Molly & Adam were a refreshing wave of calm in a time of constant uncertainty. As a wedding photographer, my heart breaks for couples who have poured so much of their dreams into planning their wedding day, just to have to change everything at the last minute due to circumstances far beyond their control. A time of excitement, anticipation, and joy can quickly turn into one of disappointment and defeat.
For Molly & Adam, their commitment to each other and the Lord was what mattered most. They had a confident peace that shone through on a day that looked very different than what they had originally envisioned. Even though their 250 guests couldn’t be in attendance, they honored them by taping a picture of every single one in the pews. They also made sure Adam’s grandparents were a part of the day by driving to their house after the ceremony and waving at them through the windows of their house!
Every moment of their day was filled with unshakeable gratitude that the moment was finally here, that they were becoming husband and wife, and that they were starting their new life together.
Molly and Adam, you two are so special and such an incredible representation of the joy and peace found in Jesus, and undoubtedly a bright light shining in this dark and hurting world! Thank you for letting us have a part in your special day.
Read below for Molly’s beautiful reflection of their wedding day.
Jokingly, I remember telling friends and family “they don’t tell you to think about back up plans for your wedding due to a global pandemic!”, but the reality of the need for changed wedding plans was really hard. We truly experienced the five stages of grief as we realized the changing circumstances happening before our eyes and the implications those changes had on our wedding dreams. But, amid the hardship of it all, the true grace came in the last stage of grief: acceptance. Even though our wedding day would look much different than we originally planned, there was peace and profound joy in knowing that the true reason for it all, getting married, was still going to happen.
Our original wedding was scheduled for April 18th. We had big plans for a beautiful Mass with our families, our wedding party, around 20 of our Priest & Deacon friends, and over 250 wedding guests. We had prepared for a gorgeous reception with flowers and candlelight, amazing food, and a lot of celebration. In addition to that, we were looking forward to an incredible honeymoon to Italy and Ireland. Slowly, these plans changed from big and whimsical to small and simple.
Once it became clear that most of our guests wouldn’t be able to attend our wedding, whether because of their own personal choice, the government’s mandates, or the Church’s recommendations, we knew how we wanted to respond to a situation that was difficult, upsetting, and uncertain. So, on a Tuesday in the middle of Lent, the vigil of the Feast of the Annunciation, our immediate families gathered around us as Adam & I vowed to a life of love, faithfulness, and service to one another. No, it wasn’t a huge celebration as we had originally thought it would be, but it was still a beautiful day. There was a genuine joy that made the darkness of the pandemic fade away and truly forgotten. On that day, we had our family, we had each other, and most importantly, we had Christ in the middle of it all.
The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation as a joyful occasion. Despite the uncertainty that Mary is faced with when the angel Gabriel appears to her, she responds with a joyful fiat “be it done to me according to your word”. Adam and I found great peace in knowing that we, too, could respond to a situation filled with uncertainty and fear with great joy- a sincere fiat. We had confidence that though our wedding day may look different than originally planned, joy could be present because Christ was present. We prayed for the ability to recognize and rejoice in God’s great providence, His divine plan, and take that to be a great light so desperately wanted and needed in our hurting world. And, though I am a newlywed, I feel our wedding day was a witness to what the vocation of marriage truly is. It may not be easy, picture perfect, or dreamy. It may be simple and ordinary at times. It may be filled with days, weeks, months, and years of uncertainty. But, God enters in. His presence has the power to transform. In His presence, He allows us to experience His love, His peace, His joy, His will. In transformation, we rejoice more completely, we hope more abundantly, we love more sincerely. We are given the grace to accept circumstances that are different from our own plans and find a joy and peace that only God can provide.
My sister-in-law did my hair and make up like she was a professional. My mom and my sister helped me into my dream wedding dress. The most amazing photography team came through when things were constantly changing. Sinikka gave me a phone call the night before our wedding to walk through the details of the day and make sure I still felt like a beautiful bride. My dad and I got our special moment as he walked me down the aisle to meet my groom. We had an intimate ceremony with a priest who is like family to us. We got to visit Adam’s grandparents at their home as the neighbors looked at us strangely at a distance for being in our full wedding garb on a Tuesday. Our siblings gave heartfelt toasts. We ate Grandma’s homemade pizza and wings. We danced under the chandelier for our first dance. Adam washed my feet as a symbol of love and service. All the important things that we had dreamed about for months we’re still there. And for those “missed moments” we hope to have a vow renewal and big celebration with all of our other family and friends at a later date. But until then, we know that we were gifted with the most beautiful and unique wedding day. A day we will always cherish. A day that will always remind us of the faithfulness of a God that loves us completely- in joy, in uncertainty, and in the chaos of a pandemic wedding.
Venue: St. Patrick Catholic Community | Jewlery: The Celtic Cross | Rings: Jared | Hair & Make-up: Serenity Salon & Spa | Florist: Lake Effect Florals | Bridal Gown: The Wedding Studio | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux |