Social distancing and lockdown guidelines have stopped a lot of marriages. The wedding industry has come to a halt. A few lucky couples rushed to do last-minute paperwork and proceeded with a formal ceremony wherever they could. One lesbian couple got married in a heart-warming, but social distanced, display on a New York City sidewalk. Vidra and Marko, however, chose Vidra’s apartment which had a view of the lakefront Bird Sanctuary, the place where they’d initially planned to get married.
For the couple, getting married was more important than a pompous marriage
Talking about this, Jack Vidra said “He had told me one day, ‘I want to be married to you more than I want to get married.'” Marko had said, “The wedding is not that important to me, but I want to be married to you.”
The event took place last Saturday. Five people were present at the ceremony and around 100 were watching via live stream. The pair exchanged vows, did a handfasting ceremony, drank champagne, and cut the cake they had ideated. They did all this while following quarantine guidelines.
The pair had only known each other for a couple of years and had only interacted on social media apps. They exchanged a few messages online before falling out of touch. They had met in Chicago initially a couple of years ago and met again in Atlanta where they again went out of touch.
Vidra said, “We’ve only really technically known each other since last summer but it’s, it’s moved so quickly.” They finally were able to spend time together after Marko moved to Chicago permanently. They began to hang out a lot more.
Vidra further said, “We learned so many important things about each other so fast. We were both, at the time, in the process of ending things with other people. Being able to confide in each other about what, specifically, to ask for in relationships and what was really important to us. That really taught both of us about the content of each other’s character”. They realized that this was more than just attraction at a photo shoot in October. There was mutual respect and interest in the way each processed emotions and treated others.
The photographer for the shoot was Rob of Bulldawg Studio. Talking about the shoot, Vidra said, “It was just a really awesome day, and every single photo from that day is just incredible”. The shoot happened at the lakefront bird sanctuary outside of his apartment. Social distancing measures have resulted in the sanctuary’s closure.
Vidra also said, “You can just kind of feel the chemistry just, it was just amazing. We looked back on it and we were both, you know, kind of dancing around the issue saying that it was a very special day. He told me ‘one day I’ll tell you what was going through my mind that day.’ And that was also the day that I realized I loved him.”
It took Marko months to admit it. “Then he told me months later. He was like, ‘That day I looked at you and I knew I wanted to marry you’. That was technically the day that we both fell in love with each other. It just took an evolution of us being really careful. We were kind of used to people being very disappointing and we just were continually surprised by each other.”
The two officially started dating by January. Later in January, Vidra made a very sentimental gesture. Marko had to travel on a trip alone. Vidra, who was a sergeant in the Marines and is a veteran of the Iraq war, gave Marko his dog tags to wear while they were apart. In February, the couple went on a four day trip to Turks and Caicos.
Marko talked about the proposal and said, “We were just cuddling in my bed and I asked him if he would marry me and he made this adorable expression. He said yes and it was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I grabbed one of the rings I have and put it on his hand — my fingers are much bigger than his so it didn’t really fit”. Vidra wore the oversized copper ring until the couple could go pick out a set together.
Furthermore, the couple did not want to wait to hold a long and grand engagement. The pair impulsively drove to the Cook County suburbs to finish up their paperwork. They did not want to wait for Chicago’s courts to open up. During the trip, they also visited Marko’s family home.
“There was a certain level of uncertainty,” Vidra said. “Initially, the quarantine was going to be over in April, then mid-April. Now it’s the end of April, but if you look at the news they’re saying we might need to do this for the next 18 months, so who knows when we are going to get back to normal.”
The two decided that their time was now.
The wedding had a grand total of five people in the room. An officiant, two friends as witnesses, and the couple. One of the witnesses was their hairstylist. Which meant that they had fresh haircuts for the occasion. A friend took their photos as a favor. The couple had friends and family watching via a live stream. The night before the ceremony they made their own wedding cake. The honey spice cake was gluten-free and had a buttercream frosting with honey fondant. The cake had an abstract dragon egg shape.
Talking about the cake, Vidra said, “There was no particular reason for the dragon scales. There was no particular reason for the dragon scales.”
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It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake If the way is hazy, You gotta do the cooking by the book You know you can't be lazy Never use a messy recipe, The cake will end up crazy If you do the cooking by the book, Then you'll have a cake We gotta have it made, You know that I love cake Finally, it's time to make a cake We gotta have it made, You know that I love cake Finally, it's time to make a – 'You gotta do the cooking by the book!' Cake!
The married couple, who had initially planned a romantic Iceland trip, are now settling for more TV bingeing.