A Wedding in the Time of Coronavirus

Photography by Kent Drake Photography


How an Intimate Ceremony Became an Irreplaceable Memory  

Being selected as a couple’s wedding design team is not something we take lightly at HMR Designs. Taking on a couple as a client is an exciting, emotional, and cherished process that goes beyond floral and decor. Just like the bride and groom, we look forward to the final reveal, so when Jenna and Ryan had to postpone their wedding, we were all disappointed! All of the planning and anticipation had been a build-up to their spectacular spring wedding at The Old Post Office this March. (Note: Jenna and Ryan were scheduled to have the first wedding at the historic and newly restored Old Post Office. You can check out the venue’s beautiful renovations here.) 

And although Jenna and Ryan had to postpone their larger celebration, they still choose to get married on their originally scheduled wedding day. Following the CDC’s guidelines and practicing social distancing, Jenna and Ryan were married in an intimate and unique ceremony with their families. Their wedding photographer, Kent Drake, who was able to photograph them from a distance, shared a bit with us about their memorable wedding day:

I got to do a special thing. It’s a bizarre time, but still, one that calls for moments of celebration. Jenna and Ryan will have to wait to gather with friends and family, but did not need to wait for one another. It felt so good to be in this environment again, albeit socially distant and intimate, and able to create. The start to their story is so personal and built on commitment, truly a privilege to be there to help share a piece of it.

Photography by Kent Drake Photography


It wasn’t the wedding day Jenna and Rayn had planned for (it even rained!) but that didn’t make it any less meaningful, beautiful, or romantic. With many engaged couples in the same shoes, we wanted to share their uplifting story. HMR’s Brittanie Ahrens, their Wedding Designer, says:

We were all upset that we had to postpone Jenna and Ryan’s wedding – they are such a great couple to work with and have gathered the best group of vendors for their wedding. Even though it was a letdown, I was still able to put together a ‘best of market’ bouquet for Jenna, and a handsome boutonniere for Ryan, using their color palate. We saved her real wedding bouquet for the actual day, but it made me so happy to be able to surprise them with something that I knew they would love. The whole team will be ecstatic when we can produce events again and finally see this one come to life!

Photography by Kent Drake Photography


Q&A with Jenna:


What was the best part of your wedding day? 

Ryan and I thought it was so special that we had an intimate ceremony. It will always be an irreplaceable memory of our day, one that we wouldn’t have if our wedding was never postponed! Ryan and I both agree that one of the best parts was that we spent the night listening to our favorite songs, dancing all night, and soaking up the fact that we just got married. We cannot wait to celebrate with our friends and family, but it was pretty cool to just enjoy the night together. 

What was the biggest surprise about your wedding day? 

There were so many surprises on the day of our wedding, but one of the biggest was our photographer, Kent Drake, showed up to the ceremony! We were so happy to see him, and so appreciative that he was there to capture our special day!

Photography by Kent Drake Photography


Were any of your family and friends able to be a part of your celebration?

The ceremony was our close family only, we decided not to share it virtually.But after the ceremony, we Zoomed with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and had a virtual “cheers.” It was the sweetest thing, my grandpa was wearing his suit and tie and everything!!! I think one of the hardest parts was that our grandparents couldn’t be there to hear us say, “I do.”


How did you celebrate getting married during a pandemic? 

After the ceremony, Ryan and I headed downtown and my parents had decorated our apartment with votive candles everywhere, sparkly gold hearts on all the windows, and set up our dinner table! It was seriously so romantic! We ordered Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company and opened up a nice bottle of wine. Erin from ECBG Cake Studio also surprised us and made us the cutest tiny version of our wedding cake!!! It was *almost* too precious to eat! 

What are you most looking forward to about celebrating your wedding with your family and friends The Old Post Office

We just can’t wait to be with all our favorite people!!! 

What would you tell other brides who are going through the same thing right now? 

Your feelings are valid. It’s okay to be upset and grieve the loss of your canceled wedding day, but don’t get stuck there! While you can’t change the situation, you are 100% in charge of your attitude. You can choose to think only negative things, or you can rise to the occasion and it will set the tone for how you handle adversity together the rest of your life. I keep telling myself that I truly think our marriage will only be stronger because of this. Our friends and family are so excited for our day to finally be here, and I keep thinking about how it will be 100 times more special because of all the things we’ve had to overcome!!! 

Photography by Kent Drake Photography


Anything else you’d like to share?

Just that we couldn’t have done any of this without our wedding planner, Michelle from Lola Event Productions. She has been there for us through it all! She worked tirelessly to find us a new date that worked for all our vendors, answered all our phone calls no matter the time of day, and had the best attitude and outlook every step of the way. I cried when my mom spilled the beans that she was going to be at our intimate ceremony, because I truly could not imagine getting married without her there.  She has been the biggest blessing, and we are so thankful for her.