I’m so excited to feature this wedding, because (a) I got to attend and be a part of this beautiful celebration and (b) it’s my sister-in-law’s wedding! While it wasn’t exactly what they had initially pictured for their big day, it truly was so beautiful and the love that filled the church and reception was very apparent to all that attended.
Kelley and Brendan’s Fourth of July weekend wedding was something they had been planning and looking forward to for the past year. Then COVID hit and slowly their plans were being cancelled and changed. It was a stressful, disappointing and frustrating time, ultimately forcing them to make the decision to postpone their big day to next July.
Then, we got a call one fine June afternoon that 2020 would still be the year they got to say their “I Do’s”. Being married in the church was very important to them, and luckily the churches were opening!
With one month to completely replan their big day, having to adhere to social distancing regulations, and with the help of family and friends they were able to have the wedding they wanted all along. And let me tell you, they couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day surrounded by so much love and support.
Bride: Kelley Hand Hunt
Groom: Brendan Hunt
Wedding Date: 7/25/20
Most Precious Blood Parish and My Parent’s Backyard
How did you and your partner meet?
Tell me your story:
In the summer of 2014, Brendan and I both applied to a Health and PE position in the Arlington School District.
I had been working in the Bronx and my Mom was begging me to keep searching for a better teaching job out of the city. I was loving my life living in Midtown so I wasn’t searching too hard. My Mom actually was the one that clicked for me to apply on Olas (a website that receives hundreds of applications for teaching jobs posted). Brendan graduated after me and had not had a full time job yet. I spotted him coming out of the interview and was very nervous he was my competition. During my interview they informed me that a second job had opened up that day because the female PE teacher announced she was leaving. After more rounds of interviews and weeks later it turned out that Brendan got the health and PE job (the one I wanted) and I got the 7th grade PE position.
Weeks went by as the school year started and we finally ran into each other in the copy room. It was a Monday and I was “tired” from my Grandma’s birthday party. This sparked some interesting conversation and Brendan knew we would make great friends so he said we should get some drinks after work some time…After 5 years of “grabbing some drinks” he finally proposed doing his favorite pastime.. On a golf course!
What were your original wedding plans pre-pandemic?
Our original plans were to have a 4th of July welcome party the saturday before at my parents house. Get married in my hometown church and travel twenty minutes to the beautiful West Hills Country Club on July 5th. It is a beautiful outdoor tented venue on a Golf Course. There was also an after party planned at the hotel that evening.
How do you choose to move forward with getting married vs. rescheduling to a later date?
We stalked the news early into quarantine and had many long conversations with friends and family as no one really knew how COVID was going to change our lives for so long. Late March/early April we made the decision to postpone everything until July 2021. West HIlls was amazing! We did not lose a dollar- they pushed everything back to the only July date they had left.
Our photographers/hotel/hair/makeup/DJ/florist were able to do the same! It was so great! Weddings are such a big fun family tradition that are talked about months leading up and years after. I did not want to give up that opportunity to have the big day like all my siblings and cousins. We thought that if we couldn’t do the “Big” celebration and party we didn’t want to do anything at all. As quarantine and COVID continued to change our lives our mindset also began to change. We realized that if COVID has taught us anything is that you never know how quickly life can turn upside down! So never put anything off and take advantage of life when you can!
In late June we noticed that NY was getting safer and things were beginning to open up (under new guidelines of course) and that the church was one of them! Although when I got engaged I told my MOH (my sister) and Mother I did not want any celebration at the house because we have so many, we realized our only option (and the perfect one it was!) was to have the little reception in my parents backyard. It was very unfortunate that we had to bring our 200+ guestlist down to 50 and that our grandparents and out of state guests were not able to be there but we still felt their love!
Tell me a little bit about the experience you had on your wedding day!
The wedding was everything I did NOT dream of…yet turned out to be PERFECT and everything I could have ever wanted. We were able to throw the wedding all together in less than a month under extreme stress! Not only did COVID-19 add unexplainable tension, but Brendan and I are also in the process of buying our first house.
My husband thankfully was working hard to get paperwork and phone calls done and left the planning of the wedding to me, my mom, sister, and some very important/amazing family members that offered their help. We kept it simple, yet beautiful, and safe. The most important thing that stood out from it all was the LOVE I felt from my family and friends. The day would not have been possible for all those that helped out without me even asking!
The virtual invitations, rehearsal dinner set up, flowers, hair and makeup, card table decorations, extra alcohol, cake and desserts, the skill of my cousins with a cricut machine, the DJ, my homemade mask, picture taking and all the other little tasks made the day complete. Even the friends and family that traveled far to sit with a masks on for hours and step out of their quarantine comfort zone truly gave Brendan and I a level of love and gratitude that we will begin our lives together with and remember forever.
What wedding vendors did you use? Anything special to tell me about them?
My wedding dress was from Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique. They fitted me so well that my unaltered dress fit me! (with the last minute change of plans I wasn’t able to get it altered) The design of my dress was Lillian West. We had the food catered from Ward’s Bridge Inn and the bouquets and boutonnières were from Gina Malloy from A Studio in Flowers.
It’s also important to note that you can make the perfect day happen without the big expensive vendors if you have an amazing family!
Hair & Makeup – Charlotte Martin
Wedding Cake – Megan Connor
Photography – Bridget Martin & Michella Hand
DJ – Sean Hofving
Decorations – Amy Maher, Mary Hand & Kathleen Hand
Koozies & Welcome Sign – Erin Gonzalez
Bartender – Ken Martin
Additionally, a shoutout to all my vendors that were able to move my date back without losing any money. That was amazing and I am thankful because I know this was not the case for all.
Are there one or two specific details you want to highlight?
I loved the intimacy of the small gathering in the church. But, we were mostly thankful for all the help from our families to make the day work out, from everyone taking pictures on their phones to Brendan’s sister making our delicious cake.
Any advice to future couples who are still unsure of whether or not they are going to reschedule their weddings from this year or have rescheduled already?
Sit and evaluate what is truly important to you. We thought we needed the big party and celebration but the feeling of a small group’s love and support is all we needed in the end to make the day perfect.
Any advice to future couples about the whole “getting married” thing?
Seeing Brendan with a wedding ring on is a major turn on : ) Just kidding… well kind of. But honestly, when we look down at our hands and see our wedding rings on we are overwhelmed with the feeling of love and joy from that day that no pandemic could take away from us!