Wedding-related or not, everyone has had to cancel plans and make sacrifices during this time—wouldn't it be comforting to see others going through the same struggles and witness how they overcame them?
That's why filmmakers Georgia Koch and Mike Bernstein created a new docu-series on YouTube simply titled, "Pandemic Weddings." Produced by SoulPancake (The Office actor Rainn Wilson's content studio), the five-episode series follows soon-to-be-newlyweds as they pivot wedding plans and ultimately say "I do" during the pandemic. The project began when Koch and Bernstein made the difficult decision to cancel their own destination wedding in 2020, and the emotional rollercoaster that ensued while in quarantine.
We soon found ourselves in the company of a lot of other couples who were going through similar situations and so we decided to share their stories and ours.
"When we set out to document our wedding experience during this global pandemic, it was initially just to have the content for posterity," admits Koch. "But we soon found ourselves in the company of a lot of other couples who were going through similar situations and so we decided to share their stories and ours."
The company was surprisingly comforting, and therefore, the show is, too. "Pandemic Weddings" gives viewers hope in a time of uncertainty and reminds us that no one is in this crisis alone (It even made us a shed a tear or two). "Everyone has something that they were looking forward to doing that didn't happen in the last six months that we've been in [the pandemic] and there's just no one untouched by it," Bernstein offers. "When I'm reading about the pandemic, it's usually on a national or global scale, and we felt like, at least with our story and the story of our couples, it's a more personal, intimate way to engage with this huge crisis."
Episode one documents Koch and Bernstein's wedding journey—from the early days of quarantine in March to their unconventional wedding ceremony at Anaheim, California's Honda Center in the Spring (followed by a Zoom reception!).
But besides having to renegotiate plans, the predicament also forced them to reflect on the definition of marriage and the purpose of a wedding. Bernstein explains, "We don't need necessarily the big ceremony to actually start doing the work of marriage, which is supporting each other every day, the love and everything else."
Based on the episodes that follow, the show proves that there is no "right" way to handle this situation either. Couples don't have a guidebook on reimagining wedding plans in the wake of a global pandemic, and in a way, "Pandemic Weddings" proves that could be a good thing. "If there's one thing we gathered from talking to so many different couples, it's that there really isn't one real way through this—every couple is so unique," Berstein says. "There's so much diversity and factors that we really would like couples to know when they watch this, that their circumstances are unique and their reactions to this giant disruption are theirs to really decide."
We just really hope that it helps people and makes them feel less alone or they laugh or cry—and we just hope people enjoy it.
Koch adds, "We just really hope that it helps people and makes them feel less alone or they laugh or cry—and we just hope people enjoy it."
To watch "Pandemic Weddings," click here for new episodes premiering Mondays on YouTube at 9 a.m. PST/ 12 p.m. EST.