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Attention retail workers: How do you feel about stores closing on Thanksgiving Day this year? Share your thoughts and opinions here, and they could be used in an upcoming story.Welcome to Money Diaries — College Edition where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar. Today: a human development major in New York who pays $23,000 a year for tuition and spends some of her money this week on a frog statue.Major: Human Development Age: 19 University Size: 14,000 University Location: New York State, but I am currently living at home in NYC Salary/Allowance: $200/month from my grandparents Yearly Cost Of Tuition: $23,000 (My grandparents give me $10,000 per school year, and I pay the rest with loans) Student Loans Total: $11,000, currently (I have only completed one year of college) Net Worth: $17,185 in personal savings (including $4,356 from unemployment over the summer) Pronouns: She/her Monthly Expenses Rent: $550 (I have an apartment with my roommate by my university, but I currently live at home due to Coronavirus. I pay for this myself.) WiFi: $15 Utilities: $35 Health Insurance: On my mom’s work plan Cell Phone: My mom paysWas there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree at a university in New York State. My grandparents pay $10,000 yearly and I pay the remainder ($13,000) myself through loans. Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? I grew up pretty aware of my family’s financial issues. I always knew it was the major stress in our family. It wasn’t something we could hide. My parents taught me to be frugal. What was your first job and why did you get it? My first official job was at a salad restaurant (cashier and food service) in 2018. I dropped out of my regular high school and switched to online school so I could get a job. I never got an allowance. I wanted to do fun stuff with my friends, but I knew my mom couldn’t afford to give me money. I also wanted to start saving for college and hopefully do some traveling. Did you worry about money growing up? I always worried about money. We were very poor. My father financially abused my mother, leaving us with incredible amounts of debt. Do you worry about money now? I worry about money now because of college. Before I started college, I wasn’t worried. I had made great money at my jobs and saved tons. I wasn’t prepared for how much college would cost and at first, it seemed like it wasn’t worth the debt I would acquire. Eventually, I decided to stick to college and I am much less anxious now. I have an excel sheet controlling my spending for groceries, bills, rent, etc. for while I am at school. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? I have been financially responsible for everything that isn’t food, housing, and medical expenses since I started high school. Starting in August, I will be financially independent for all those things. I still pay rent right now, but I am living at home. I am still not 100% financially independent because my grandparents pay for part of my school bills. My grandparents are my safety net and I can always come live at home if needed. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain. In December 2019, my grandmother started sending me $200 a month. They sold their house, so this money is from that. Day One8 a.m. — Yeah, I know. A college student on summer break waking up at 8. I have no alarms set and I would love nothing more than to sleep in with leisure, but nonetheless my needy cat begins meowing. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a morning person, but jeez, my two-year-old cat needs more attention than an infant. I start off my mornings making a smoothie bowl with homemade granola — a quarantine creation that I have truly mastered. 9 a.m. — Every Monday, I certify my unemployment benefits, so I do that first thing. The COVID unemployment has saved me since my two summer jobs were canceled/closed due to corona. I have made $4,356 so far this summer. Once I file, I switch gears to school. I am taking summer classes not only to fill my time but to get some annoying prerequisites out of the way. I do most of the work for the week during this time, which makes everything a lot less stressful. When we got sent back home in March, I got an ~oh so gracious~ partial refund for my dorm room, which just happened to cover the cost of two summer courses, so it feels like they are free. As long as we ignore my student loans 😉12 p.m. — I finish up my school work, thanks to the feature on Panopto that allows me to play the recorded lectures at 2.5x speed. I’m feeling extra productive and motivated today, so I decide to exercise! Woohoo! I haven’t been able to do my main source of exercise, trapeze (aerial acrobatic dance), because of COVID-19 so I have lost almost all of my strength (if my trapeze teacher is reading this, I am soooo sorry). 