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Love is not cancelled, even if COVID screws up your plans!

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Meet Sarah and Ethan, two of the most patient, resilient and in love people we know at EME. Jane and Kendie met Ethan as he worked in the neighbouring office to them when they worked together in the OT world. After several years of huge social events shared, Friday night knock off drinks and many coffee runs shared, I (Jane) was so delighted when Ethan asked her to be the celebrant for his and Sarah’s wedding!

Big plans were designed and put together to celebrate a big day with all their family and friends. From memory, the guest list was going to be upwards of 100 people!

Then, as for many couples looking to get married in 2020, the world was introduced to COVID-19, social distancing, masks and lockdowns. It has been a time like no other that anyone has ever experienced before, and everyone was in the dark about what to do. Do you postpone or try and reduce your guest list to keep your original date? Do you elope and have a party later? Do you do a Zoom wedding online with only 5 people present in person? These were the questions SO many couples have had to ask themselves this year. For Ethan and Sarah, this date was SO important to them that they were determined to make it happen.

They were actually the only EME couple out of 11 scheduled for the end of the 2020 wedding season who decided to keep their date and not postpone!

They reduced their guest list and kept this flexible to accommodate any potential changes and planned for a huge party in 2021 to celebrate again. When EME asked them what was important to them on their day and what their non-negotiables were, they responded with ‘seeing the other for the first time at the aisle as Sarah would be walking down’. When they weren’t sure how the wedding might happen, we made the suggestion to do a ‘first look’ moment with their photographer to capture this and keep forever, which would be a beautiful keepsake to share and look back in years to come. They were also excited to have their family and friends gathered and was finding narrowing the guest list difficult. We talked about their video being played at the party that they would do with everyone when able to and reliving parts of the day with everyone present.

The final decisions had been made and we were three days out from the wedding day when a devastating blow hit- the entire state was being ordered into Lockdown which would later be confirmed as not necessary due to the incorrect information that had been provided. There was an initial idea of whether it could be quickly done that Wednesday evening and then it was attempted to be scheduled for the Sunday after the lockdown was lifted however these plans did not pan out and it was then confirmed that these two would get their special day the following Sunday.

On 28.11.2020, the state was being advised of extreme heat warnings and to enact bush fire plans.

I arrived at the venue- Maximillian’s, which is a beautiful winery in Verdun, nestled in the Adelaide Hills. During set up, it was quite hot and then the temperature suddenly dropped and it seemed to feel like a perfect day for the ceremony outdoors. As guests were arriving and Ethan was excitedly awaiting his bride, rain started to fall and did not seem to show signs of letting up however the decision was made to delay the ceremony by 15 minutes. After this time, it was decided that the ceremony could not be delayed anything further and Ethan and Sarah were ready to get the show on the road.

Amazingly, the rain dispersed and there was not a single drop during the actual ceremony. I am the first to say that I am emotional and can cry at the drop of a hat however I usually feel I can pull things ‘together’ for my ceremonies. This one was truly that bit more emotional given all the hurdles to the day and the emotion was felt by everyone present on the day. Sarah is someone who is always naturally stunning and just the most beautiful person and seeing her walk down the aisle in an incredible Couture Love Madness dress was breathtaking. But the statement of the day, aside from her and Ethan’s smiles, was her incredible hat by Sylvyearl! It was elegant and timeless and just suited her so much- rain or shine, she was ready for any elements to marry her man! We do want to make a quick mention of the beautiful flowers on the day by Stemhaus and a massive shout out to Ben from the B-Sharpz who provided beautiful acoustics on the day and kept guests entertained by continuing to sing for them during the delay. Katherine Schultz photography is an absolute delight and has an incredible reputation and her and I shared a wedding at the same venue about two years ago, so it was lovely to be reunited again. Alex from AWP is so talented and has captured incredibly special moments of the day.

Sarah and Ethan, you have shown such determination, love and compassion during this time.

It was my absolute honour and pleasure to officiate your wedding ceremony and share the journey to your day. You deserve nothing but happiness in life and I am excited for what your next chapters have in store for you, but I think we are all hoping for no more pandemics.

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