My COVID-19 Wedding


By Emily Goodman

I was a Covid bride. I realize how trivial my struggles with a wedding were compared to the devastating and heartbreaking challenges others were facing from the impact of a global pandemic. I know that having to deal with a wedding during a pandemic is the best problem I could have had while others faced much heavier challenges.  

If you have ever been a soon-to-be bride or groom you probably understand the stress of planning a wedding. When my now husband, Rip, and I got engaged back in December of 2018 our parents wondered why we would possibly want to wait until April of 2020 to get married. Why would we wait over a year? 

I did not know how to plan a wedding or where to even begin. The idea of trying to plan one in a year seemed impossible and honestly, I did not really want a winter wedding. So, the best option was to wait until spring. I also learned that wedding venues book up well over a year in advance. By the time March of 2020 came around I wished I had taken a winter wedding after all.  

The week the world shut down was exactly a month before our wedding date. Governor Hogan had put a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, so clearly my wedding originally planned for 160 was not going to happen. So, we pushed our date back.

That following month leading up to April 19 was hard. Many times, Rip, our friend, and our family tried to convince me that we should still get married in April, but I always turned down the idea. What if the big wedding wouldn’t be as special because we were already married? Would I be disappointed when none of our closest people would be there with us? Should I sacrifice the day I had been planning for 16 months just to wear another ring?  

A global pandemic really put things into perspective. Seeing people across the world losing so much, grieving loved ones, the world truly shutting down – it really made me think. There are so many more important things in life than having a big wedding.   

I was lucky. I had my health, a job, and the health of my family. And isn’t family what matters the most? I was being selfish worrying about an elaborate party when the rest of the world was struggling around us. Two days before April 19, Rip and I made the decision to get married that Sunday after all. With our amazing Rabbi on board so last minute, Rip and I planned a new wedding in two days.  

With just our parents present, Rip and I made sure that the date that had grown so special to us in the last year, the one that was engraved in his wedding ring, was still our day. If living through a pandemic has taught me anything it is that I did not want to waste any more time not becoming a family.  

The day was nothing like I had planned. I wore a white dress that I had planned on wearing to my bridal shower that did not happen, did my own hair and makeup, and Rip had spontaneously shaved his head the week before thinking we would not be leaving the house again for months.  

Our family watched our ceremony through Zoom, and we ended the day with just the two of us getting carry out and drinking champagne at our kitchen island in sweats. Our honeymoon consisted of taking two days off work and watching Netflix on the couch.  

The day may not have happened as we had originally planned, but it was our day. The most important thing that happened was that we became husband and wife. Everything else was just pomp and circumstance, and that could wait until it was safe to do so. Looking back now, I would not change a thing.  

Emily Goodman is the Director of Holocaust and Countering Antisemitism Programming for the Baltimore Jewish Council. 

Planning a b’nai mitzvah in a pandemic. Check out this story.


Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List

Join Our Community

Small steps to make big impact in Baltimore, Israel and around the world


Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List
Skip to content
This Website is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilitiesWe are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.
Conformance status