COVID-19 Front Yard Wedding in Dallas: Darci + Darren

Next up on our bonus blog series featuring COVID-19 weddings, is Darci and Darren. With a shelter in place order looming they moved like lightning to pull together a lovely front yard ceremony in less than 24 hours. Proving that love is really all you need!

A few words from their photographer, Tabatha :

“Darci and Darren had planned to get married on April 5th but were forced to push their wedding date back to September due to all the coronavirus restrictions. Dallas County announced a shelter-in-place order that would go in effect Sunday, March 23rd at midnight. They were ready to get their lives started together so they decided to move forward with the ceremony in their pastors front yard that same day! Their parents, little Claire, the pastor, and I made it exactly 10 people in attendance! With social distancing in place, the neighbors lined up on the sidewalks on the opposite side of the street to cheer them on! It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen and I am so blessed that I was able to capture this special moment from 6 feet away! ”

Scroll down for their photos and some Q&A from the couple!

Photography: Tabatha O’Brien Photography

Officiant: Rev. Neil Tomba – Northwest Bible Church 

How did you two meet?

We met through Darren’s parents. Darren’s dad, Jim, is a great handy man and came over to my house to do some projects for me and brought Darren to help. His parents and I were placed in a super club at church. Jim is retired and does house projects for others. I asked him if he could help me with a few things.

Tell us about the challenges you faced while planning your elopement (or in this case… a wedding that became an elopement)?

We did not have any intentions of eloping. We had finalized plans to have our ceremony and reception at the Cliff House in Bishops Arts area of Dallas on April 5 with about 100 guests. As things progressed with the pandemic and businesses had to be closed and gatherings continued to be reduced in size it kind of forced our hand. Our back up plan was to have reception at a later date but still be married on April 5, but maybe in the church courtyard with only family. When the shelter in place was ordered we had to change those plans as well. We then decided what was important was us being married and beginning our lives together as husband and wife. We called our pastor up and asked him if he perform the ceremony the next day, Monday, March 23. Deciding at 9pm to have a wedding the next day at 4pm makes you prioritize whats important to have. We quickly called the photographer, and huge blessings she was available to be there. the next morning, Darren worked on getting his suit, music set up, and trellis ready and Darci went to Krogers’s for flowers and assembled her and Claire’s bouquets with a friend. Since our original wedding day was only 2 weeks away, I already had my dress ready.

How did you decide on the location?

With shelter in we were only allowed to have ten people total, which would include pastor and photographer. We had exactly ten people, us, both parents, Darci‘s daughter, Claire (4yo) and photographer. When we asked our pastor to do the ceremony the next day, we decided we would have it in Darren’s back patio of his home. Our pastor Neil told us he has just updated his landscaping and offered his front yard. It worked out for a better ceremony and some great pictures!

How did you tell everyone about the change of plans?

We called our siblings the night before to tell them our plans to get married before the shelter in orders took effect in Dallas. Everyone was so happy for us! We set up a zoom meeting for everyone to be able to watch us commit our lives together. Darren’s nieces and nephews were supposed to be part of the wedding party and wore their dresses and suits to watch the wedding over zoom in South Carolina! It was very sweet and meant a lot!

What was your favorite part of the day and why?

The actual ceremony was my favorite!! The day had a perfect overcast but still bright. There were neighbors out on walks that stopped to watch and cheer us on. The ceremony was simple and sweet. It made us truly focus on what mattered. Yes it would have been great to have a more friends and family there but ultimately what it all came down to was us committing our lives together. I will always remember this day and smile and be forever grateful.

Do you have any advice for other couples planning or going through the same situation right now?

I don’t think having a big wedding is over the top or having desires to celebrate big is wrong, because it should be celebrated! But it is easy to get caught up in the extras and details. Remember the wedding is only one day and your marriage is a life time. Things may not go as planned, and its valid to be disappointed but to focus on your love and beginning this new journey together and is the core of your wedding. God bless!