If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it's that love ALWAYS wins. These two beautiful soulmates made the most of their day with the help of an incredible team. Their day was intimate and special just for them while family members watched through the 2020 MVP - Zoom.
Keep scrolling to see all of the beautiful photos by Mo Davis Photography and the cake by La'Meeka Edwards. Natina Hill planned every detail and Leneille Moon created all of the amazing florals. You can see all the images in the full gallery.
Change of Plans
In December 2019, when Qiana and Elena secured the venue and date for their wedding, they had no idea a year later the COVID-19 pandemic would force them to make a difficult decision. Would they adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines and host 75+ guests at their in-person wedding, or would they cancel their in-person wedding and opt for an intimate ceremony for two?
As the wedding date drew near, they paid attention to the numbers. COVID-19 cases spiked in Georgia in late October with public health sources predicting a continued increase as the holidays approached. Qiana and Elena quietly grew anxious about bringing their loved ones together and - not wanting to disappoint the other - repeatedly asked, “What do you want to do?”
On Thanksgiving Day, they decided not to move forward with the in-person wedding. They breathed sighs of relief and made a video to send to their would-be guests. Then the real work began!
Where to Wed
They contacted all vendors to determine what arrangements, if any, could be made. Thankfully, they were able to work with the venue, caterer, and DJ for a future date. Both the florist and cake artisan worked with them to downsize their florals and cake. But where would they get married?
Qiana searched for small art galleries, AirBnB homes, bed and breakfasts, and outdoor spaces. They made phone calls, searched online, and visited a few potential venues. Days into their search, Qiana and Elena reviewed their options for new venues and grew dismayed at the additional costs or limited accessibility. They were overwhelmed and frustrated. Neither cared where they got married as long as they were married on the first day of the new year. Then, Qiana had an idea.
“Let’s just get married at home,” she said.
Elena paused briefly before emphatically agreeing to a home ceremony. Suddenly, everything made sense. Their home is their peaceful safe haven, where they feel most comfortable. All of which made exchanging vows there the best way to celebrate their love.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
In a mere two weeks, the couple planned the shift from a 3,000 square feet venue filled with 75+ guests to the quaint comfort of their living room with family and friends observing via Zoom. They asked their vendors, coordinator, and support team to help them pull off the best wedding at home, and they did!
On January 1, 2021, the Givens’ home was transformed to a ceremony space. A continental breakfast and mimosa table was prepared for the vendors. The living room and fireplace were decorated in lush wine, blush, and ivory florals. Guests accessed the Zoom and listened to a curated playlist of classic love songs. The ceremony began with a slideshow of the wedding party before the brides entered to No Weapon by Fred Hammond and All the Way by Ledisi.
The couple shared their written vows, accepted a vow of support from the guests, kissed wrapped in a faith vine, and jumped the broom before being introduced as a married couple. A “cocktail quarter” followed with a Black Love music mix. After photos, the first dance, and toasts from the best man and parents of the brides, the couple cut into a 1-tier ivory and gold cake and fed each other.
The wed-at-home event ended with the Givens thanking their guests and stopping the Zoom before being chauffeured in a 1968 Rolls Royce to Atlanta for photos at the Outkast mural and dinner at Tiny Lou’s.
The journey to #NewYearNewGivens was an unpredictable one but one that Qiana and Elena Givens would not have had any other way. Love always must go on!