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Napa Couple Forced To Manage Expectations For Pandemic Wedding Ceremony

NAPA (KPIX 5) -- The pandemic has put a stop to a lot of everyday activities, but it has also slammed the door on many couples' plans for their dream wedding.

Avoiding gatherings is a good way to fight disease, but it's a lousy way to start a marriage. Jennifer Magdefrau and Mike Watson of Napa were planning a wedding for June 13 until COVID-19 crashed the party.

"My biggest thing is, I want to hug my guests and enjoy the day, not have to worry about wearing a mask," said Magdefrau.

So the couple decided to wait and push back their wedding to a new date in June of 2021. It's a decision a lot of couples are making according to Mirella Riga. She owns  An Everlasting Moment, a wedding and event planning business in Pleasant Hill.

Most venues are closed right now. Even if they are allowed to reopen this year for weddings, Riga predicts there will be a number of restrictions to consider.

"You know, are they going to have a limit of 50 guests and how are they going to separate?" Riga said. "Dancing's going to be…how are you going to do that, you know, 6 feet apart?  So, it's all these little things that everyone's trying to figure out."

One big consideration brides are facing is their wedding dress. Brides spend thousands of dollars for gowns at Gesinee's Bridal in Concord and they are normally all custom-fitted.

But with social distancing, manager Sara Stokes say the store has been shipping dresses back and forth between customer and seamstress, making adjustments until it finally fits correctly.  But would brides really go to that trouble for a Zoom wedding?

"You know, everybody has hope right now," said Stokes. "It's not just about Zoom weddings. People do have hope to still plan their big wedding for July and August. The brides have hope."

With love, hope springs eternal. But not for Jennifer and Mike. They'll have their big dream wedding next year after a quiet civil ceremony sometime next month.

"After all the tears and disappointment, now it's kind of like…what else can we do but laugh about the fact that we tried to get married during a pandemic?" asked Magdefrau, "Obviously that wasn't going to happen!"

So what will happen if the pandemic is under control and normal weddings are allowed in 2021?  The wedding planner recommends anyone hoping to tie the knot next year get everything locked in now.  Things could get really crazy as two years worth of couples try to get married during the same summer.


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