Couple scrambles to re-organize wedding due to COVID-19 pandemic


Only about 20 people showed up to Elvin and Jessica Ryan’s wedding after the ceremony had to be re-organized due to COVID-19. The couple had guests pose with surgical masks and Corona beers to make light of the situation. Courtesy of Jessica Ryan

Andres Fuentes, Pack News

Everything was set for Jessica and Elvin Ryan’s New Orleans style wedding. After eight months of planning, the couple had everything planned, from the food to the second line. However, they didn’t think their wedding day would be in the middle of a worldwide health crisis. 

“Oh man did I cry a lot,” Jessica said. “I was so sad that all of our hard work and planning was completely wiped away.”

A lot of labor went into holding the ceremony at the Royal Frenchman Hotel.

“There wasn’t a week that went by without some kind of planning and/or purchasing,” Jessica said. 

Everything had to be perfect for the 150 people attending. But with a lot of loved ones flying in for the wedding, the couple gradually started seeing the list shrink as COVID-19 started to spread. 

The bride wanted her wedding day to be about celebration and seeing some family members for the first time in a decade. However, once Mayor Latoya Cantrell and Governor John Bel Edwards imposed restrictions on gatherings, the wedding had to change but it wasn’t without help from family. 

“Jessica cried a lot for the entire week,” mother-in-law Angel Hahn said. “Tensions were high from everyone. It was hard to make her see that we were there to help pull off her new revised vision.”

In a matter of days, a large wedding in the Marigny turned into a backyard ceremony at Jessica’s parents’ home in Folsom with only 20 people able to attend. Jessica saw the silver lining in the situation. 

“There were moments when I wasn’t positive, but in the end the only thing we cared about was marrying each other. It didn’t matter where it was or how many people were there,” Jessica said. “It ended up being a beautiful, intimate wedding.” 

Guests made sure their chairs were far apart as the bride walked down the aisle and the ceremony wasn’t completely without poking fun at the situation. 

The couple handed out surgical masks and a Corona to everyone that attended for a group photo. 

“In such a serious, crazy time we felt like we needed to have a moment of light heartedness,” Jessica said. 

Angel was glad she was able to help organize a ceremony that made her son and daughter-in-law happy. 

“We worked hard throwing together decorations and making sweet lemonade out of all the lemons,” she said. 

The newlyweds say they are happy with how their wedding day turned out but they also expect a bigger celebration once the pandemic clears up. 

“Even though it didn’t go as planned, our day was still perfect,” Jessica said. “We 100% plan on having a big reception months from now once things have settled down.”