Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic forced newly engaged couples to downscale, postpone and cancel wedding celebrations due to safety concerns and stay-at-home orders.
But for one couple in California, not even contracting the virus itself could stop them from tying the knot.
Lauren and Patrick Delgado, a couple of four years, looked forward to their big day on Nov. 20 since they got engaged in May last year. What the pair did not expect, however, was for the pandemic to force them to change their venue and guest lists three times.
Testing positive for Covid-19 five days before her own wedding was the last thing Lauren Delgado saw coming.
“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” Delgado, 29, said. “I was really saddened because everything we had planned was already getting cancelled.”
As their marriage license was set to expire the day after their ceremony, the couple ultimately decided to move forward with a wedding under quarantine at the bride's mother's home in Ontario, California — about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Patrick Delgado, 27, stood in a grey suit outside house and the bride was perched above from her second floor bedroom window.
“It was the most 2020 wedding I have ever shot during Covid-19,” said Jessica Jackson, the wedding photographer.
The family members, clad in white face masks, socially distanced outside Delgado’s window for the 45-minute ceremony. There was a total of 10 guests — all of whom tested negative and some who watched from their parked cars on the street, Delgado said.
The couple each held the end of a flower-decorated ribbon made by her aunt when they exchanged their vows.
“It was a way of holding each other’s hand despite being so far away from each other,” Delgado said.
She added that the impromptu wedding did not allow her enough time to pick up her wedding dress, so she wore a white dress from Anthropologie in her closet, and even did her own hair and makeup.
“I was just so happy and excited to be surrounded by my closest loved ones there,” she said. “It wasn’t about a big wedding, it was just about celebrating our love and life together.”
Jackson said the non-traditional nuptials looked like a scene pulled right out of a “fairytale.”
“They are a beautiful and resilient couple who were really put through the ringer, and there was only joy radiating off of them — through sickness and in health,” Jackson said.
After the ceremony, Delgado said her new husband returned to his home while she remained at her mother’s house to recover. The couple, while apart, ended the night with a Postmates dinner while watching the Netflix movie, “Holidate.”
“It’s almost like a funny story we’ll one day tell our children,” Delgado said. “Like, we couldn’t sleep in the same bed the same day we got married.”
On Monday, the newlyweds saw each other for the first time since their wedding day when they picked up the keys to their first apartment together — “while following health protocols of course,” Delgado said.
“We’re just excited to build a life together and move into this new chapter,” she said.
As for the future, Delgado said she hopes to host a larger ceremony with the couple’s entire families and friends once a vaccine becomes available.
“Maybe one day I’ll get to kiss him under the altar,” she said.