1 p.m. — Workout is done and I am aggressively hungry. Another perk of being sent back home is being able to enjoy my mom’s saag. I make myself a bowl of tofu saag over lettuce and chow down. One activity that has saved me in quarantine is going to the park near my house and soaking up some sun. My friend joins me and we chat and listen to some music. 5 p.m. — The sunsets have been particularly beautiful this summer, and my friends and I love to watch them so I walk the 2.5 miles to meet up with them. I bring my wallet with me because I know I’ll get thirsty or hungry at some point. 6:30 p.m. — And there she is. In all her glory. The Mr.Softee truck. I know what my heart desires and it’s a blue raspberry dipped cone. Do I feel instantly sick? Yes. Is it worth $4? No. Do I regret it? NO. Ice cream always makes me thirsty (Is that a common experience? Idk) so my friends and I go to the deli to get beverages. I spend $3.50 on a massive bottle of water. I regret not bringing my water bottle out, very uncool of me. $7.50 10:30 p.m. — Darkness falls and after snacking on leftover Flavor Blasted Goldfish from our friend’s birthday party, we decide to head home. I am not using the lovely NYC subway system right now since it creeps me out in the time of the pandemic. Normally, I would take a Via home, since it is almost always under $10, but tonight it says $12, and I just can’t bring myself to purchase three overpriced items in one day. I walk all the way home — blasting my music and being ultra-paranoid about being abducted. Ah, the wonders of being a teenage girl in America. I make it home safe and go to sleep. Daily Total: $7.50 Day Two8 a.m. — You know the drill. Meowwww MEEOOWWWW. I didn’t mention it yesterday, but I am a coffee lover. My morning is as usual; smoothie bowl, coffee, kitten needing attention. 10:30 a.m. — I am feeling motivated to continue with this exercising kick and I am sore from yesterday, so I do a yoga session and some light weightlifting. I am meeting with my friend again to tan in the park, so I make it quick. I have to eat after working out, so I have some leftovers from the take-out that my mom and I got a couple of nights ago.12 p.m. — I purposefully leave my wallet at home when I go to meet up with my friend, N., because I knew the ice cream truck is going to swing by. But then N. starts talking about iced coffee and suggests we hit up the Starbucks on my block. I haven’t had Starbucks since February, and though it isn’t my first choice, it sounds so delicious. I run back to my apartment and grab my wallet. We excitedly ordered our iced coffees and lightly flirt with the cashier. I don’t know if saying “Thank you so much! Have an awesome day!” is considered flirting, but I am sure they could tell I was blushing… just kidding! I always have my mask on 🙂 $3.842 p.m. — The sun is hot and we’re sweaty, so we go back to my apartment to change and charge phones. We then hurry to get ready to meet our other friend, R., before getting a text from him that he won’t be free for another two hours. N. and I are hungry and need to kill time, so we go to our favorite restaurant in all of NYC — a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood. They have outdoor seating and amazing food. We nom on a guacamole tostada, tasty drinks, chips and salsa, and my all-time favorite veggie fajitas. I don’t know man, there is something about refried beans and rice that makes my heart sing. The third to our trio, D., is done with whatever errands she had to do and meets us at the restaurant. We still have an hour before R. is free. We chat and reminisce then leave a hefty tip. We are known faces at this restaurant and love chatting with the workers. We split the bill accordingly and it comes out to $36 on my end. $364:15 p.m. — So full, but finally R. is ready to meet, and we start our mile walk to the park. Similarly to the night prior, we play music, watch the sunset, get eaten alive by mosquitoes, talk, dance, and play iMessage games competitively. 10 p.m. — Nighttime rolls around and I walk back home. This time equipped with the cake tin I had left at D.’s house. It gives me great confidence as I make the trek back home. Daily Total: $39.84 Day Three9 a.m. — Woohoo!!! Good morning! My cat decided I can sleep in today! You know the drill at this point. Smoothie bowl time! Not much planned for today, so I might do a little more schoolwork.12:00 p.m. — My friend texts me reminding me to venmo him for the Revel ride last week. For those not in NYC, Revel is an app that allows you to rent vespas off the street! My friend drove me home on one last week. I don’t know how to ride a bike, let alone have a driver’s license (City Kid Problems), so he really came in handy. $512:15 p.m. — I almost forget my meeting with my mom’s best friend, E! She offers spiritual readings using tarot cards. She will do a reading for me about twice a year, in which I center myself and continue my growth. These sessions are a sort of therapy for me. They help me develop the tools to handle past trauma and future issues in a positive light. She tries to