Joanna and Russell met five years ago in New York City, courtesy of a dating app. “We met in true millennial fashion,” said Joanna. Five years later, the two were engaged on their dating anniversary. Russell proposed on the walk home from their celebration dinner, taking Joanna by surprise.
The couple was set to get married in Detroit on August 29, 2020, with 250+ guests in attendance. However, COVID had other plans and left their wedding plans up in the air.
“The unknown was driving me crazy, so Russell and I decided we were going to downsize early on (in May). Once we committed to that decision we didn't look back.”
Joanna and Russell were determined to have their wedding as safely as possible, so guest count and venue had to change.
“There was about a week where Russell and I considered having only our immediate family there. The second I told one of my maid of honors, I knew that wasn't what I wanted,” said Joanna. “The guest list became immediate family and ‘extended bridal party’.”Joanna and Russell’s big day evolved into a 29-person micro wedding at the Royal Park Hotel in Michigan.
Joanna’s bridesmaids were in French Blue tulle in varying styles - Rosalie, Abigail and Bella. She used Revelry’s mega swatches to help decide on the perfect shade of blue, deciding between Better Together and French Blue.
“It was so helpful to really be able to see and feel the swatches and put them next to different elements (my dress, decor, etc.) to see if they really do go together. I actually brought my mega swatch when we went suit shopping!”
Joanna even had her seamstress make face masks using mega swatches, to complement the bridesmaid dresses.
Once she decided on the color, she let her bridesmaids choose styles using our Home Try-On process.
“It was such a relief to find a way for my bridesmaids who live in 4 different states to order their dresses! The boxes came quickly and had super clear instructions on what the girls needed to do. Plus, they were super cute!”
Joanna said none of her bridesmaids needed alterations, making the process super easy.
"I was so impressed with the sizing options for my girls who have different body types. My bridesmaids loved their dresses and I received many compliments on the day of the wedding as well as after."
When it comes to advice to other brides planning weddings during COVID, Joanna said she found silver linings, like having her ceremony recorded from the live stream. She also helped guests feel at ease by over-communicating leading up to the event.
"We were happy to answer any questions they had about the precautions we were taking along with what the venue had in place. We also listed this information on our website for easy access."
As for her favorite part of the day? She couldn't pick one. "After changing our plans and wondering if we would be able to get married this year, having our closest family and friends with us was the best. From the start of the day getting ready with the girls to the very end of the night, it was all so special."
See more from Joanna and Russell's big day:
Venue: Royal Park Hotel
Photographer: Bre Thomas Photography
Florals / Planner: Silver Bean Events