wafer flowers on top.

Finally, I was able to present our daughter and her husband the beautiful handmade quilt her grandmother had made—a task she’d completed for all nine of her grandchildren. It sat covered in our closet for years. My mother is no longer able to quilt, and we’re glad she finished it when she did—with help from others. May it wrap this young couple in love, memories, and connections many years after this pandemic is in the history books.

The Dahlia quilt!
The kiss!

Comments or your own story? Comment here or send to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. What stands out here is that this joyous occasion was a family affair, all the way. The little snafus made the wedding memorable too: the bride’s need for concealer, Stuart & the white sneakers, and you looking for your glasses. The latter is a daily thing for me . . . never lost, just mislaid. By the way, the quilt is lovely. What an heirloom!

    And may they live happily ever after . . .

  2. Yes, a small wedding like that does feel like a family wedding. A bit better than eloping! It was small enough for the snafus to feel manageable without panic or stress. I had to think of Stuart and my wedding: I think he had his car serviced the morning of the wedding so it would be ready for our getaway honeymoon. I was a bit stressed by that!! Like why wait til the morning of?? He arrived in time! Thanks for checking in …. I’m done writing about this wedding now!

  3. Judith D LePera permalink

    Melodie, thank you for sharing the timeline to and of the wedding. You made it so personal and joyous. The quilt is a special addition. I am so happy for Doreen and Ahmed…and happy that I could witness the wedding in real time.

    • Glad you enjoyed reading about it — and delighted you were able to witness it in real time! Did you know they don’t need actual witnesses in Maryland to sign a marriage certificate–just the pastor or officiant. Maybe it’s that way in Virginia now too, but that was a surprise to me. Thanks for commenting here!

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