Wesley and Brandi McGee knew they wanted a big wedding.
The Burlington couple invited 160 of their closest friends and family when they first started planning their special day many months ago.
At first, they dealt with all the typical stress and pressure of planning a memorable wedding day. They picked out a DJ, a caterer, a venue and finalized a guest list.
But as March approached, word of a virus spreading overseas got their attention. "It was stressful when it was first going on," said Brandi, a Registered Nurse.
The couple initially cut the guest list down to 100 when state and federal leaders suggested avoiding groups of more than that.
It got worse from there. By mid-March, they began to get worried.
Businesses were closing, other couples were postponing their weddings and it wasn't clear how many people would be allowed to spend the day with them.
Wesley and Brandi knew they wanted to keep their date: April 4, 2020. "You spend so much time focused on that specific date," said Brandi. "You spend so much time planning it and so much money goes into it."
They were determined to make it work. So, they confirmed with the venue, their DJ and the caterer who were all willing to still host their memorable day.
As for the guest list, they eliminated everyone except the bride and groom's parents and the bride's brother.
The ceremony was short, but it was sweet. The most important people in their lives got to see Wesley and Brandi tie the knot in the most unusual way.
After they exchanged rings, the newly minted McGees and their handful of guests ate dinner, cut the cake and even celebrated with the couple's first dance to the song "I Cross my Heart" by George Strait.
The day wasn't complete without pictures to prove it. Wesley and Brandi had talked about including facemasks in their pictures, a way to mark the moment in history.
They knew they didn't want to use masks meant for medical professionals in a time when they're already in short supply. So, they found a woman in Burlington who was making them.
As they were taking photos after the ceremony, Wesley and Brandi each put on a black polka dot mask and shared a kiss. A picture capturing a moment in time and a young couple's determination to solidify their love, no matter what.
"It was unforgettable," said Brandi, as the couple talked about their wedding day during a phone conversation with WFMY News 2. "We'll be able to talk about it forever!"
"I'm glad we were able to do it," added Wesley.
Triad couple takes unique wedding photos with facemasks
Their big day wouldn't have been complete without a visit from police officers who responded to a complaint of people gathered. They weren't ticketed.
Yes, the day was smaller than they anticipated but no less special. "It was actually better because it was less stress and more intimate," admitted Brandi. "Now we get to celebrate with our friends and family."
The McGees are now looking forward to an August reception with all of their guests. "All the vendors were great with moving the date," said Brandi.
Another plus: wearing a wedding dress twice!
"You pay enough money for it," laughed Brandi. "I'm excited about wearing it again."
The couple had originally planned to leave this week for their honeymoon in Barbados. They'll now take that trip after their August reception.
Stay connected to local, national and breaking news: Download the new WFMY News 2 app.
►Text the keyword APP to 336-379-5775
►For the latest weather conditions and forecast text the keyword WEATHER to 336-379-5775
►For local news stories right to your phone text the keyword NEWS to 336-379-5775
►Need our Call for Action Team? Text keyword CFA to 336-379-5775
►For traffic alerts text the word TRAFFIC to 336-379-5775