not charge me, but the time of COVID isn’t financially great for anyone, so I send her $60 over venmo. $601:30 p.m. — After my meeting, I pack up some snacks and bring them to the park for a picnic with N. If you haven’t noticed by now, I see N. every single day. We snack and she buys me coffee! Yay!!!3 p.m. — My phone dies while we’re at the park, so I head home with no music and instead speak to myself in Russian. I am trying not to forget everything I learned last semester…yikes.4:10 p.m. — I am home now and am feeling the desire to exercise a little bit! I am feeling like taking a self-care night, which in Gen Z speak for I plan to sit on my phone in my bed for a couple of hours, do my skincare routine, listen to music, maybe stretch…11:30 p.m. — Woohoo! I did just that! Signing off!Daily Total: $65 Day Four9 a.m. — Nothing particular about this morning, I really should do more schoolwork but I am not feeling it today. Whenever I feel like not doing work, I don’t fight it too much; I know I will get it done eventually. Anyways, smoothie bowl consumed, coffee finished, and now it’s time to binge-watch TikTok.11:20 a.m. — N. texts me asking if I will go to TJMaxx with her — she needs to buy a birthday present. Now, I am not one for shopping during COVID-19, but things are opening up here, and I don’t want N. to be nervous going alone. Also, who doesn’t love aimlessly walking through TJMaxx?1 p.m. — Okay, cute outfit is ON and I am feeling good! The line to get into TJMaxx is short, but the line to checkout is insane. What better things do I have to do, though?2:30 p.m. — I did not intend to buy anything, but then I ind this frog statue….I name him Gizzy, and he is smiling and stretching! So cute, I need him! He only costs $10.84 and my roommate and I need statues to place on our incredibly low balcony edge. Is he worth $10.84? Yes, absolutely. No questions asked. $10.844 p.m. — I really want to meet up with some friends tonight, considering my outfit is so cute and I have a lot of energy. Nobody is free, so it looks like I am staying in and watching the new Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. 10/10, but I miss Robert Stack.10:30 p.m. — Bedtime for me and the kitty!Daily Total: $10.84 Day Five9 a.m. — Friday!!!! Let’s go!! My breakfast consists of the remainder of my granola and a strawberry smoothie. I am feeling great today, finally motivated to finish up my schoolwork for the week!12 p.m. — I finish my schoolwork. The question I pose for the class is, “Are mission trips a form of modern-day colonization?” I can’t wait to read my peers’ responses, but the likelihood of me touching schoolwork this weekend is low; I will save that for Monday.1 p.m. — The health food store in my neighborhood is closing tomorrow, so my mom and I want to pick up super sale groceries if there is anything left. We all know going to the grocery store hungry is a bad idea, and wow, does that BBQ smell good! My mom and I decided to stop at our local BBQ spot for lunch. This is the first time we have gone out to eat together since 2019! They have outdoor seating, and it’s empty right now. She pays for my delicious BBQ pulled pork cheesesteak. Thank you, mom! 2 p.m. — Satiated, we entered the bizarre world of a nearly empty supermarket. I don’t purchase anything, but there is a totally awesome sale on industry sized containers of General Tso’s sauce. Tempting, to say the least.4 p.m. — Honestly, I am proud of this motivation I have kept up! Yes, I decide to workout again! Very proud! 6 p.m. — A neighbor of mine is going down to the pier to watch the sunset. I head to the deli to pick up some snacks and drinks for us. I spend $16. $167:30 p.m. — One of the best sunsets this summer and I am pretty sure I saw a cluster of UFOs. Either that or my eyes tricked me…I am going to stick with UFOs. My dearest N. is in the neighborhood, so she stops by and joins us for the remainder of the night. 11 p.m. — That’s all from me! Goodnight!Daily Total: $16 Day Six10 a.m. — My angel kitty let me enjoy this Saturday morning with an extra hour of sleep. Thank you! I am out of granola, so breakfast this morning is an egg and bacon on toast. This morning’s conversations include updates on all of my friends who are starting college this fall. I feel so bad for them, freshman year via zoom is not the same at all.11:30 a.m. — My dad calls and we will be on the phone for at least an hour discussing existence and whatnot. I email him a cute picture of Gizzy, the frog that I bought yesterday, and he approves of the purchase.1 p.m. — Call ends and I am supposed to meet N. and D. in the park for a picnic at 2. I start my laundry and begin to pack food for us. I pack crackers, beet chips, nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus, and mango with Tajín.2 p.m. — I put the laundry in the dryer and get on my way! My mom offers to take it out of the dryer for me so I don’t have to wait another 45 minutes to leave. In-building laundry is a blessing, but I dream of the