Paige and Tyler’s Elopement in the time of COVID-19

Our hearts go out to any person who has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living in such unprecedented times, and it’s hard to provide advice and guidance to brides when there are so many unknowns. We want brides everywhere to know, we are here for you, and you are not alone.

Many brides have had to postpone or re-plan for a new wedding in just a couple of weeks. Our bride, Paige, did precisely that. This is her story.

Paige and Tyler had planned a big wedding at Franklin Plaza with 185 guests coming from all over, on April 18th. They had been envisioning and planning for this epic celebration for the past year and a half. A global pandemic was the last thing they thought they would face.

The Start

When everything initially started blowing up in March and Governor Cuomo announced that gatherings and venue’s capacity had to be cut in half, the couple panicked. They were in close contact with Michael Fusco at Franklin Plaza. Fusco reassured them that it was all going to be okay. Because of its size, their guest list was under half capacity anyway. Franklin Plaza was supportive and still ready to throw the couple’s wedding. Within a few days, Governor Cuomo released new guidelines. This was the moment when the couple realized they had to change everything about their wedding day.

In debating what to do, the couple was anxious that they would look back and be disappointed that they didn’t have their giant wedding celebration. "I was nervous that when the world opened up again and when we attended the other weddings we’ve been invited to, we’d be upset that we missed out on that kind of experience," the bride explained.

An important thing to note is that the changing regulations and wedding plans happened over four weeks. As we know, information about COVID-19 changes every day. The couple eventually came up with a plan, after a bottle of wine and a ton of post notes. "Ultimately, we realized that the thing we wanted most out of April 18th was to be married to each other. Everything else was secondary," the bride recounts.

The New Plan

Like many other couples, Paige and Tyler’s main worry was spreading the virus between their immediate family at their elopement. "THIS was our biggest reservation. At one point, we even told our parents and siblings that no one besides our photographer, our dog, and officiant were invited, out of love." After more research and learning that in New York State, there must be two witnesses to sign your marriage license, and neither your officiant nor your dog count, the couple took this as a sign of needing their immediate family there.

Paige was really disappointed that the couple wouldn’t have any professional photos of their wedding day. Their original photographer, Ashtyn Brooke Photography, is from Naples, Florida. "While she was insanely flexible, one of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever met, AND was willing to make our day happen; we couldn’t put her or her second-shooter at risk flying to New York during a global pandemic." Through Instagram and hashtags, the bride found Dawn Honsky. Dawn is a local photographer that specializes in elopements. Paige messaged Dawn immediately after seeing her photos online and explained their situation. Without any hesitation, Dawn graciously agreed to shoot their elopement while following social distancing guidelines.

The Elopement

"The morning of our elopement, when we were getting ready was so special, in a way that I could not have ever imagined. We did a first look – and it’s one of my favorite parts of the whole day. Tyler went downstairs while I put my dress on, but I needed a little help getting the last few inches zipped up. So, when I was finally ready, Tyler came up the stairs with his eyes closed, zipped up my dress still with his eyes closed, and then turned around and waited for me to tell him to open his eyes. I secretly caught it on camera because what bride can resist reliving that moment? With it being just the two of us, the emotions and reactions were so genuine, raw, and full of love. Absolutely unforgettable."

Paige and Tyler eloped in an intimate outdoor ceremony on April 18th. Their family had to remain 6 feet away from each other, and there was no hugging allowed, but it was a day the couple will never forget.

Final Thoughts

The couple is so happy and content with their elopement, all concerns about missing out of their big wedding are behind them. They are even excited to celebrate their friends’ love at their weddings. Paige and Tyler are hoping that they can have a reception at the end of August – but recognize that it’ll depend on how the pandemic proceeds in the next couple of months. "We’re both at the point that we aren’t even upset if our reception is canceled. We have each other, an epic story, and our health. We’re happy."

Advice from the Bride

  • Remember the reason you and your partner wanted to get married in the first place.
  • Trust your intuition to guide your decision making.
  • Keep yourselves, family, and friends safe, and know that love is not canceled – even if your wedding is.
  • The wedding industry vendors have proven to be some serious all-stars, full of compassion, and with hearts of gold. All of our vendors have been there every step of the way, helping to re-plan our celebration for August.
  • Your wedding day will be special, no matter what changes you have to make to your original plans. It may even turn out better than you ever thought possible 🙂
  • If you elope, like we did, and you already have your gown, you now have the perfect excuse to wear your dress TWICE!


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