• ebhowell

As You Wish

How to Salvage a Wedding during Covid-19 Pandemic

My little brother planned his May wedding more than a year ago. The young couple, Philip and Kelly, imagined a vision board suitable for a Pinterest page dedicated to DC weddings. It would start with an outdoor ceremony in the U.S. National Arboretum followed by a traditional reception with a twist. They’d move their guests from the gardens to a downtown rooftop above an Asian market with a real pagoda perched in the background. It would be the perfect place for their celebration. And, there was the show-stopper gown that she would wear and a knockout custom suit for my brother.

Then the virus wiped away their dream.

They moved the date, changed the location and invited less people, but even their newly-formed plans evaporated by changing restrictions and regulations during the pandemic. So, the couple waited it out, sheltered in their Eastern Market apartment with their three-legged dog, Queen Maya, and multiple coffee machines.

Until last week, they decided to ‘just do it.’ They organized an elopement plan. (not sure it’s a true elopement if I knew about it, especially when I cannot keep a secret.) They got married en route to their honeymoon in Maine. They’ll honey-tine for 14 days on an island they know well.

Our parents honeymooned there and so did most of our father’s siblings and cousins. It was a family tradition, when the time came to get married, the new couple spent time on the island after their wedding day. It was thought to bring the new couple good luck. I am not sure of the stats, but starting your marriage on an island adds glue to the union. Magical island glue.
Things We Don’t Talk About, ebh

But first, Philip and Kelly stopped-off in Portland to get married with a few witnesses, an old college friend along with his girlfriend, a guitarist and strangers helping with Kelly's bouquet. The Mainers were stand-ins for all of us. They picked the cinematic Mackerel Cove in Harpswell as their outdoor spot. They old friend was the officiant and helped with the paperwork since he’s a handy lawyer.

I’m proud of all of them, especially Philip.

Philip’s always been a romantic. He watched the movie Princess and the Bride until he knew all the lines; he fell for Buttercup over and over. He played a Beach Boy’s song loudly from his first Honda, and declared to me, “I’m gonna play this for a girl someday.”

To the groom and his bride, you are as interesting and heroic as Westley and as beautiful as Buttercup. I’m amazed by your loyalty, partnership and true love. And, you are living a Beach Boy’s song out loud,

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up In the morning when the day is new? And after having spent the day together Hold each other close the whole night through?
Happy times together we've been spending I wish that every kiss was never ending Oh, wouldn't it be nice?
- Brian Wilson, 1966 Pet Sounds Album

Maya waits for her boat.

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