HomeFunnyCouple Gets Married In A Drive-Thru Theatre
Couple Gets Married In A Drive-Thru Theatre
May 4, 2020
Bri and Lindsey Leaverton were going to get married at a beautiful historic mansion, and had everything planned to a tee. The details included gorgeous place settings, elegant linens, a delicious steak dinner, and pretty much everything else that guarantees an unforgettable night.
“We had the intention behind every single detail of our wedding,” Lindsey told Bored Panda. “Every moment, every experience, every second had a purpose and profound meaning, which couldn’t have happened without the support of a team of experts collaborating with the same vision.”
The couple spent months and months dreaming of their big day on 4-10-2020 and by February, almost every bit of the wedding planning had been completed, enabling them to spend the last few weeks of their engagement dreaming of the forthcoming celebration of their love.
As COVID-19 was taking over the world, Bri and Lindsey realized that their day might be in jeopardy. “We held onto hope, believing that nothing would get in the way of our dream. Then, while Bri was cooking dinner for our 3 kids and I was nerding out on research about the coronavirus, I found the official shelter-in-place order for the city of Austin,” Lindsey explained. “As I read the order and looked into it further, reality slowly began to sink in. 4-10-2020 would in fact not be our day.”
Lindsey told Bri and the kids over dinner and they all reacted and responded in their own unique ways. “Though we completely agreed with the order and wanted to do whatever we could to keep people safe and flatten the curve, we also selfishly wanted all of our planning and hoping and dreaming to not all be for nothing.”
Many people ignored the official order which banned all gatherings of more than 10 people. “We were shocked and deeply grieved by the state of the world, the pain and loss that this virus was having on us and millions of other people, and found ourselves frozen without any ability to pivot gracefully. We did what any other strong, resilient lesbian couple might do in our situation: we started eating our feelings,” Lindsey continued.
“Once we finally realized we had to come up with a plan B, our attempts at finding a new date began, all of which failed miserably. Nothing was falling into place. There was no way to move forward with the original plan we’d initially dreamed of. Schedules weren’t aligning, vendors weren’t coordinating, and waiting until 2021 was not an option either of us wanted to explore.”
While the women were still trying to come up with a course of action, the day before their would-be-wedding-date, they got a call that would change the way they looked at the calendar. A family member told them they’d tested positive for coronavirus.
“The news … was significant enough that it further fueled our desire to get married sooner rather than later. The next day, Good Friday, our would-be-wedding-day of 4-10-2020 was filled with grief, loss, and sadness. On the other hand, it was also a day filled with gratitude that thus far, I and my family and friends were safe and healthy, despite the positive results,” Lindsey said.
“We spent Good Friday with our kids, enjoying the light that their laughter brings to our lives. Also, their incessant loudness is a good distraction. Luckily, Bri’s sister lives with us and agreed to babysit so we could “go out” on a date that night. Since we can’t actually go out anywhere or do anything, we had a date in our car on the top floor of a parking garage. We ordered pizza, watched the sunset, and finished off a yeti cooler full of champagne to celebrate a day that will always be important to us.”
Completely unplanned, the couple shared unexpected vows for promises they wanted to make each other while they awaited their new wedding date. “I put on a private concert for Bri and we danced under the stars. We were determined to make lemonade out of some really bad lemons. There was this moment toward the end of the night where we looked at one another with love and gratitude. Our heavy hearts had settled a bit and we found a sense of peace that night. Our much needed moment of acceptance had arrived. Though the day and night were filled with sorrow, that night on top of that parking garage, we ended up making one of the best memories that we’ve shared to date. Plus, our relative is doing very well in fact and officially on the mend!”
“We woke up on Saturday morning and instead of being on a flight to Mexico for our picture-perfect honeymoon, we made a cup of coffee and sat on the couch to watch cartoons with our kids. Within minutes of what should’ve been a typical Saturday morning, Bri lunged off the couch in excitement out of nowhere… ‘Oh my God! There’s a drive-in movie theatre that is still open in Buda, Texas!’”
“I look up from my crossword puzzle, confused at why such randomness would elicit this type of response. In my next thought, I remembered that a few weeks ago in the midst of our grieving, our wedding planner shared an idea she had about having a wedding at a drive-in movie theatre where everyone could stay safe in their cars, abide by the rules, and still be able to witness our nuptials. We were instantly drawn to the idea and thrilled.”
