Images: Shelly Pate Photography

Like most other wedding vendors, the CapRo Team has been busy helping our 2020 couples navigate the ever-changing landscape of holding a wedding amidst the pandemic. I have had one couple reschedule twice now, and another postponing until 2021. But just because their big celebration is postponed, doesn’t mean LOVE is postponed. Shireen and Ryan are proof that getting married with just you and your partner present can still be magical. While the celebrations this year look very different, that doesn’t mean we should stop celebrating!

How does it feel to be finally married after all these “what if’s” and up in the air plans? It feels surreal! Thinking to when we met and what’s transpired since then… sometimes I just can’t believe it’s all real!

How did you guys feel/ what was going through your head when you realized you were going to have to completely change your wedding day? Initially, we were extremely disappointed. We’d been planning our May wedding for over a year and had to cancel it. It was sad at first, but once we decided to elope and have an anniversary party next April, we were excited! We’re lucky to get the best of an elopement, an intimate symbolic ceremony with our close family and friends, and a sizable celebration.

How did y’all decide on your elopement spot? I grew up in the City of Falls Church. My parents’ home is right down the street from Donald Frady park. I used to walk our pup, Jasper, through the park all the time. I’d always thought the park was beautiful and a hidden gem in my Little City. Honestly, I’d pictured a small ceremony there many times, but never expected it to come into fruition!

Who came up with the Zoom idea!? Our officiant, Joan Phillips, offered to Zoom with us. She was so flexible with this process and the adjustment to eloping. I also knew that Zoom offers the recording feature, so we could save the ceremony footage and send it to family and friends.

What ways were for family/ friends able to be incorporated? You will not believe the ways our family and friends showed up. We live on the first floor of our apartment building. People drove up to deliver flowers onto our patio, blasting “Going to the chapel.. gonna get married..”, others brought champagne and we distantly toasted, my sister & her kids decorated our front door with balloons and confetti, our neighbors toasted us… so many surprises throughout the day!! As soon as we got home, we sent the recording out to everyone.

During the actual ceremony, I wore my mother’s pearl bracelet. My mom called me earlier that day and said, “go to the house and pick out any piece of my jewelry you want to wear.” I chose the bracelet, because my little sister picked it out for her when we were younger. Our mom would wear it all the time.

Are y’all happy that you had your elopement photographed? How do y’all feel about the day overall? YES!!!! The photos of our elopement perfectly capture our love for each other and the excitement we felt. When you look at them, the emotions are palpable. I don’t think any other person could have captured that. The day was perfect.

Do y’all have any advice for couples who are also having to change their wedding dreams due to COVID? At the end of the day, your wedding day is about you and your best friend/ future life partner. The cancellation of our wedding was a blessing in disguise. We didn’t have to worry about anyone else and we could focus on just us, our love, and our commitment to each other. You can have the always have a party later!


Photographer: Shelly Pate Photography | Venue: Donald Frady Park | Florist: Wander + Whimsy| Officiant: Wed by Joan Phillips | Dress Boutique: Mod and Soul |

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