Not in a million years did Jill and Matt Jahnke expect to be married via Facebook and live streaming their wedding but that is exactly what happened.

Jill Jahnke explains the process,

“We were hoping for a short engagement. We've been dating for a few years and so we thought, summer is busy for weddings, so we'll go with a spring or fall.  Spring is sooner so let’s go with that, and we just picked April  thinking that would be soon but not too rushed to plan a wedding, and thinking that would be fine and everybody was excited and things were going so smoothly.”

Then COVID-19 hits and everything changes. The couple could have postponed the wedding, but they felt since they had planned the event this far, why not continue and adapt as things unfold.

Despite several changes in planning the wedding including a reduced guest list from 300 to 10, and the event being streamed live from the church, the ceremony proceeded.      

Jahnke adds,

“Our plans changed throughout the last few weeks especially and we just decided to go ahead with everything and even though nothing went as we expected it to be, it just really turned out to be a very perfect and special day,  just in a different way then we thought.”

One of the advantages of a virtual wedding is that the guest list can be endless.  Matt and Jill were able to virtually invite all their friends, including those in Ireland, Switzerland, and the United States.

Also, the couple asked that everyone dress up for the event, sharing,

“We asked everyone watching to dress up and send pictures so that I could make a guest book of all the people that had joined us so it was just a really fun way to interact with people even though we couldn't see them or hug them and visit with them.  We got to share our special day with them and be able to cherish the memory of it through the picture album.”

Once the ceremony concluded, Matt and Jill were able to go through all the normal traditions typical in a wedding celebration such as toasts, speeches as well as poking fun at table assignments and eating procession with only four tables and 10 guests.

The crème de la crème of the commemoration was the surprise parade of well-wishers driving by the church in the parking lot.  Jahnke declares,

“After our wedding ceremony, they brought us out to the parking lot and they had invited our friends and relatives to come and do a parade for us so we had family members and friends who had signs and noisemakers and bubbles and they honked their horns for us and it was just overwhelming.”

In terms of a honeymoon, Matt and Jill are on a stay-cation at home making the best of the situation.  The couple had plans to vacation in Hawaii but instead, did a Hawaiian themed honeymoon day and plan to take as many virtual tours as possible.

Jahnke summarizes the experience,

“Honestly, I think at the end of the day even though things weren't the way we were expecting them to be or how I had it pictured at all, we ended up with a beautiful white wedding. We were physically surrounded by our closest family members, we were virtually surrounded by almost everyone that we could even know and it was a very different day then I thought, but it was the perfect day.”

The Jahnke’s also wish to thank everyone for their support and participation on a day that could have been cold and lonely but instead was the happiest considering the circumstances.