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While Some Couples Are Postponing Weddings, Others Turn To Zoom

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This is not the year for a big wedding. So many have had to be put off, but you can still get married if you do it safely. And MORNING EDITION producer Emma Talkoff knows someone who did - her twin sister, who got married last weekend.

EMMA TALKOFF, BYLINE: I would generally describe myself as wedding skeptical. For me, the smaller and simpler, the better. That's just one of the many ways I'm different from my fraternal twin sister, Claire. Although our voices sound pretty similar.

Hi, guys.

CLAIRE FRIEDMAN: Are you recording this already?

TALKOFF: Yeah (laughter).

FRIEDMAN: OK.

TALKOFF: Claire's the kind of person who's been meticulously planning her wedding for months and thinking about it for way, way longer than that. We helped her pick out a dress more than a year ago. She and her fiance, Matt, had crafted a literal fairytale wedding in Disneyland. Then the pandemic happened. Claire and Matt didn't want to give up on getting married now, so they made a new plan. They would hold a makeshift ceremony in their apartment. Matt's parents live nearby, so they would serve as the sole in-person witnesses. The rest of us, about a dozen friends and family members, would watch on Zoom, including our parents, who live hundreds of miles away from Claire. I talked to Mom and Dad the morning of the wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: He'd say, I want to dance at my daughter's wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: I don't get to make a speech - not going to do that today. I have been thinking of all kinds of really maudlin things to say about Claire and can't do any of that.

TALKOFF: For the record, he did actually manage to sneak in a speech later. At 6:45 p.m., I logged on to Zoom. I have a bridesmaids dress, but it stayed folded in the closet. I watched from my apartment in Washington, D.C., as my sister walked into frame in Orange County, Calif. A friend called in from Washington state to preside. She offered some guidance.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Probably I would recommend turning yourselves on mute so that you can sob at maximum volume without interrupting.

TALKOFF: I didn't cry, but it was pretty emotional. My sister was so happy despite the circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Claire, repeat after me. With this ring...

FRIEDMAN: With this ring...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: ...I gladly marry you...

FRIEDMAN: ...I gladly marry you...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: ...And join my life to yours...

You may now seal your vows with a kiss.

(CHEERING)

TALKOFF: And that was it - no funfetti cake, paper lanterns; even her dress is stuck at the tailors.

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Friedman.

CLAIRE AND MATT FRIEDMAN: Hello.

TALKOFF: I called Claire and Matt the day after the wedding.

FRIEDMAN: I actually woke up at 6:30 this morning, but then I started thinking about how amazing yesterday was and I got so happy I couldn't fall back asleep.

TALKOFF: So they were happy. For my parents, feelings were a little more mixed. This is my mom.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: I was like, I should be there with her and helping her, like, relax about it. But by being - trying to really, really follow the shelter-at-home orders and all that, I do feel sort of like I put some other priorities over being there for her.

TALKOFF: Claire carried a locket with a picture of our parents on their wedding day. That's all she could do.

FRIEDMAN: What if they came down and it seemed like everything was going smoothly and then later we found out that one of them ended up getting it? I mean, that would be such a horrible thing to live with.

TALKOFF: We're hoping to meet next April for the cake and dancing and more speeches in Disneyland. To be honest, I had been kind of dreading this big party. Remember, I'm a wedding skeptic. But now I'm actually really looking forward to it.

I wish we were together, but it's great talking to you guys.

FRIEDMAN: Virtual hug.

TALKOFF: Virtual hug.

Emma Talkoff, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.