They may not have become husband and wife with the big celebration that they originally planned, but on Saturday, February 6, 2021, Josh Copeland and Tammy Mels promised to spend their lives together with a beautiful, at-home, socially distanced wedding in Tinley Park, Illinois.
And, I couldn’t be more excited to share this sweet couple’s intimate wedding day on the blog!
Planning a wedding is no easy feat, but planning a wedding while COVID consumes the world can feel nearly impossible. And, the coronavirus certainly threw Josh and Tammy for several loops as they planned their big day.
Knowing they wanted a winter wedding and hoping that the world would be closer to normal in 2021, Josh and Tammy decided on a February 2021 wedding. While restrictions in Illinois gradually lifted in the summer and fall, things took a turn for the worse near the holidays.
Between November and February, Josh and Tammy went from their original celebration to a smaller celebration to still doing their ceremony but postponing their reception to doing their ceremony in their church with just 25 people present to ultimately deciding to get married in Tammy’s parents’ living room after Josh tested positive just two weeks before their wedding. (He was symptom free and had completed quarantine by the time their wedding day arrived.)
According to Tammy, there were a lot of tears leading up to their wedding day, but I will forever be in awe of this couple. They handled this stressful season with grace, love, and thoughtfulness and kept their minds and hearts focused on what matters most—Christ and their marriage.
After entering marriage on such a crazy note, I have no doubt that Mr. and Mrs. Copeland will be able to handle any and everything life throws at them!
When Tammy told me that they were going to get married in her parents’ living room, I was a little concerned. However, Scott and Debra Mels’ great room was practically made for a wedding ceremony!
The Mels family rearranged their living room, decorated it with florals, and created a cozy ceremony space where Josh and Tammy’s 11 guests could still socially distance. Between the incredible natural light and the gorgeous decor, Josh and Tammy’s ceremony space looked flawless!
On the morning of their wedding, Tammy got ready in her childhood home with her mom, sister, and one of her best friends who happened to set Josh and Tammy up. Then, she shared a first look with her dad in their living room.
After Tammy hugged her parents tight, Josh got to see his bride in her wedding dress for the first time, and tears certainly fell. (When you see their photos, this is EXACTLY why I recommend doing a first look!) They held one another, prayed, and then allowed me to take a few photos of the two of them before Tammy needed to hide while their few guests arrived.
At 3:30 pm CT, Tammy’s dad walked her down the aisle with 11 family members in the room, a handful of loved ones watching through windows, and guests from across the country watching online.
And, even though their day didn’t go as originally planned, Josh and Tammy were elated to become husband and wife!
While many of Josh and Tammy’s wedding plans had to be altered, a big wedding wish did come true. It snowed on their wedding day!
The snow started in the late afternoon, and by the time we traveled to Trinity Christian College in Chicago (their alma mater) for Josh and Tammy’s just married photos, perfect fluffy snow was falling!
It was only about 10 degrees outside, but Josh and Tammy powered through (I don’t know how Tammy did it!), and I’m so glad they did, because they looked like a winter dream!
Josh and Tammy, I’ve already told you this several times, but I have so much admiration for you. Despite everything that was thrown at you, you remained thoughtful, loving, and compassionate.
Your wedding day may have been different than expected, but it was honestly one of the most beautiful wedding days I’ve ever had the honor of photographing, because your hearts and minds were focused on what matters most—Christ and one another.
While I am so sorry that COVID caused you wedding planning stress, I am SO excited that I have the privilege of photographing your wedding and celebrating with the two of you TWICE! (Josh and Tammy still plan to have their original wedding with friends and family as soon as they safely can!) Thank you for trusting me to be your wedding photographer.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Copeland! I hope you love these previews from your at-home, socially distanced wedding in Tinley Park, Illinois!
Can you believe Josh and Tammy’s wedding took place in Tammy’s parents’ living room?! It was a DREAM!
This was such an emotional moment. And, this is exactly why I recommend that couples share a first look. When it’s just the two of you, you’ll both likely feel free to show more emotion. Not all of Josh and Tammy’s loved ones were comfortable coming inside, but they didn’t want to miss Josh and Tammy’s ceremony. So, they stood outside on one of the coldest days of the year to witness their best friends/siblings become husband and wife!
A lot has changed in the last year, but one thing never will—how much a father loves his daughter. Again, I don’t know how Tammy did it. It was SO cold, but I’m glad she and Josh were willing to brave the weather. I hope they feel the photos were worth it! Want to see more of Josh and Tammy? Check out their engagement photos at Wea Creek Orchard in Lafayette, Indiana!
Wedding Dress Boutique: Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique
Wedding Dress Designer: Stella York
Seamstress: Emily Workman
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations: Ann’s Bridal Bargains
Photographer: Victoria Rayburn Photography