FORT MYERS, Fla. — According to a study by Brides magazine, 66% of brides say they've postponed their wedding celebrations.
While 36% say they still got married during the pandemic.
Last November, Keesha Allen - Thomas joined the group of brides who moved forward with making it official.
She flaunted a princess-like dress to tie the knot with her long-time boyfriend now husband, Kevin Thomas, at Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers.
Allen-Thomas is still beaming from the big day.
“Having the title as ‘Mrs.’ is a great thing,” she tells FOX 4.
But getting that new title looked much more different than she ever imagined, as they planned a wedding during a pandemic.
The couple had to carefully consider their own, personal approach to social distancing, masks and other COVID-19 precautionary recommendations.
In addition to those considerations, Allen-Thomas says she was also directly impacted by the pandemic.
“I got laid off. So emotionally, I took a hit from that and you have to become real in your head.”
Getting real is what Teasha Green said she had to do, too.
She is the owner of Something Blue TG - an event planning and decorating business.
Green says the four-year-old company was deeply impacted by last year’s closures, and she wasn’t sure if it would survive.
She recalls praying.
“Lord, should I keep going with this? I can’t survive if I’m not going to make any money at this.”
Both women say they felt challenged last year - yet, they were determined to make the most of their situation.
Focused on her dream wedding, Allen-Thomas revved up her side hustles of re-decorating and braiding hair to help pay for her big day.
“We were going to do it regardless,” Allen-Thomas tells FOX 4.
Green continued working as a preschool teacher, but she also took a major step.
“I went back to school. I’m like I’m going to take this time and make it worth my while.”
She earned certification in weddings and design, floral design, and counseling.
Green says bookings started coming in again mid-year, but they were limited to gathering limits issued by the State of Florida.
In addition, bookings were near non-existent.
“It was very hard for me.”
But, she didn’t give up.
She says now with vaccine distribution and an increased willingness of more people to throw weddings and parties, there’s been a sudden uptick in business just last month.
“I booked 4 events in two days. And then after that, it was bookings almost every single day.”
Green says that was the turn around she had hoped and prayed for during the last few months.
Her team’s adapted to event creation during the pandemic, utilizing COVID-19 precautions including masks.
For Keesha Allen-Thomas, the months after her wedding have been full of marital bliss with her new husband.
In addition to her new marriage, she’s grateful to return work as a DCF Administrator at a local non-profit.
As she navigates work and marriage during a pandemic, she has some advice for brides and grooms trying to figure out how to move forward with their big day during the pandemic.
“Do what’s best for you so that love wins.”