day where I have my own washer and dryer. Especially in a global pandemic.2:20 p.m. — First stop is picking up D. She doesn’t have any food to bring out, so we head to a little grocery store to pick up the essentials — guacamole, grapes, crackers, and pickles. I pay for the pickles. $63 p.m. — Our spot is perfect! Despite how sweaty we are, we enjoy our evening of park ambiance; children’s birthday parties, live music, and runners. D.’s mom stops by and chats with us about all their family drama. I can’t stress enough how much I love these two girls. We can see each other every day and our conversations never get boring.7:30 p.m. — Yeah, we were here for a long time. At this point, we pack up and walk to our respective homes.8 p.m. — I have soup for dinner and watch movies with my mom. I move out a week from today, so I’m spending as much time with the kitties and my mom as I can. My mom’s friend recommended a show on alien conspiracies and my sighting yesterday definitely encouraged me to check this out. The show is whack — sometimes conspiracy theories just tell flat out lies to boost their “facts.” Oh well, I still believe in aliens.10:30 p.m. — I realized how sore my legs feel, which reminds me to stretch them out. I put on tunes in my headphones and do some yoga for half an hour. Off to sleep for me!Daily Total: $6 Day Seven8 a.m. — My cat did not wake me up this morning, but he sure was delighted to be fed without asking! Breakfast today is two over-easy eggs on toast. I used to eat this every single morning. I like to add Cholula hot sauce, garlic powder, rosemary, and salt. Yum!10 a.m. — It is going to be super hot today, so planning my outfit is precarious. I pick daisy flower shorts and a top that could be considered a bra. I throw on a white button-up t-shirt, unbuttoned. Definitely feel cute, but I hope I don’t get bad sweat stains on this white shirt. My friend is coming into NYC today and I haven’t seen him since October. I don’t know when he is coming, so, for now, I am just waiting around.1:30 p.m. — My friend still hasn’t said anything about when they are coming, so I will join D. and N. on their walk for today. They are meeting at 2 and I am hungry for lunch. I make myself a mushroom and vegan meat taco — very delicious. I get my shoes on, pick my playlist, and head out the door to do the same walk I did yesterday. 2 p.m. — I make it to the meeting point and N. texts that she just got out of the shower. D. and I find a bench in the shade to wait. Some older guys try to flirt with us and we awkwardly try to ignore them, but when they don’t let up, we decide to just walk down to where N. lives.2:45 p.m. — Once N. is ready we go to a diner for to-go appetizers. We split the bill. I venmo N. $20. $204 p.m. — Since all we have done this week is walk in the park, we decide to go to Michael’s to fantasize about arts and crafts. I still haven’t heard from my friend, so I assume I won’t be meeting with him. These things happen.6:15 p.m. — Here we are, sitting in the park yet again. We take some funny pictures and head our separate ways. The walk home is sweaty and every drop feels like a bug crawling on me.9 p.m. — My mom decides to order Thai food. I am so happy to be home, especially with NYC takeout! Well, that’s all for today, and for this week!Daily Total: $20Money Diaries are meant to reflect an individual’s experience and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior. The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here. Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here. Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here or email us here.Like what you see? 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If 2020 was a normal year, we’d be taking advantage of the summer season to write a whole lot about weddings and wedding dresses. But, with a global pandemic canceling almost everything about life as we knew it, we’re not. Instead, our carts are filled with bike shorts, WFH-friendly office chairs, and face masks (of both the beauty and PPE varieties). We do know, however, that people are still getting married — and that means they’re still finding ways to browse, try on, and ultimately purchase nuptial-ready frocks. Which begs the question: how exactly are they accomplishing this? We started asking around and as we talked to different women across the country, we learned a lot more than how they wedding-dress shopped during such strange times. The women whose weddings were derailed by COVID-19 still managed to have them and, although different, their ceremonies were just as special as what was planned pre-pandemic. Ultimately, we decided to tell the stories not only of their dresses but of the marriages themselves and the unique ways that their unions took shape in the face of one particularly un-celebratory year. DashDividers_1_500x100 The Show Must Go On“I was planning what I wanted to look like long before there was any engagement,” explained healthcare project coordinator Bri Hodges of