After coronavirus changed their wedding plans, these brides-to-be found new audiences to help them celebrate

"I didn't want anyone to feel like that they had to hold back or that they would be judged for a decision," Brittany Beckmann said.

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By Rima Abdelkader

Across the country, brides-to-be have had to cancel, postpone or downscale wedding celebrations out of coronavirus safety precautions and stay-at-home orders.

In some cases, turning online to express grief and support is what felt necessary to grapple with a new way to celebrate a rite of passage in the age of COVID-19. When Brittany Beckmann couldn't find a Facebook group for brides-to-be struggling with changing plans, she created one herself.

"I have pictured what my wedding day would be like for a while — you know, you have this vision — and every bride in that group, their wedding is going to be changed in some way," Beckmann, 30, told NBC News.

Brittany Beckmann and her fiancé, Bryant.The Keel Collective

After a stay-at-home order was issued in her state of Wisconsin, Beckmann and her fiancé, Bryant, canceled their plan for a rustic-barn-themed wedding and are instead having a small gathering in the parking lot of a church in Hartland on June 6.

"I was getting questions from family and friends: 'What are you going to do?' 'What are you doing?'" Beckmann said. "So, I didn't really know anyone that was getting married in the summer."

She started the online group for brides-to-be and their bridal parties as well as for vendors planning along with them, thinking it would only attract a few people. Since starting the group "2020 Covid19 Brides/Vendors" in April, it has gained dozens of followers and reached over 155 people.

Several other Facebook groups have also popped up for brides-to-be planning weddings during the pandemic.

"We don't know each other. There are so many cool, unique, creative ideas on what they're doing to still have their dream wedding come true," Beckmann said.

Brittany Beckmann Facebook post from April 5/Courtesy Brittany BeckmannFacebook

Beckmann, who is a social worker at an in-patient hospice facility in New Berlin, Wisconsin, said her new friends have helped her figure out how to plan a wedding differently through their support.

Friends throw a surprise Zoom bachelorette party for Brittany Beckmann.Courtesy to Brittany Beckmann

While she can no longer have a large wedding reception, Beckmann plans to livestream her church ceremony and parking lot slow dance for friends and family who can't physically attend.

Her mother, Jean, 63, is relieved that her daughter will still be able to have her wedding, albeit differently.

"We got married in 1988, and it was a pretty traditional wedding: a church wedding, and we had a reception, and a lot different than it is now. I'm not sure how I would've handled it back then if things were like they were now," she told NBC News.

Photo of Brittany Beckmann's parents 1988 Wisconsin wedding.Courtesy to Jean Beckmann

Jean said she is proud that her daughter is talking with other brides-to-be online about how to prepare for their weddings while exercising safety precautions.

"I didn't want anyone to feel like that they had to hold back or that they would be judged for a decision," Beckmann said.

It's a sentiment shared by Jaime Marrus, 32, who postponed her wedding on April 18 with her fiancé, Zachary, due to a statewide stay-at-home order in New York.

Jaime Marrus and her fiancé, Zachary.Courtesy JoVon Photography

Marrus, who is a clinical psychologist in Manhattan, was planning to have a large gathering with a live band at a country club on Long Island, where the ceremony and reception would both take place.

"Right before I walk down the aisle, you're in a room with my to-be-husband, and the rabbi and two witnesses and they sign the ketubah, which is a Jewish marriage contract, so the Jewish signing happens and then the ceremony happens and then it's just a rabbi officiating," Marrus told NBC News.

Marrus said she is planning for a smaller ceremony for Aug. 6. Next year, she plans to have a larger ceremony followed by a reception, depending on safety precautions.

The couple's celebration on April 18 in Manhattan.Courtesy Jaime Marrus

On April 18, in light of the original plan not working out, she and her fiancé both popped champagne on the street as her parents drove by, and she later had a Zoom call with her bridesmaids and a separate Zoom call with her fiancé's parents.

Jaime Marrus and her fiancé, Zachary.Courtesy Jaime Marrus

"Even if we have to postpone, it's to keep everyone safe," Marrus said.

Like Beckmann, Marrus also started an Facebook group to support brides-to-be planning weddings during this historic time.

Jaime Marrus Facebook post from March 15/Courtesy Jaime MarrusFacebook

Marrus said she thought to create one after reading a Facebook post in a book club group she's in about a member seeking recommendations for "feel-good books" since the member was trying to figure out whether or not to postpone a wedding.

Since creating the group in March, Marrus has seen membership grow to over 270 people.

Her mother, Debbie, 67, said her daughter has "risen to the occasion" after taking the right course of action to postpone the wedding.

Debbie said she and her husband married in 1976 in Queens. She remembered having a big reception with family and friends and wedding planning being easier than it is now.

Jaime Marrus's parents 1976 New York wedding.Courtesy Debbie Marrus

Debbie said she is glad her daughter is sharing her experience with other brides-to-be trying to figure it out online.

"Even if you haven't gone through it, it's not like your friends and family aren't there for you but they truly can't understand what you're going through unless they've experienced it themselves," Debbie said, "so I think that's what was so important to her and I think it helped her."