Advice & Planning

Love Wins: How Real Dallas Couples—Like Kara & Spencer—Are Handling COVID-19

When Arlington residents Kara and Spencer Elswick got engaged in September 2019, they took into consideration Kara’s desire for a strict, shorter-than-most engagement timeline. She feared she would be too indecisive during the wedding planning and wanted to eliminate any wiggle room so she could make good—but quick–decisions. They set a six-month date for March 28, 2020, at Whiskey Ranch in Fort Wort Worth, excited to be surrounded by 140 friends and family members in a modern venue situated on the stunning grounds of a historic golf course in Glen Garden Country Club. Plans were progressing nicely, and Kara wasn’t nearly as indecisive about the details as she initially feared. Just 15 days before the big day, they got an email from Whiskey Ranch requesting a call. COVID-19 cancellations and announcements had just begun, so Kara and Spencer had a good idea what the call was about. Together, they decided that they wouldn’t postpone or cancel the wedding ceremony. They were still getting married on March 28, 2020, no matter what.

“It was such a special time and made us focus on what was important–on the love we had built and the love we will continue to build.”

“We didn’t want to spend another day after that not being husband-wife,” Kara says. “We got on the call and learned the venue was having to postpone all events in order to keep everyone safe. It was heartbreaking. I knew this was a possibility, but I wasn’t prepared for the moment they told us. We understood the reasoning, but there were a lot of tears that day.”

Once the tears dried, Kara, Spencer, and their families got to work. Family friends from their church offered the use of their beautiful apartment that perfectly frames views of downtown Fort Worth—an exquisite backdrop for an intimate wedding ceremony. It was just the right amount of space for the couple, their parents, a pastor, and a photographer.

Photo by Peony + Pine Photography

Kara was able to piece together a bridal bouquet from a local grocery store and had a cake made with “’ Til Coronavirus Do Us Part” written on the icing. She rush-ordered a dress from an online boutique and Spencer wore a suit from his closet. “We had the sweetest ceremony,” Kara says. “My father was able to walk me down the aisle, and some of our friends and family joined via a video conference call. It was such a special time and made us focus on what was important–the love we had built and the love we will continue to build.”

As with most things, COVID-19, this, too, shall pass. And when it does, Kara and Spencer will have the ceremony and reception they originally planned with a vow renewal in March 2021 with everyone on their guest list in attendance to celebrate their new life together. Spencer and Kara’s father had worked for months on an arch they intended to use at the original ceremony, where they would stand underneath and exchange vows. The arch and Whiskey Ranch will still be there for the new Mr. and Mrs. Elswick when it’s safe to gather again. “We want to make those promises to one another in front of all our friends and family,” Kara says. “But it will kind of be like going back in time, since everything will say March 28, 2020!”

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