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Getting married in the time of COVID-19: Two local couples realize what's most important

Kat Schwarz

Kat Schwarz and Clayton Eddy are planning on getting married on Dec. 12.

“Having the wedding in December does make me hopeful that we will actually be able to have the wedding," Schwarz said.

The Rochester couple already put money down on the venue and the photographer. Schwarz found a dress she likes.

But it's too early to know what life will look like in eight months.

“It’s almost like 'Love in the time of Cholera,' " said Schwarz, referencing the Gabriel García Márquez novel. "Married in the time of COVID.”

The coronavirus crisis has altered life in almost every conceivable way, from how we work to how we socialize, study and more.

The pandemic is also putting its stamp on significant life events, like weddings.

Schwarz, 29, and Eddy, 36, have a guest list of 150 friends and relatives, including cousins from as far away as Australia, Sweden, and Hong Kong.

Even though they're sad that they might have to change their plans, they're more concerned about everyone's health and safety.

"Especially because I have family who have autoimmune diseases," said Eddy, whose mother has rheumatoid arthritis, "so I’m not wanting to risk anybody getting the virus.”

So the couple is pondering a Plan B.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last weekend that he would allow municipal clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference, but Schwarz isn't crazy about that option.

Instead, she said she and her fiance may push back the wedding date to sometime next year.

“I’m still marrying the person that I love the most," she said. “We already feel kind of married to each other even though it’s not official, so all in all, I think the thing that is the most important to both of us is the commitment to each other, whether there is the pomp and circumstance or not.”

Kim Stear and Daniel Morrison are planning an October 2020 wedding.

That's how a Webster couple feels, too.  Kim Stear,29 and Daniel Morrison, 33, are set to marry on Oct. 2.  Their original date was June 27, but they rescheduled, after briefly considering eloping.

"I kind of would rather just wait until the real day," Stear said. "It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as I get to marry him."

About half of the couple's 100 or so guests will travel to Rochester for the wedding from Scotland, where Morrison's family lives.

"Unless there is a major, second round of the coronavirus," Stear added, "which could potentially happen in the fall."

Like Schwarz and Eddy, Stear and Morrison said everyone's safety is their first priority and they will "go with the flow."

Stear said she and her fiance have talked about what they'll tell their children and grandchildren about this time.

"How many people have gone through their wedding planning and their wedding in general, in a pandemic that's this widescale?" she asked. "Not many."

She's keeping a journal so she can remember what she was doing and thinking.

"I've gone through and I've just documented, 'This is what's happening.  I wish my biggest fear was that my dress was going to be too tight, or something like that,' " Stear said.

And even though there have been anxious moments, Stear has a sense of humor about her place in history.

"They've been calling us corona brides," Stear said with a smile.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.