A Collaboration Between
Boyd's Station and
Text and Photography by Whitney Saleski
Half a year ago, Lauren and Romeo of Dayton, OH, were intent on saving up for a big wedding of over 400 people. Together, they were planning a celebration that would include family and friends from around the world, including Lauren’s parents from the East Coast and Romeo’s family from Dayton and Rwanda, respectively. But when COVID-19 hit stateside, Lauren, a nursing student and Romeo, a software engineer, had to get creative, and quickly.
Realizing that time was of the essence–combined with Lauren’s eventual clinical rotations that would put her on the frontlines of an international pandemic–the young couple began the planning process that would result in a hastily established but well-organized impromptu backyard wedding.
From flowers to catering to dresses and the big cake, the couple spun into homemade gold tasks that would have been otherwise outsourced during a “traditional, modern” wedding celebration. Thus, a “modern, COVID-19 wedding” was born–a concept that, only a few months ago, would have been as confusing as it was inconceivable.
For a few days in late August of 2020, the couple purchased fresh flower bouquets from Kroger, made a glazed wedding Bundt cake from scratch, and invited the bare minimum of party guests, limited to immediate family only. Lauren’s sister, Kristin, and Romeo’s brother, Dez, served as the maid of honor and best man, and apart from Lauren’s parents, Kathy and Jon, and Romeo’s mother, Annonciata, the remaining family and friends watched the proceedings live via Zoom.
Laughingly dubbed their “spontaneous micro-wedding,” Romeo and Lauren have adjusted to strange, difficult, and, at times, perilous new circumstances. Facing the world together, however, as a unified force has made things slightly easier.
In our new normal, history will continue to be written and rewritten by-the-minute, and their small wedding is no exception. “We knew we wanted to be married,” Lauren states, “and we also wanted to leverage the process to brighten the lives of our relatives amidst a summer that has been very difficult, both for personal and public reasons.”
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