With masks at the ready, this couple made a COVID wedding look like a glamorous, elegant affair.
With masks at the ready, this couple made a COVID wedding look like a glamorous, elegant affair.

Glamorous COVID wedding impresses

Andrea Whitehead spent a week online dating, but all the dates were with the same guy. She met the man of her dreams, Adrian Abel, when she first joined Bumble in August 2018.

"At the time we met, Adrian was working FIFO on a four weeks away, one week at home roster," Andrea recalls.

"We had three dates in that first week while he was home and then spoke every day of the four weeks he was away.

"We saw each other the night he got home and spent every possible minute together from then. We were officially a couple within a few days, and were engaged six months later!"

Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography
Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography

The Rochedale South couple had originally planned to marry in March but COVID meant they eventually married on September 5 last year in front of 46 guests at The Courthouse Restaurant in Cleveland, where they also held their reception, masks at the ready.

"We certainly didn't ever think we'd be taking photos on our wedding day in masks, but the photos tell an amazing story of the very unusual year we all had,'' Andrea says.

The proposal?

Andrea: Adrian proposed to me at home on a Monday night after I got back from horse riding.

We were going to NZ with a group of friends on the Wednesday for a friend's wedding, but he said as I was sitting eating dinner talking excitedly about horses and our holiday he couldn't wait.

He was also worried my sister's boyfriend would propose while we were in NZ, which he did!

 

Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography
Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography

Hens and buck's nights?

We had a picnic in New Farm Park by Lovely Occasions, then dinner at Mr Mister.

The bucks was a barbecue at home then a night in the Valley (the last one for a long time!)

 

First Dance song?

Adore You, Miley Cyrus.

 

Theme?

Bright, spring flowers were really only the theme and decorations we had.

 

Honeymoon?

That European adventure will have to wait. We enjoyed a week off at home together, doing day trips.

 

What was the standout moment of the day?

By the time we got there, the most memorable part was that we actually made it. Given our wedding was in early September, for most people this was the first event since lockdown, and probably the first event of the year given everything had been cancelled since March!

So the atmosphere was even more fun and celebratory than we had hoped; it was so great. We were also lucky enough to have the most beautiful sunny day.

Although one funny thing did happen - as my mum gave me away to Adrian, she stood on the back of my dress and veil, and I was sure she was going to ruin my outfit before we were even married (it was all fine, and now just makes a funny story).

 

Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography
Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography

 

What would you do differently?

Honestly, nothing at all. It was the perfect day.

 

One thing you wish people told you about planning a wedding?

I had heard how stressful planning a wedding was but I really enjoyed it. I am incredibly organised and love planning anything, so I loved it.

 

Best advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Just think about what is important to the both of you and don't worry about other people. It's your day, so plan the day you will enjoy.

Also, if you hire great vendors just let them do what they're good at and take their advice. For example, I knew I loved flowers and wanted our day full of bright flowers, but I didn't know what would be in season or exactly what design etc would look best. So I just spoke with our florist, told her the sorts of colours I would like, and let her have free rein.

Our flowers were absolutely stunning and we got so many compliments; our florist knew what would look best and I think it shows. Also, use the vendors recommended by your venue; the whole process was really simple for us as most of our vendors were familiar with the venue so could just liaise directly, and also already had an idea of how the day would work.

Oh, and hire a DJ - this was a last-minute addition for us and it was one of the best decisions we made. I'm so glad we didn't have to worry about what music would play when, sorting a play list, having someone to manage the music.

You don't want to have to worry about anything on the day so you can enjoy every moment.

 

Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography
Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography

 

Original wedding plans?

Everything was the same except for our date, which was originally planned for March 28, 2020.

Weddings were effectively cancelled by the Prime Minister the Monday before our planned wedding, so we didn't have much of a choice.

We had guests from interstate with us already, so they had to leave on the Monday to get back home before their state borders closed. I had to pick up my dress from Ella Moda for the final fitting on the Monday, having just made the call to cancel the wedding … it was a pretty sad pick-up I have to say.

 

Emotions around changing plans?

It was so sad being so very close to our day and not being able to have it as planned, but I am so glad we waited it out and were able to have our perfect wedding day.

It made it even more special to be there with our family and friends. It was really a day filled with love, as corny as that sounds.

It also put a lot of the small stuff into perspective; I couldn't have cared less if something went wrong on the day, we were all finally there together and that was the best part.

We did sadly have about 10 guests who were unable to attend due to the borders, but we decided we just wanted to go ahead with the new date as we couldn't foresee a day in the near future where something wouldn't be an issue … turns out we were right.

 

What helped you get through the stress of changing plans?

Realising that we still had each other; nothing about our relationship changed except the date of our wedding. Our vendors were also absolutely amazing and supportive.

Carol at the Courthouse, especially, was just wonderful.

 

Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography
Andrea and Adrian Abel wedding. Picture: Ben Clark Photography

 

Advice for other couples whose weddings are impacted by coronavirus?

Two things: speak to your venue about their restrictions.

Don't worry about posting on Facebook groups or asking random people about their opinions on restrictions - each venue (depending on their business classification) has different restrictions to adhere to and only they can tell you about them. Save yourself stress and time by speaking directly with the source.

Secondly, brides who keep postponing for when restrictions lift, just go ahead with your wedding; stop waiting for the perfect time with no restrictions.

For us, the stress leading up to the new date every time the Premier made a COVID announcement was ridiculous and I think this is the "new norm" for a while to come; I don't think you would regret getting married and at some point we need to just live our lives!

 

Originally published as Is this Brisbane's most glamorous COVID wedding?



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