“But soon after she shared this idea with us, we didn’t even have a chance to look into it because the city of Austin went on lock-down. The only drive-in movie theatre in Austin was closed. So now it made perfect sense why Bri lept off the couch.”
“So there we were on Saturday, April 11th looking at the possibility of making the greatest wedding pivot in history,” Lindsey said. “We immediately started to take action because this felt right. Our hearts lit up.”
After a call with the owners of Doc’s Drive-In Movie Theatre to assess the possibility of having a wedding at their venue in a safe, compliant manner in the midst of this pandemic, followed by a conversation with their wedding planner, Bri and Lindsey decided to do it. “We began planning a polar opposite wedding than our original vision and had 17 days to get everything ready. We chose our new wedding date because literally everything fell into place. We never thought we’d be getting married on a Tuesday during a global pandemic at a drive-in movie theatre in Buda, Texas but … April 28th was our new wedding date.”
Instead of a ceremony under a beautiful oak tree facing a historic mansion from the 1920s, Bri and Lindsey stood in a gravel-paved parking lot off of a farm road surrounded by 80-90 cars. But it was just as magical. “One of the reasons we chose April 28th as our new wedding date was due to the availability of our officiant and dear friend Jen Hatmaker,” Lindsey said.
She has known Jen for 20 years. “I remember the first time Bri came to church with me. I walked up to Jen and said, ‘I’m going to marry that woman someday and you’re going to marry us.’ Jen lit up like a Christmas tree and I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. So of course, when Bri and I began wedding planning, Jen was one of the first calls we made.”
Hatmaker is an American Christian author, speaker, blogger, and television presenter, and has a very busy schedule, but there was no way she was going to miss the wedding.
“Nothing quite went as planned other than it being our perfect wedding,” Bri added. “We were late, no one was supposed to see us before the ceremony during our ‘first look’, we were supposed to have all of our photos done before people even arrived, but it was amazing!”
“It all ended up working out better because we got to see so many of our guests from inside their cars. We were supposed to depart from the theater and not return, but due to Lindsey being directionally challenged, we ended up back at the movie theater where we actually got to stand at the exit and wave goodbye to our guests!” It was one of the most beautiful and connected moments we’ve ever experienced, during one of the most disconnected times!”
“I’ve learned to hold plans quite loosely. So even though there were a few things that didn’t necessarily go ‘as planned,’ to me, it all lined up in perfect coordination of awesomeness. Sure, I forgot the words to the song I wrote for Bri and performed for her in the ceremony and sure the kids decided to run after the getaway car instead of staying with their aunt, while Bri’s mom frantically searched the lot for them!” Lindsey said. “There was so much laughter and even the ‘mistakes’ were perfect. I wouldn’t change a single moment! If something didn’t go as planned, it ended up working out even better. That’s been the story of our lives and our relationship. I no longer know the difference between a setback and a miracle.”
Lindsey walked down the aisle first, led by her twin daughters. Then Bri walked down the aisle led by her sister who lives with them. “We wrote our own vows, I surprised Bri with a song I’d written for her and she surprised me and the girls with vows she’d written especially for them. We exchanged rings, countless looks, and smiles of ‘I can’t believe we get to marry each other and I can’t believe we pulled this off.’ Jen said some unforgettable words of encouragement and blessing, and there were bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Of course, I had to buy a bubbletron.”
After Jen declared them wives, the newlyweds kissed and walked/danced down the aisle. “We popped champagne, our best friends gave a speech (remember our guests were asked to wear PJs) and we had a couples dance followed by a family dance!”
“The four of us did sparklers, and then Bri and I got in the gorgeous 1972 Jeepster commando we rented and drove off while 90 cars honked their horns and cheered from inside, so loud we could hear the cheers.”
All of this taught Lindsey to hold her plans loosely. “Let go when the opportunity presents itself,” she advised. “Take it easy and enjoy the journey. If you let love, lead, and you live with your whole heart trusting in the process and trusting the path no matter how off it may seem, you will end up where you’re supposed to be. Love is enough.”
“I’ve found time and time again that when I let go of my ego, plans and self-will, and surrender to a greater purpose – even if I am not yet fully aware of it – I’m always so grateful things worked out the way they did.”