On February 15, 2020, Josiah Murray proposed to Hannah Perry inside a sweet outbuilding in West Concord, Minnesota. Josiah hoped that Hannah would join him at medical school. Hannah said, ‘Yes!’ A wedding was planned for June 13, 2020.
Shortly thereafter, the pandemic of 2020 hit. The news was out that China had been hit hard with the Coronavirus (Covid19). The United States began bracing itself for the unknown of this virus. The administration of the State of Minnesota scrambled to figure out how to handle the situation. The word on the street was that people were smuggling face masks from hospital rooms while visiting patients. Face masks and toilet paper quickly became scarce. Everyone wondered what was next. But, our minds were also on a wedding.
Ordering bridesmaids dresses became difficult. Hannah learned that an order for nine teal bridesmaids dresses would mean they would be delivered one week before the wedding, if at all.
Hannah and I discussed our choices. We could A. wait on the dresses and alter nine dresses in the days before the wedding, or B. order fabric and create them in advance to fit each bridesmaid, one at a time. We contacted our friend, Ginny, at Ginny’s Fine Fabrics. Rightaway, Ginny recommended a beautiful fabric for our need. Hannah chose a beautiful color of teal from the fabric color card. Within a week or so, the fabric arrived from Ginny’s source in Canada. It was a comfort to know that we had the fabric in hand.
The mother of the groom and I looked around a while and then decided we would also create our dresses with the help of Ginny Smith at Ginny’s Fine Fabrics in Rochester, Minnesota, and with the approval of the bride to be. I selected a pattern from Marfy, an Italian designer. When Ginny called her contact at Marfy patterns, she learned the building that houses Marfy patterns was completely closed due to Covid19, except her contact was still in the building, only because he lives there. He was still able to put the needed pattern in the mail. A few weeks later, the pattern had arrived, and we were again in business.
My lace jacket was made using a pattern I drafted and altered with the help of Sam Perry in England a few years ago. I am thankful for his encouragement and guidance regarding pattern drafting and alternations.
Working from a McCall’s pattern that matched our vision for the mother of the groom dress, Ginny helped to create the altered pattern to fit perfectly. Ginny is truly a generous lady, always willing to share her experience and talent in couture garment making. This is the reason she calls her business, “Ginny’s Fine Fabric and Support group.” I cannot say thank-you enough to Ginny for her help in this project.
Though I have sewn for a long time, such an important project caused some nervousness. However, Marlene, was the best client. She was only patient and kind through the process.
Working on dresses for the wedding had a calming effect for us during the governor-mandated quarantine. All of our kids’ activities were cancelled. All of our college kids returned home. It was a blessing to spend time together working on wedding plans and creating dresses for several weeks. I am proud of Hannah for making all nine of the dresses for her bridesmaids, while finishing her bachelor of science degree in nursing, in the weeks prior to the wedding!
There were several weeks of uncertainty as to whether a June 13 wedding could be held at all. Would Covid19 end in time? Would quarantine restrictions on public gatherings ease in time? Would they need to get married with a pastor, parents and immediate family only in attendance? When our governor announced the quarantine would be extended until June 12, Hannah knew her wedding could not be as she had expected. She had to go to a plan B, a Covid19-approved wedding. It meant that a drive-in style wedding was in order. The wedding would be held outside with only the bridal party and family members outside of their cars. All other attendees would remain in their vehicles. Any reception had to be small and private, close family able and willing to attend only.
Though the family would have loved to host a wedding with all friends and family, it truly was a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple.
Following the wedding, I am enjoying the time to ponder and remember. I cannot describe the emotions involved in giving away the hand of a daughter. Her father and I could not be more proud of Hannah and her new husband, Josiah.