Couple toast DIY wedding with Corona beer after Covid-19 canceled dream venue

A couple whose dream wedding was canceled by the Covid-19 outbreak raised a toast at their hastily-arranged replacement service with a bottle of Corona beer.

Noelia Alvarado, 27, and Steven Martinez, 26, said swigging the unfortunately-named booze was their way of giving the ‘middle finger’ to coronavirus, with the couple also donning face masks during the fun ceremony on Occoquan, Virginia, on March 21.

Noelia explained: ‘We both said that we just had to have a case of Corona beer because of what happened.

‘The photos are our way of sticking the middle finger up to coronavirus and is us saying it won’t stand in our way.

‘I love all of the photos from the whole day but those are definitely my favorites.’

She and Steven, a member of the US Marine Corps band, had originally planned to get hitched at the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel in Northern Virginia, with 75 friends and family watching on. But they decided to make the most of self-isolation by getting married on a romantic island in the middle of a lake at friend’s farm.

Within the space of four days between March 17 and their wedding day on March 21, their venue changed three times after the states including Virginia announced lockdown and social distancing measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. That saw the couple’s preferred chapel warning them they could only have 10 guests.

Determined to push ahead with their wedding plans rather than postpone, Noelia and Steven called on help from an army veteran acquaintance who owns a huge farm with lakes and a pavilion big enough for their reception.

Graphic designer Noelia, from Fredericksburg, Virginia, said: ‘It ended up being a very private wedding but was actually really amazing.

‘There was a point where I wondered if the wedding would happen at all and I thought I’d just end up getting married in my back yard or something.

‘When the venue said they couldn’t do it I just sat there in the car and started crying.

‘The chapel was my dream venue but the wedding actually felt more dreamy than what the chapel would have been.

‘Everything was beautiful and everyone had a great time.

‘It was an emotional rollercoaster but and life has it’s ups and downs but I’m just pleased this ended with one big up for us.’

The couple’s second-choice venue, Madigan’s Restaurant, Occoquan, had to cancel because of the same social distancing measures, but agreed to supply an upmarket surf and turf meal for guests.

Because of travel restrictions the couple were joined by 30 of their friends and family members for the wedding, instead of intended 75 guests they’d originally invited.

But the Martinez’s did end up getting married by the same pastor who they’d asked to officiate the original church wedding.

Noelia added each guest was given a bottle of hand sanitizer to use at the wedding to help limit the risk of anyone catching coronavirus.

Noelia, who got engaged to Steven a year ago after meeting him on dating app Bumble, said: ‘It was actually really cool to have the wedding outside.

‘My friends call me a crazy plant lady because I love the outdoors and all plants, so it kind of made sense.

‘It was a really fun day for us both and surprisingly not too stressful.

‘We got married under a willow tree and had music and dancing after we had sat down to eat.

‘We had a bonfire to finish and the whole day was really cool. Everyone pitched in to make it work for us, which was awesome.’

‘With how things turned out it forced me to see how fortunate we both are to have such amazing friends and family.

‘Everyone really pulled together and pitched in to make it work for us and for that I am very grateful.’

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