On September 7, 2019, Jim Trucks proposed to Lindsay Westlake at one of her favorite childhood spots – the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Shortly after, the duo began planning their wedding in earnest settling on an idyllic springtime wedding date – March 21, 2020. Little did they know, the unimaginable would upend their plans.
COVID-19 HALTS WEDDING PLANS
Lindsay and Jim spent the past six months planning their Birmingham, AL wedding. They had assembled a dream team of wedding vendors and their guest list was 500 people strong. On March 19, two days before their wedding, Alabama issued a statewide mandate limiting social gatherings to ten people. As a result, plans for their blowout celebration were forced to change.
“We were heartbroken. Not as much about the tiny details being cancelled, but largely at our guest list. We had invited around 500 friends and family. With the numbers dropping each day, we saw faces of our loved ones being cut out. It was devastating. We always said we wanted a fun event with a good band and our favorite people. For that to be altered and with such uncertainty mounting daily, we were heartbroken,” shares Lindsay.
PIVOTING TO PLAN B
The couple considered postponing their wedding altogether, but their faith led them to an alternative option. They decided to get married as planned on March 21 with a paired down ceremony consisting of only 10 people.
“If we had to, we would have postponed the wedding, but we really wanted to be married! We fully believe God had that day planned for us long before we were born, and that His picture of that day always was good. He is never taken by surprise, so in faith we trusted that since we could get married on our original date, we would not allow panic to change our joy,” says Lindsay.
Because it was important to the couple to share their joy with their grandparents, extended family, and all their friends, they chose to reschedule their big celebration for later this summer. With the help of her mom and sister, Lindsay made a list and the three called vendors to coordinate and reschedule a new date.
“My heart goes out to all the couples having to shift plans for their weddings right now. When I learned of Lindsay and Jim’s plan to reschedule their larger celebration to July, I wanted to do everything in my power to make the process of rescheduling as easy as possible,” says Hunter.
And surprisingly easy it was. Lindsay shared, “All of our vendors have been amazing. We postponed everything with ease and with such generous understanding from our vendors that it felt seamless. Our reception venue gave us date options, so we reached out to all other vendors and just realigned everything for July! Overall, we have felt blessed with how easy it has been. It gives us even more confidence that we truly selected the best vendors on earth!”
THE WEDDING DAY
With their church closed, Lindsay and Jim wed on March 21, 2020 on the steps outside the sanctuary. In attendance were their parents, siblings, and beloved Labrador retrievers. Across the street in roughly 20 cars, the couple’s closest friends sat parked to witness the makeshift ceremony.
After the rings exchanged, vows recited, and the couple pronounced husband and wife, Lindsay and Jim again experienced the unexpected. A parade of no less than 50 cars drove past honking with family, friends, and even students of the bride shouting their well wishes to the lovely couple.
It was a day that for some could have been shadowed by disappointment. However for Lindsay and Jim, the day overflowed with joy.
“One of the greatest things about being in the wedding industry is being involved in stories like this! Lindsey and Jim were thrown a curve ball and their family and friends hit it out of the park. I am happy, humbled and honored to play a small role in celebrating one of the biggest days of their lives. With friends like these, I know their July reception will be one for the history books,” says ECE’s Hunter Lawley.
FORCED TO CHANGE YOUR WEDDING PLANS? LINDSAY OFFERS ADVICE TO OTHERS.
“Feel safe to be disappointed, but do not camp out there. Grieve the loss of what you were hoping for but staying in sadness never proves productive for longer than needed. Make peace with plans altered and choose to seek joy!
We found joy and love in the most unlikely circumstances, and in ways we never would have experienced had our original plans not been foiled.
For our small ceremony, I read a great devotion about attitude. The attitude I bring into the day is how the day will go. I choose joy. I choose the lovely. I bring the fun, and all will follow.
If I choose to be bitter, consequently it will be a bitter day. Additionally, trust that in losing control of the plans you made, God will provide immeasurably more than you can imagine. It will be so good because all gifts from Him are so, so good even if they look different than what we originally wanted or asked for.
We loved our wedding day, even though it was so different than what we planned. It truly was the most precious day and we felt more love and joy than we knew imaginable. We are thrilled to carry that into our second ceremony and reception with all our favorite people safely present.
Overall, have the perspective that your joy stems from your story coming together. Let that fuel you!”