Why These Real Couples Eloped during COVID

This year has been the strangest but also sweetest of my career. I’ve been so fortunate to photograph so many incredible couples who faced true logistical challenges to their original wedding plans, but pivoted well and got married anyway! Here are a few of their stories.

Jeanne + Chase

Jeanne + Chase were originally planning a Fall 2020 wedding in the French Quarter with 150 guests. They decided in early summer that wasn’t going to be possible, and pivoted to a small 2o person wedding in Chase’s mom’s backyard! Here’s what they had to say about their change in plans:

“Although it was stressful having so many unknowns about what guests were coming due to COVID, when the day finally came, it was really about us and our closest family and friends who were integral and bringing the event together.  I think that having supportive, kind, and close friends was key in making our day so magical and special.  Also having an amazing officiant, photographer, and caterers who were also our friends made the logistics of the day super smooth, which was very calming.  The small size of the wedding made the decorating so much fun and we really created a beautiful and festive atmosphere in the backyard with a bubble machine and gorgeous flowers!  I am so happy that we got married and had such a small, intimate ceremony.  It was so special to be able to have a small gathering like this despite COVID, after being so isolated for so many months.”

Shannon + Ben 

Shannon + Ben originally planned a large wedding with a Catholic ceremony for May. When that became impossible, they had to reassess what was really important to them. They were also in the middle of a cross-country move and starting new jobs! They decided to keep their original date but slash the guest list aggressively. It ended up being the sweetest church ceremony, and then their friends surprised them with so many fun details at a little “reception” in the park across the street (complete with individually packaged dinner boxes!). As a surprise, Shannon’s father was able to travel in for the wedding – something they had not expected. As Shannon said, “Ben and I are going to make the most of this coronavirus business!”

Hannah + Nathan

Hannah + Nathan’s original plans included a destination wedding in Santa Fe with over 300 people on their invitation list! As their July date approached, they continued to scale down their wedding – only to have New Mexico’s COVID restrictions cancel the wedding just a couple weeks before! Completely canceling their entire Santa Fe wedding, they planned a whole new intimate wedding in Nathan’s hometown in Tennessee. Their family and friends all gathered around them to create an incredibly beautiful and joyous celebration with under 40 guests. Hannah says, “The deciding factor was that it was important to us to get married. The location, size of bridal party, etc wasn’t as important as saying our vows before starting our lives together in our new home.”

Corey + Daniela

When COVID hit in March, Daniela was visiting family in Colombia and ended up “stuck” there away from Corey for several weeks. She was finally able to get home by way of a roadtrip to a different city, a humanitarian flight to Miami, and finally a commercial flight home! By the time they were reunited, they realized they did not want to wait to get married.

Rachel + Hector

Originally planning to elope to New Orleans from Washington state in March, Rachel + Hector’s first elopement was canceled when COVID arrived. When they chose a new date in September, they never could’ve guessed they chose the future date of Hurricane Laura! After roadtripping all the way to New Orleans from Seattle, they arrived and realized their original date wasn’t going to work. Thinking an officiant could meet them quickly to knock out their ceremony before turning around to go home, Pop of Love had other plans and was able to move their entire ceremony up a day! We had the most gorgeous weather, Rachel + Hector had their closest family, and they were able to actually have their wedding they had hoped for!

Will + Natalie

Will + Natalie were originally waiting to get married until Will finished his medical residency. Natalie has been dealing with some chronic migraines and health issues over the past year, and they also wanted to wait until her health was more stable to celebrate. But when COVID came along, all those reasons for waiting seemed less important. They were ready to commit to each other. So they invited their parents (and of course their furbaby, Finn) and had a beautiful afternoon ceremony at the Sully Mansion.

Interested in eloping in New Orleans during COVID? Read how here!

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Sarah Becker