Perhaps, many months ago, you imagined you would be ratifying your eternal love for your betrothed in the eyes of God and the IRS, celebrating your perfect union by throwing an extravagant and life-alteringly expensive party for everyone you know. Hopefully, nearly a year into the devastating spread of a virus that moves especially well in environments where large groups of people are drinking, yelling, and generally enjoying each others’ close physical proximity, you’ve realized that’s an awful idea and cancelled or delayed your wedding. If so, congratulations: Not everyone possesses that wisdom, as Texas Monthly has found.
Of the many sobering lessons we’ve learned about human nature this year, the selfishness of two people laser-focused on commemorating their very special love by co-starring in a glorified pageant is among the most baffling. This obsession with carrying out the highest form of PDA at the worst possible time is also, obviously, deadly: A summer wedding in Maine was said to have killed 7 people and infected over 150. In Ohio, despite the protective power of hand sanitizer, one couple infected 32 over the course of a single event. As of last week, 23 nursing residents in Washington have died because staff members attended a party where they celebrated a couple’s eternal bondage and probably got to eat some cake. And still, even the progeny of visible politicians are insisting this “crazy time” is the correct moment to be jubilantly wed.
Today, to add to what should be a widely shared certainty that to marry as a form of public spectacle in 2020 is basically to heed the call of the void, Texas Monthly has published the observations of beleaguered wedding photographers in the Lone Star State. It opens with this horrifying anecdote from a photographer with asthma and three kids:
The wedding photographer had already spent an hour or two inside with the unmasked wedding party when one of the bridesmaids approached her. The woman thanked her for still showing up, considering “everything that’s going on with the groom.”
When the photographer asked what she meant by that, the bridesmaid said the groom had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before. “She was looking for me to be like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy,’ like I was going to agree with her that it was fine,” the photographer recalls. “So I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she was like, ‘Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’”
I encourage you to read the story in full on the Monthly’s website, which recounts photographers being accidentally spit on, “tunnels of people running through with each other, high-fiving, and yelling at each other,” jam-packed dance floors that make it feel “like we’re living in a pre-covid parallel universe,” and perhaps the best kicker I’ve read this year.
Like many people in industries that rely almost exclusively on the whims of people who believe they’re immune to both the virus and consequences, wedding photographers don’t have much choice in how the events they cover are managed: “Because they’re serving the couple on their special day,” the Monthly notes, “once they’re at the wedding photographers can’t do much.” Jezebel salutes the brave narcs who shared their stories with the magazine, and suggests that if you haven’t given up hope on that venue deposit, you should probably do that now.