On New Years Day, Jordan and Anne were celebrating that it was finally 2020; eagerly awaiting their April wedding and counting down the days. They were lining up the final details, coordinating with vendors, and getting ready for their vows.
Within a matter of weeks, coronavirus hit Minnesota bringing with it state executive orders and strict CDC guidelines. Jordan and Anne took this to heart and started rearranging all of their plans. As if planning one wedding isn’t stressful enough, these two needed to quickly change theirs.
All of our spring couples are making the hard decision about whether they should 1) move up their wedding ceremony into an intimate group while postponing the large reception, 2) transition their original wedding date into a small gathering (as restrictions and venue’s allow), or 3) opting to reschedule altogether.
However, knowing that Jordan’s dad has cancer, they didn’t want to delay their wedding longer than they needed to.
It broke our hearts seeing their plans shift so suddenly. These two have such a heart for community and love of hospitality. Before social distancing, they were always inviting people over to their houses, going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday, or simply being present together at events. The friends and family who could no longer be with them in person as they made their vows was a big sacrifice.
Their wedding moved up to a small intimate mass on March 19 (the Feast of St. Joseph) at Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Louis Park. Jordan and Anne were able to get married in the presence of their parents, their siblings, and four close friends. All practicing social distancing by spreading out throughout the pews. Meanwhile their former guests, family, and friends watching from a live stream. Archbishop Hebda gave a special dispensation for them to be married in lent and days after it was announced that all regular masses would be suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
When I walked into the wedding day, I had a heavy weight over my heart. I mourned in a small way losses of what this day was “supposed” to look like for them. Then I saw that the bridal getting room at the church was named the “St. Joseph room.” I started fighting back tears at this small sign that this was all okay. St. Joseph was interceding for them and God’s providential graces were being woven into every detail. Upstairs Ben watched Jordan ask for his dad’s blessing, no doubt grateful he was able to be there in person, and used their final moments before the mass to humbly offer forgiveness to one another.
At 5pm, the professional started with O God Beyond All Praising playing triumphantly on the organ with their friend Tucker singing in the choir loft. When the third verse hit and doors opened to Anne coming down the aisle, all sadness of the day washed away. In the same spirit of the song lyrics, they were “triumphing through sorrows and rising to bless God still” as they came before Him to be married.
The priest’s homily was the perfect reminder to all of us that we were in the Church of the Holy Family on the Feast of St. Joseph. This particular feast focuses on Joseph as a husband to Mary and father to Jesus. Joseph (and Mary’s) plans were abruptly halted too in the midst of great uncertainty. But what God had in store for Joseph and Mary was even more beautiful than what they could ever expect for themselves. This didn’t mean their lives had no difficulties, in fact they had many hard situations to face. Yet through it all Joseph and Mary placed their trust in God, relinquished their own desires, and let His will be done. In the same way, Jordan and Anne can unite themselves to the holy family in marriage and follow their example of trusting and following God’s will.
We will never forget the redemption we felt this day and in this couple’s wedding story. While we may never know why God permits certain circumstances to happen, we believe He can use it for His will and His glory.
Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
we’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still;
to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.
As a special gift to them on 24 hours notice, we hired our talented videographer friend, Sarah Moon of Eclipse Productions, to film their wedding. We were so moved that their loved ones couldn’t attend in person that we wanted Jordan and Anne to have a special way of sharing the beauty and joy they experienced on their day. It’s a really beautiful glimpse into their wedding day.