her wedding dress, but as she browsed bridal salons in advance of her March 27th ceremony, she saw a lot of “bling and tulle” that didn’t match the timeless gown she was envisioning. She enlisted bespoke bridal atelier Anomalie to create a shimmering, all-satin number that would make her “feel classically beautiful and regal.” When the dress that Hodges had customized online arrived at her home in Syracuse, NY, and she put it on for the first time, she had “the experience I’d been waiting for with a wedding dress. My mom was sitting on the couch and immediately burst into tears. I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.” Her dress-bliss, however, soon gave way to panic as the pandemic threatened to derail her ceremony. As she waited on final alterations, “Everything started shutting down — and I literally had to go pick up my dress a day early for fear I wouldn’t be able to get it at all.”> We had so many phones going for FaceTime. You could hear my sister sobbing hysterically in the background.> > Bri HodgesBri was determined to get married on the day after the 6th anniversary of making it official with her then-boyfriend: “it was the only date that was significant to us,” she explained. As the pandemic loomed larger and larger, she told us, the guest list “kept dwindling and dwindling,” until it was whittled down to an essential roster that consisted only of Bri’s parents and daughter and her fiancee’s mother and grandmother. The remainder of the 70-person guest list tuned in via video. “We had so many phones going for FaceTime,” Bri said. “You could hear my sister sobbing hysterically in the background.” The wedding party was diverted from the ballroom of the brand-new hotel that had been booked for the nuptials to a fireplace-lit lounge, where the hotel staff surprised Bri’s family with a celebratory, celestial staging of the intimate space. “I thought they were going to do what I asked, which was just to set up some chairs. But they put up twinkle lights, lanterns, and garlands, and set up a cake station and champagne toasting station. I got overwhelmed walking in and not only seeing my husband but seeing how they’d decorated it.” Post-ceremony, say Bri, “we’re hoping to grow our family, so we’re holding off” on re-scheduling the large, proper celebration that she’d originally planned. “I am definitely getting a second dress when we re-do this again in five years,” she says. “I already got the regal look, so I might be a little more adventurous and colorful next time.”DashDividers_1_500x100 The Grand (Wedding) TourAfter City Harvest volunteer director Erin Butler’s plans to hit the standard circuit of New York City wedding-dress purveyors (Kleinfeld, BHLDN, and Lovely Bride) were cut short by citywide closings of non-essential businesses in mid-March, it became clear that she’d have to try another route if she wanted to get a dress in time for her late summer wedding. At the suggestion of a coworker, Butler reached out to womenswear label Carleen about re-creating a dress from the brand’s archive that she’d seen online. “It was long and flowy and really beautiful — it’s completely my style.” With early-pandemic uncertainly at its height, Carleen designer Kelsy Parkhouse “was so happy to have something positive and uplighting to think about, and work on,” said Erin. Parkhouse sent a sample to her in-laws in Minneapolis (where she and her fiancee were sheltering in place) to be worn during a Zoom fitting. “We had no idea what we were doing,” said Erin, “but Kelsy was really creative and thoughtful — she sent a beautiful package of fabric swatches along with a measuring tape,” and Ben used painter’s tape to mark changes to the garment’s pattern. “It’s not really my thing to be on display,” Erin explained. “The fact that we could do [the fitting] from the comfort of my own home — I did not feel nearly as stressed about it as I did about going to Kleinfeld.” > We had no idea what we were doing, but Kelsy was really creative and thoughtful — she sent a beautiful package of fabric swatches along with a measuring tape.> > Erin ButlerNow, in lieu of what she and her fiancee had previously planned — “a very fancy, 300-person banger in Minneapolis”, they’re taking their show on the road — and of course, wearing the sweeping, floor-length gown at every stop. Not only will she don it on her original August wedding date during an intimate ceremony in her in-laws’ backyard but the frock will also make an appearance in Florida, where she and her partner will have “the beach wedding that [my mother] always dreamed of for me. My goal is to wear this dress to as many ceremonies as possible, and perhaps every anniversary thereafter.” Erin is happy to have gone this route and ended up with a dress that she can herself wearing over and over again; “Everything is aligning with the way I feel about textiles and waste,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself wearing a Kleinfeld dress ever again.”DashDividers_1_500x100 A Virtual Affair“We all remember the last thing we did before shelter in place,” says Elisa Benson, manager of lifestyle partnerships at Instagram, “and the last normal thing I did was go wedding-dress shopping.” The Brooklyn-based bride-to-be made the rite-of-passage pilgrimage to Kleinfeld, she told us, “and it was kind of a surreal experience — it was empty.” Two days after that mid-March visit, New York City went into lockdown mode and it quickly became clear that her planned June nuptials were off the table. So, she and her fiancee moved the wedding up a month and decided to live-stream the whole thing from their apartment. This meant finding something to wear ASAP — and circumventing the restrictions making it impossible to shop for a dress IRL. Benson devised a plan to buy, try on, and return as many dresses as she could order, all within the standard 14-day return window that most stores offer. “I basically looked at every white dress that was available on the internet,” she explained. “I kept doing a thing where I was panic-ordering more and more dresses, and obsessively checking the return policies.” She converted her office into a shopping svengali’s war room, hauling in a garment rack and an oversized mirror, and creating a Google spreadsheet to track all of her purchases. > My grandmother is 90 years old and never would have been able to join in person, but she was able to tune in and see all the dresses.> > Elisa BensonOnce her “virtual bridal salon” was fully staged, she streamed a virtual try-on via Zoom for her family. “When I was changing, I would turn off the video on my camera, and then would be like, surprise!” While it wasn’t the in-person experience that many of us have watched unfold on Say Yes To The Dress, Elisa took advantage of the dial-in to expand the audience. “My grandmother is 90 years old and never would have been able to join in person, but she was able to tune in and see all the dresses,” Elisa explained. “My three-year-old niece watched from her laptop at home surrounded by all of her dino and stuffies.” Elisa was thrilled with the results of her digital shopping trip and ended up with a balloon-sleeved sheath from Moda Operandi. “I could see the virtual bridal salon being a trend that outlasts the pandemic. You get to include more people, you get to try stuff on at home, you get to drink good champagne instead of free warm champagne.”DashDividers_1_500x100 Marriage, Dinner, & A MovieIn late February, freelance designer Theresa Deckner encountered a major hiccup as she prepared for her August 2nd destination wedding in Heidelberg, Germany: a package containing the vintage wedding dress she’d ordered from Etsy had been stolen from the courtyard of her Los Angeles apartment building. This hiccup, however, was soon dwarfed by a much larger one and, by May, Deckner had postponed her wedding indefinitely and made plans to move with her fiancee to North Carolina. Two weeks before their departure, the couple decided that a courthouse elopement would be the perfect sendoff. > I bought it at the Silverlake flea market for $15 dollars and I had it cleaned three times but never wore it because I had a feeling I would wear it to my wedding. I’m kind of superstitious in that way.> > Theresa DecknerWith the tiered, floor-length lace number that she’d originally chosen no longer an option — “It’s such a specific thing,” she said of the pilfered gown, “I feel like not that many people would enjoy it” — Theresa wore a dress that had actually been hanging in her closet for a year. “I bought it at the Silverlake flea market for $15 dollars,” she explained, “and I had it cleaned three times but never wore it because I had a feeling I would wear it to my wedding. I’m kind of superstitious in that way.” (The white Prada heels she wore — a clothing swap score — had actually been waiting in the wings even longer.) With a cotton eyelet fabrication and a go-go-worthy hemline, the mini-dress was too informal for the destination family affair they’d originally planned, but it was perfect for an impromptu visit to the marriage bureau.“The Los Angeles County courts were all closed, but Orange County is super Republican — it was the one time that worked in our favor,” said Theresa. Outside the Santa Ana Court House, she and her partner snuck away from the crowds waiting outside and privately recited vows they’d written to each other. “I started crying,” she said. “It was really cute. And embarrassing.” Inside, an officiant sat on the other side of a plexiglass barrier (“like a bank teller,” Theresa explained) and took them through their vows. After picking up takeout and having a congratulatory Zoom call with their parents, they watched The Royal Tenenbaums. “I’m still excited to maybe have a wedding next summer, but I don’t want to force it,” says Theresa. “We already had a really nice wedding, just the two of us. And that is also ok.”At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
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