Coronavirus caused a whole wave of innovation across the nation as businesses and individuals were forced to operate and communicate in ways they had never done before. COVID brides were no different as they rushed to cancel or rearrange plans that had been months in the making, if not longer.

Even with last minute changes, brides Chloe Dempsey and Aubrie Cook-Werne said their weddings were certainly unique, but an overall good experience.

Dempsey and her husband Pablo Torres were married at Calhoun Methodist Church on May 23. The couple had to cut their original 200 person guest list to around 20 or so people, Dempsey said.

Torres said while the experience was different from what the couple originally wanted, it made them realize they really wanted a small wedding.

“Whenever COVID hit, we had to change so many things, I was kind of like, ‘you know, I could almost do a courthouse wedding and be happy with it,’ ” Dempsey said.

The couple streamed their wedding ceremony on Facebook Live for family and friends that were unable to attend and said they were “pleasantly surprised” with how everything turned out. Torres said they received a lot of support and were greeted with a surprise parade when leaving the church.

He said they were able to push back much of their original bookings as far as flowers and a caterer, to May 23, 2021 when they plan to hold a vow renewal for their one-year anniversary.

“Before all of COVID even started … I was like ‘even if everything combusts, it’s going to be a great day,’ and then I guess what I said was really challenged,” Dempsey said. “It still was a great day.”

Riverside Care and Rehabilitation employee Aubrie Cook-Werne and husband John Werne were married at her parents’ lake house in Stendal, IN. The couple had originally planned on being married at a church in Indiana but had to quickly change plans just a month before the wedding.

The biggest difficulty they had in rearranging plans, Cook-Werne said, in addition to having to cut down a 200 person guest list, was finding a minister. She said they went through four different ministers to find one that could officiate the wedding.

The first minister broke his leg and was understandably not able to officiate, she said. The second was a more at-risk individual and was therefore not able to officiate either, and the third minister’s wife went into labor just about a week before the wedding. So with just four days to go, a friend of the couple was able to get ordained online and officiate.

“My husband works at Channel 44 in Evansville so we actually had the sports director — he’s really good friends with us, so he got ordained on the internet and he was our minister,” Cook-Werne said.

Although the experience was different than what was originally planned, she said it was still “the best day ever.”

The couple did a Facebook Live ceremony and updates as they got ready throughout the day and had Zoom brunches with their wedding parties. She said she was even able to have a unique experience walking down the aisle at the lake house as her friends and family stayed in their parked cars, honking as she made her way past them outside.

“My husband and I kind of jokingly said that if we can get through this wedding, we can get through anything and we said that way before COVID was even a thing,” Cook-Werne said. “It was really the test of he and I being a really good match for each other ... it was really just a unique experience.”

Christie Netherton,, 270-691-7360

(1) comment

Rahul Roy

The whole pandemic has put the whole world in lockdown, there are going to be a lot of changes happening in wedding scenarios as there won't be a big gathering and stuff like that. But we can still make things worth while by having a virtual wedding, where all the guests can still witness your wedding.

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