2020 | Coronavirus Chronicles

Coronavirus Chronicles: The wedding I always wanted

‘I knew I wanted to get married, but the white dress, the Champagne flutes and the bouquet of calla lilies was never part of my picture.’

The essay author and her husband on their wedding day

PHOTOS FROM Danielle Menditch Roessle

(Editor’s note: This essay is part of Bethesda Beat’s Coronavirus Chronicles personal essay series. Visit the submission page to learn more.)

I never imagined myself having a large wedding. I knew I wanted to get married, but the white dress, the Champagne flutes and the bouquet of calla lilies was never part of my picture.

When I got engaged to my now-husband back in December, it became an emotional roller coaster of trying to meet everyone’s needs.

I mentioned several times that we should just get hitched in my parent’s backyard with our immediate family, but my grandparents, ages 99 and 101, would not hear of it. We caved in and set a wedding date at the Watergate Hotel in August for 130 people.

The bride and groom

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and everything changed. The virus had impacted my work, and our nuptials became a practical strategy to secure our future.

We petitioned the courts for an emergency marriage license, and our request was granted.

We were married in my parent’s backyard on April 19. My sister was the officiant, my brother-in-law played the violin and my husband’s family joined us remotely via Zoom.

We dined on three separate tables to maintain social distance, and my parent’s neighbors came outside with signs and danced the hora around the cul-de-sac.

I would describe our wedding as bittersweet. Bitter because we could not have my husband’s family with us, and sweet because it was one of my favorite days of my life and similar to how I’d always imagined my wedding would be.

Danielle Menditch Roessle is a career coach who lives in Bethesda.


Read other essays in the Coronavirus Chronicles series.

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