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Love Wins. Couple Adapts to Have Wedding at Home

Submitted by Jimmy & Ricky Allende-Darby

The Allende-Darby’s Wedding, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 did not stop this Happy Couple from being married safely at their home in Haymarket, Virginia, on March 28, 2020.

Planning any Wedding and Reception is a stressful process for anyone.  Adding a Pandemic to this process is even more challenging. Still, this couple managed to let #LoveWin and decided the most important thing was to marry and plan their big celebration with family and friends at a later date.  Their 125 confirmed guests for the original April 18, 2020 wedding date turned into a small group due to social distancing and Virginia regulations.

When Jimmy and Ricky Allende-Darby decided to get married after almost three years of dating, the planning started with considering different types of venues, just like any other couple planning their big day.  Many hotels and conference centers were visited, quotes provided, and decisions had to be made.  The happy couple decided to marry at their home in the back yard to make this event even more special to them and be able to keep the updates as a reminder of their special day.

The couple purchased customized wine glasses, champagne glasses, wedding cake knife & server, and more with this original date, but this did not matter to the guests or the happy couple.

Choosing the correct vendors are a vital part of the wedding.  Luckily, Ricky is a baker/designer, so he completed the cake, flowers, and designs at his business, Delightful and Sweet Temptations (DS Temptations) of Haymarket, Virginia.   The original contracts for the huge backyard tent, dance floor, DJ, catering, and more had to be postponed.  Luckily, Deborah at Classic Catering in Lorton Virginia was able to deliver food for ten on the new date, Lily at Bristow Party Rentals in Bristow, Virginia, was able to do a driveway drop-off with the new small order of chairs, tables, and linens.  This vendor even upgraded the chairs at no cost.

The previous months, the couple worked tirelessly clearing the backyard, hand shoveled 14 tons of dirt that was dropped off in their driveway, removed trees & shrubs, planted new fruit trees, created an arch to be married with cemented ceremony area, hung lighting from trees that included wrapping each tree with colored lights, and other improvements to the property to make the event spectacular.

Due to a change in plans, the couple moved the Wedding and Reception to the basement of their home which had to be updated and redecorated.  The second wedding arch had to be built in the basement, painting, curtain lights, and additional decorations created by DS Temptations.  The final result of the new location for their wedding and reception turned out fantastic and impressed their few guests-even their virtual guests on Facebook.

Although it was disappointing for this couple not to have their parents attend from Mexico and Virginia, plus their close friends and family, the couple was able to have their sisters, Karen Kestner & Lina Allende, who took their mothers’ part of the wedding by lighting the Unity candle.  Others in the Wedding party were Ricky Darby, Best Man, Sean Darby, Ring Bearer, and Katherine Hernandez, Flower Girl.

Additional precautions included a nurse friend of many years, Odette Malehorn of Haymarket, Virginia, taking temperatures, prescreening the attendees after entering the main door, handing out masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for those needing.  The Minister/Officiate, Keri Nelson, remained in her vehicle until the couple began the wedding and left immediately after signing the Marriage license.  Unfortunately, Keri could not stay for food, cake or the celebration due to being high risk for the Coronavirus.

One of the most touching stories at this wedding were comments from the Minister/Officiate who fought with the idea of marrying a same-sex couple.  She explained that once she met the happy couple and saw the love for each other, it changed her mind.  She realized it was all about Love and Legal in the State of Virginia.

Although this was not the original dream wedding, this couple envisioned, at the end of the day, this couple is in love, and they were married by a Minister/Officiate in front of their children, sisters, and a couple of close friends.  The event turned out perfect per the couple, and videos and pictures were shared with their family who could not attend.


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