From the garter to the getaway car and everything in between— The Bridal Extravaganza — Experience this Houston tradition. It was really nice to attend the Bridal Extravaganza because you can go through and see all of these vendors. You really can't get the same feel from the internet. It's especially important for personal items like photography, videography and floral.
The wedding photographer had already spent an hour or two inside the venue with the unmasked wedding party when one of the bridesmaids approached her.
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When the photographer asked what she meant by that, the bridesmaid said the groom had tested positive for the coronavirus the day before. The photographer, who has asthma and three kids—she wore a mask—left with her assistant before the night was over. Her exit was tense. I have fourteen students. A few days later she started to feel sick and, sure enough, tested positive for the coronavirus.
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She informed the couple. Weddings are complicated events, and overhauling plans to accommodate the pandemic, as many have had to do, is no simple task.
Celebrations must be moved to outdoor venues, guests must be uninvited, and vendors who are comfortable working at events during a public health crisis must be found. To those not already mired in the planning process, canceling or postponing a wedding might seem like the obvious solution. But couples who choose to push their weddings to a date in an uncertain post-pandemic future must take into the schedules of the venue, the caterers, the bartenders, the DJ, the florist, the photographer, and many other cogs in the wedding machine, all of whom are coordinating schedules with a dozen other couples trying to plan what should be the best day of their lives in what is likely one of the worst years of their lives.
And rescheduling a wedding is not just a logistical nightmare: deposits are at stake. The question of whether to reschedule is also an emotional one for many couples. They made adjustments when Governor Greg Abbott said wedding venues could hold events only at 50 percent capacity now 75 percent in most counties. But in many cases, that just meant that what was once a person wedding became a person wedding.
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And even at much smaller weddings, precautions quickly fell by the wayside. One quick spin around the frenzied dance floor that is the Instagram hashtag texaswedding reveals hundreds of photos of recent nuptials from across the state.
In these photographs, there are usually neither masks nor Purell pumps, nor any other visual indication that the celebrations are taking place amid a global pandemic. Wedding photographers find themselves in a tight spot.
They need to shoot weddings to make a living, but that means consistently spending time in large groups. Several described couples who were cautious, respectful, and understanding.
But many were not. Another photographer, also sounding a bit incredulous, described a wedding where at least six out of the fourteen or so people in the bridal party ended up testing positive.
The photographer who got sick after shooting the wedding of the COVID-positive groom said her experiences have left her a little depressed. Fearing a legal battle, she recorded some conversations she had with bridesmaids and guests that night, surreptitiously taking a video with her cellphone. The photographer gets audibly upset.
Just so she could have her wedding day? This story was published online on December 21, It also appeared in our March issue and has been updated to reflect additional reporting. Instead It Led to Divorce. I Live in the Middle of Nowhere.