Stunning Backyard Wedding After Covid Canceled This Couple’s Main Event
This year we have seen and heard from so many brides postponing their weddings dates (boy is 2022 going to be busy!) or choosing to have a much smaller event, but whatever your decision, seeing weddings like this one that have overcome the odds to still go ahead and be the most touching and beautiful event, gives us life. This couple started planning their dream wedding....and then, COVID hit, resulting in them changing everything, from a 150 strong event, to a small 22 guest backyard gathering. Deciding to say 'I Do' at the bride's family home with their nearest and dearest ended up absolutely perfect, and Ines Zrinski captured it all. Pocketful Of Plans and Seascape Flowers brought the day to life and created the most stunning ceremony florals! Check it all out below...
from the Planner, Kaitlin from Pocketful Of Plans: "Savanah and Hunter describe their love story as “a crush sprinkled with unhealthy amounts of motherly intervention.” These two have known each other for a long time, so long in fact that they both had a crush on each other in junior high. However, their love story truly begins at Hunter’s high school graduation party. With Savanah back home from college, their mothers started plotting to bring these two together.
Throughout the party, the two mischievous moms set traps to get the two together. However, Savanah and Hunter were much too clever for these tricks, and ended up avoiding each other the entire evening as kids that age do! Another year went by with the mothers continuing their efforts to bring the two together, however with Savanah finishing up college in Arizona and Hunter in New York, Lisa and Carmen’s hopes seemed out of reach.
However, destiny seems to have stepped in to save the day in the summer of 2016. Both Savanah and Hunter were home from college and ended up attending the same church service, sitting only a few rows apart. To the mothers’ delight, the couple finally went out on their first date, (they decided on taking dancing lessons) a week later. Four years later, engaged to be married and happy as can be, this couple is proof mothers really do know best! Savanah eventually found herself moving to New York to live with Hunter while she finished graduate school and he finished his education at West Point. Before too long Hunter took Savanah to Central Park and proposed.
Savanah and Hunter picked Tehama Golf Club as the perfect spot for their destination wedding. Since both Hunter and Savanah grew up in the central valley of California, Carmel was an easy coastal getaway during their childhood summers and both have fond memories of the area. We began planning well over a year in advance and many perfect details were in place before 2020 even rolled around. In early March of 2020, the couple came back to California to put some of the final wedding design details together. At the end of the meeting Savanah’s mother pulled me aside and asked if I was worried about the coronavirus potentially affecting the wedding. At that time I was still unaware of the severity of COVID-19, so I told her I was confident everything would be fine. As they say, famous last words. Less than 48 hours later the California Governor announced restrictions on social gatherings for groups over 50. Shortly after that, the US Military issued a no travel order, meaning Hunter was ordered to Shelter-in-Place at his childhood home.
To make matters worse, they were planning on getting their official marriage license shortly after our meeting at Tehama, as it would be needed for the couple to live together while Hunter was serving in the military. Unfortunately, like all plans at the time, they were thrown another curveball. California closed the majority of its courthouses and suspended the issuance of marriage licenses. So even if they wanted to elope prior to Hunter’s next station, it wasn’t looking good. Luckily, as Hunter’s graduation and move was approaching, and with less than 30 days left before their original wedding date, the California Governor announced California would allow marriage licenses to be issued virtually. Naturally, Savanah jumped at the opportunity to at least secure their license. With the marriage license in hand and time for the couple running out, we decided it would be best to have a micro-wedding at Savanah’s family home. Replanning immediately went into full swing!
Working frantically and under serious time constraints, we were able to create a plan to celebrate this amazing couple. We sourced rentals and found catering. The couple cut their guest list from 150 down to 22 guests, immediate family only. Savanah was able to work with her dress designer in NYC to get it shipped to her and luckily found someone local to help get it ready for the big day. We were able to work with our original florist, Seascape Flowers, and came up with a new floral design that better fit the backyard wedding. It was finally all coming together! Understandably, Savanah and Hunter did not want their new micro-wedding to feel somehow less significant than their original wedding plans. So we kept to the original plans as much as we could, and more importantly, made sure to make the absolute most of the wedding we did have.
They had an emotion-filled first look before their ceremony and the ceremony was officiated by Hunter’s brother-in-law and focused on their love for each other, family, and God. The four-course dinner was created by a local chef and friend, while a cocktail artist crafted specialty drinks that paired with each course.
As the guests were all isolating together, they were able to dance the night away. Like so many others who had their lives seriously disrupted or worse, Savanah and Hunter certainly didn’t have an easy wedding. But in the end, despite everything else, they focused on what really mattered. They love each other, want to spend their lives together, and made their wedding happen in the best way they could. It might not have been a huge 150 guest event, but in the end, it was perfect in every way."
Photographer: Ines Zrinski | Film Lab: PhotoVision | Stylist / Planner: Pocketful Of Plans | Floral Designer: Seascape Flowers | Dress Designer: Sarah Seven | Rentals: Stockroom Picks & Picked Floristry | Venue: Private Residence | Cake Designer: All About the Cake | Hair & Make-up Artist: Emily Renee Barton | Cinematography: Iron & Fern | Invitation Suite: Willemina Typography | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS | Groom’s Attire: Tux-n-Tails | Catering: Chef Jacque Baxley | Cocktails: Holy Spirits | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Wedding Submission Services: Published + Pretty