As Celebrations Are Postponed, Couples Are Getting Married in Creative, Socially Distant Elopements

Local wedding businesses are offering their services in an equally creative way.

Photo by DuHon Photography
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

The wedding industry has been getting hit hard by the affects of COVID-19—and as more couples are forced to put their big day on hold, vendors are providing unique services so their clients can still get married. From live-streamed ceremonies to virtual after parties, here’s how couples are getting married amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Virtual Wedding Ceremonies Are on The Rise

Over the weekend DMV-area couple, Karen Love and Justin Guiffre, opted for a creative and socially distant wedding ceremony. “Our original [wedding was] scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at the United States Institute of Peace,” says Karen. With their venue forced to close and DC’s updated limits on gathering sizes, the couple had to rule out any type of in-person celebration. So, they decided to have a private legal ceremony and move their wedding celebration to the fall. “Fortunately, our planner Tabitha, at Roberts & Co. Events was able to reschedule everything for us with very little pain and cost.” Over the weekend, the couple put on their rehearsal dinner outfits, walked to Sherman Circle Park, and Facetimed their Rabbi for a virtual wedding ceremony. Their wedding planner even delivered a bouquet made by their florist, B Floral Event Designwho created the arrangement while wearing gloves and a mask. The couple’s photographer, DuHon Photography attended the intimate ceremony and remained a safe, six-foot distance to document the special moment.  “We exchanged vows to the applause of random park-goers who were enjoying the fresh air and warmer weather,” says Karen. “Someone even honked and shouted at us while driving around the circle!”

Photo courtesy of Karen Love

How Guests Are Attending (Or Calling In) To Celebrate

Karen and Justin’s virtual elopement didn’t stop after the ceremony either. After they exchanged vows, the couple rushed home and ordered delivery from one of their favorite DC restaurants, Tiger Fork. They continued the celebration by Facetiming their immediate family and then scheduling a Zoom call with 40 of their closest friends. “Some of our friends wore their black-tie wedding clothes while others wore strange hats, masks, or costumes,” says Karen. After a few toasts, the newlyweds improvised a first dance and spent the rest of the night calling their family members. “It was such a wonderful, weird, and completely lovely day.”

Photo courtesy of @thelowstyle’s Instagram

Another couple, Kelly-Lynne Russel (of @thelowlowstyle) and Andrew Guy, who postponed their wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also got married while in quarantine. The virtual wedding was streamed live on Kelly-Lynne’s Facebook page, where she requested guests to dress up and watch. Washingtonian’s very own Style Setter, Dani Satuer of Blonde in the District tuned in and says she honored her fellow fashion blogger’s request by dressing to the nines. “I wore a champagne-colored dress with a hat to match (think like a Kentucky Derby hat) and light blue pumps with a croissant detail at the toe,” says Dani.

Photo courtesy of Poppy

Vendors Are Now Providing Services for Virtual and Socially Distant Weddings

Poppy, a full-service wedding florist delivering high-quality and budget-friendly blooms, is offering a new resource for couples who’re getting married at-home or virtually due to COVID-19. Founder, Cameron Hardesty recently launched the Courthouse Wedding Package, where couples can order custom bouquets and boutonnieres for  $152 (and for an extra $25, they can have them delivered hands-free, too!).

Hardesty says the idea for the packages came to her when Caroline Wood and Chris Proto (pictured above) asked for a last minute bouquet and boutonnierebecause even though their wedding was postponed, they still wanted to marry on their actual wedding date. “We know from our vendor friends and our customers that many others might be in the same position,” she says. Hardesty added that her husband even showed her a virtual wedding happening through a video game the other night. “No joke,” she says. The package allows couples to easily input their primary and secondary wedding-day colors and then Poppy’s local florists will construct a custom arrangement for pick-up or delivery. “So even if your wedding plans have changed, you can still have the flowers of your dreams,” they say.  Poppy will also give a 10 percent discount on flowers to couples who’re having their reception at a later date. 

Photo courtesy of A Wedding Loft’s Instagram

Couples Can Book Intimate (and COVID-19 Regulated) Wedding Venues at a Discounted Rate

A Wedding Loft, the Leesburg event venue, is offering couples an alternative to heading to the (mostly closed) courthouse to get married. Instead, the community at A Wedding Loft is providing a private space for ultra-intimate marriage ceremonies along with a discounted rate. The hope in offering the space, they say, is to not only help couples throw a special celebration, but to also help vendors bring in a bit of revenue.



Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.