Even with restrictions in place due to COVID-19, postponing their wedding day was never in the cards for Dana and Colin Greenleaf.
By January 2020, everything for their big day was booked, arranged and tied up, right down to the wedding favours and centrepieces.
“When March hit and the lockdown began, we started to feel uneasy about whether our plans would be carried out but we chose to be hopeful. Colin and I were eager to begin our lives as husband and wife so postponing wasn’t an option. We knew that God had brought us together and that He would see us through it no matter what changes were to follow,” said Dana.
With just six weeks to go, the couple decided they needed to adjust their plans according to restrictions.
Their ceremony was to be at their church, Faith Baptist, with the reception to follow at the Active Living Centre. Instead, they hosted a drive-in ceremony in the parking lot at Faith Baptist.
Prior to the day, they measured the parking lot to make sure that cars could be spaced six feet apart.
A stage was set up at the front of the parking lot for the bride and groom, the bridal party, and their parents for the ceremony. Everyone else was parked at a safe distance.
An FM transmitter broadcast the proceedings so guests could hear clearly by tuning in on their radios. Video of the ceremony was also broadcast live so that family and friends could watch even if they couldn’t make it to the event.
The parking lot was given a more traditional wedding look thanks to an arbour, 16-feet wide and 10-feet tall, that was hand-built by Dana’s brother from wooden timbers. Lake of Bays Garden Centre created two flower arrangements for the arbour and there were trees and planters from Rockscape. Twenty-two metres of fabric lined with lanterns formed the aisle.
“There were many sacrifices, hard times, and decisions that had to be made that wouldn’t have been our first choice,” said Dana. “I will say that the support we received and the love that we felt was unparalleled. We couldn’t be more grateful for our friends and family and everything that each of them did to support us leading up to and during our wedding day. We couldn’t have pulled it off without them.”
Dana and Colin attribute much of how smoothly their special day went to their photographer, Kelly Holinshead.
“If I could scream from the rooftops so that everyone could hear how wonderful Kelly is, I would,” said Dana. “From the beginning she went above and beyond her job description. She helped suggest vendors, locations, and set up. She helped plan and troubleshoot our drive-in wedding in the weeks leading up to it. On the day of the wedding it was incredible to see her in her element. Kelly clearly has a passion for what she does and is so gifted in her art.”
Holinshead has been a professional photographer in Huntsville for more than 20 years. This was the first drive-in wedding of her career.
“What makes a wedding day special for me isn’t necessarily the location, the style, the florals or the dresses, it’s the people,” said Holinshead. “To see so many gathered, respecting the new rules surrounding COVID, but still eager to celebrate with Dana and Colin, was really heartwarming. The day was all laughter and smiles and love. Dana and her ‘team’ had carefully planned all the details and created a wedding day that was easy to photograph. They truly transformed the parking lot [and] side of the church and made everything so beautiful with many thoughtful details.”
Holinshead typically photographs up to 30 weddings a year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic she has only 10 booked this year, most of which have been changed to micro-weddings or elopements. However, more than half of her 2020 clients decided to postpone to next year.
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