Bri and Lindsey Leaverton were planning to get married on April 10.
“We had everything planned to a T,” Lindsey shares with Yahoo Life. “Gorgeous place settings, elegant linens and china, delicious salmon/hangar steak dinner, paired with delicious wine, tasty canapés, and a menu that would make your toes curl. We had intention behind every detail of our wedding — not to mention hand-spun cotton candy, a carefully curated playlist for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, dried bridal bouquets with hints of Bri’s favorite wildflowers, and the perfect arrangement of floral centerpieces. Every moment, every experience, every second had a purpose and profound meaning.”
But then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and suddenly all of their months of planning went out the window.
“Though we completely agreed with the [shelter-in-place] order and wanted to do whatever we could to keep people safe and flatten the curve, we also selfishly wanted all of our planning and hoping and dreaming to not all be for nought,” Lindsey recalls of realizing their wedding was not going to happen.
The couple, who have three children together, tried to find a new date but nothing was aligning quite right. But on April 11, the day they should have been heading off to their honeymoon in Mexico, Bri found a drive-in movie theater not too far from their Texas home where they thought they might be able to make their event happen.
“We immediately started to take action because this felt right. Our hearts lit up,” Lindsey says. “We never thought we’d be getting married on a Tuesday during a global pandemic at a drive-in movie theatre in Buda, Texas. But everything about it fit us. April 28 was and will always be our new Plan B wedding date. I’m still baffled by all the scrambling we did to coordinate details and make this completely out-of-the-box ceremony happen. Instead of a magical ceremony under a beautiful oak tree facing a 1920s historic mansion, we stood in a gravel-paved parking lot off of a farm road surrounded by 90 cars. Instead of a boujie cocktail hour with the perfect blend of music, food, drinks and fun, we enjoyed popcorn, mini corn dogs and soda with our kids with no idea of who was actually attending our wedding.”
Because of the number of cars allowed at the drive-in, Bri and Lindsey were even able to invite more people than originally planned. “When we realized we could invite many more people than we had originally invited to Plan A wedding, we started to ask friends and family to come join us,” Lindsey says. “I made a Facebook event and was so happy to add so many special people to the list! The car limit was 90 slots and I’m 99 percent sure we got right up to the limit. All in all, I’d say there were about 150 people. All safe, compliant and in their cars with people they’d been quarantined with.”
“It still blows me away that we felt so incredibly connected to our guests despite the current times of unparalleled disconnection,” adds Bri. “And that our actual wedding was immeasurably better than what we thought our dream wedding Plan A was!”
Lindsey does confess there are some downsides to having a wedding during a pandemic.
“There was this moment right after our first look which was the strangest, most beautiful moment, where there existed this bizarre balanced dichotomy between joy and sorrow. It was when I saw my parents in their car,” she says. “I was flooded with emotion because for years I didn’t think my parents would ever come to my wedding. And there they were! Loving me and supporting me. In the very same thought I was grieving because my parents are my best friends, and I couldn’t get close to them and I couldn’t hug or kiss them! I’ve always dreamed of my dad walking me down the aisle, and having the father/daughter dance at the reception.”
Still, it was the joy of the day that prevails.
“I’ve found time and time again that when I let go of my ego, plans and self-will, and surrender to a greater purpose — even if i am not yet fully aware of it — I'm always so grateful things worked out the way they did,” Lindsey says. “Love is enough.”
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