B Y T A M M Y P O P E
The pandemic can’t put the kibosh on these weddings
PLANNING a wedding is no easy feat. It can take months to put together. There are
so many details that go into creating an unforgettable day that will propel a couple
into their new life together.
But what happens when a pandemic jeopardizes that planning?
While many couples have opted to postpone their weddings, others did not let the coronavi-rus
keep them from saying “I do” — even if that meant their big day wasn’t exactly what they
We spoke with four beautiful Wrightsville Beach-area brides who continued with their
nuptials despite this time of uneasiness and unpredictability.
Jackson & Grace Taylor
Jackson Taylor and Grace Cahill of
Charlotte began planning their wedding
after getting engaged in July 2019.
Jackson’s family has lived in the Wrights-ville
Beach area for five generations, and
the couple eagerly anticipated a ceremony
in downtown Wilmington. They made
reservations to host about 200 family
members and friends.
In mid-January 2020, the couple sent out
save-the-dates for a September wedding.
“Never in my life did I think I would
have to say to most of our guests that they
couldn’t come anymore,” Grace says.
But that is exactly what she had to do.
In the early stages of the COVID-19
outbreak, September seemed so far away.
Surely there would be no issue having
their wedding. The lockdown wouldn’t
last that long, would it? Despite their
hopes, they quickly realized they would
have to make some changes.
“Obviously, our first priority was being
safe and responsible,” Grace says. “A
wedding is only for one day and if it could
potentially hurt someone it’s not worth it.”
With the state still under lockdown
orders in early August, they got their
deposit back from their original venue and
began to make new plans.
Grace and Jackson never considered
pushing back the date.
“We were already planning in case we had
a hurricane and decided that we don’t care
if it’s just us, we are not postponing,” Grace
says. “For a lot of people, having a big
wedding is so important, but for Jackson
and I that wasn’t what was important.”
It was hard to decide who to include for
the in-person festivities. They decided to
keep the guest list strictly to immediate
family members and their bridal party.
WBM december 2020
Those who could not attend were asked to
watch the ceremony virtually.
“We actually got a Zoom vendor which
I thought was really incredible,” Grace
recalls. “The quality was so much better
than a live stream off an iPhone, which
was my initial idea.”
The couple were joined by 20 of their
closest friends and family members
on the front steps of Mount Lebanon
Chapel on the Airlie Gardens grounds to
declare their love for one another. After
the ceremony, they celebrated their new
marriage at Jackson’s family’s beach house
on Wrightsville Beach.
“It was so nice to still be able to get
married even amid something so horrible,”
Grace says, “A wedding is deeply personal
and in the end, this small wedding felt just
like the wedding we were always supposed