PHILADELPHIA - Once Alexandria Maurizzio and her fiance got engaged last November, they wanted to be married within a year. Even if a pandemic got in the way.
So this November, Maurizzio, 28, and Philip Thomas, 25, plan to go forth with their outdoor wedding in Bucks County, where they hope to see at least 150 of the 200 guests they invited.
"People have their opinions," she said, "but our immediate family's been incredibly supportive."
As the coronavirus strangled a flood of nuptials planned for the spring and summer - 78% are usually scheduled between May and October, according to the Knot, an online wedding platform - many couples have chosen to downgrade and postpone their weddings to at least next year.
"Right now, it's a little Wild Westy, so to speak," said Susan Norcross, owner of the Styled Bride in Philadelphia. "We've never faced this as an industry before."
At her wedding, Maurizzio, of Aldan, said guests can decide whether they want to wear a mask and show the level of social distancing they want by wearing various colored wristbands.
"One color of a wristband means they're keeping their distance," she said. "Another could say high-fives are fine."
Brides have said the pandemic disrupted virtually every step of wedding planning, ranging from vendors who canceled out of safety concerns to the logistics of hosting a socially distanced reception. Many have vented their frustrations in groups dedicated to COVID-19 weddings, such as "Four Weddings and a VIRUS - Pennsylvania."
Yet, couples are still getting engaged.
"Girls are still getting married," said Kathy Hart, the owner of the Philadelphia bridal shop the Wedding Factor, "for which we are very, very grateful."