LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the wedding industry, as thousands of couples are forced to cancel or postpone their nuptials. But one Columbia couple wasn’t going to let the global pandemic stop them from tying the knot. They found a safe way to celebrate their big day, while also letting their families be part of their wedding.
Jennifer Coffey and Robert Arcovio are both teachers in Lexington County and planned their wedding for April 4th, which would have been the start of their spring break. They’ve been engaged since last summer, and just when they learned the needed to make a decision about their wedding, Coffey's mom was diagnosed with cancer.
“That news kind of hit us all at once. We felt like that was not a good option for us to choose a new date because of my mom, and we didn’t know how she would be feeling or what treatment she would be going through, and we wanted her to be there and to be a part of it,” said Coffey. They decided the venue, caterer, and decor didn’t matter. Instead, they got married on a co-worker’s parents’ Lake Murray dock. “We were excited to get married, we still wanted to do it," said Coffey.
They put on their wedding attire, glued flowers to a homemade arch and had an officiant, photographer and friend present, who Facebook live-streamed the ceremony. The couple says their original guest list was fewer than 100 people, but more than 300 tuned in to watch their big day from their living rooms. “We were still absolutely showered with love. We had more people reach out to us than I think we would have on our normal wedding day," Coffey explained.
Since Coffey is a dance teacher, she says it was important to her that they still have their first dance. “The homeowners put up some lights and flowers out on the dock for us, so we said let’s go have our first dance out on the water, and everyone could hopefully dance in their living rooms with us and celebrate that way," said Coffey. They also had Publix create a miniature version of the cake they had chosen.
While their wedding was unconventional, they say it was special and a day they will never forget. “The virus kind of stopped. Obviously it was still going on, and it was still in the world around us, but we were just not focused on that. This one day was just about us, and it was about our marriage," Coffey explained.
"Leading up to the wedding, we were worrying about everything, the caterers, and all the things that you normally typically worry about with a wedding. I just had to keep saying, as long as we get married at the end of it, that’s what counts, that's what it’s really about, and that ended up being true," said Arcovio.
The couple plans to have a big celebration with family and friends next year on their one year anniversary.