NEW YORK — Love in a time of COVID-19. It’s anything but easy.
For couples who are wedding planning during the global pandemic, finding a safe way to celebrate what is supposed to be “one of the best days of their lives” has become significantly more challenging.
Now, one Australian-based business is offering local lovebirds the opportunity to say their “I do’s” from a distance — right from the comfort of their dream car.
Meet “I Do Drive Thru,” a company vowing to help its clientele get married amid the coronavirus pandemic while feeling safe, staying relaxed, and doing so on a budget.
New York/New Jersey officiant and celebrant Aretha Gaskin said that 2020 has changed the definition of what a “normal” wedding looks like for her couples.
“They are stressed out, they are frazzled, they want their vendors to be kind and considerate and accommodating. It’s turned our industry upside down,” Gaskin said.
Gaskin has been officiating weddings for 10 years.
“Everything about wedding officiating makes my heart smile,” she said. “I get to be with couples on the happiest day of their lives.”
Several weeks ago, she partnered with “I Do Drive Thru” to help couples who didn’t want to postpone their happily ever after.
Couples begin with an initial consultation on Zoom. They work with the officiant to set a date, time and location.
Then, on the big day the actual service takes about 20 minutes and costs $400 for the legally binding ceremony.
By comparison, in 2017, the average cost for a Manhattan wedding was $76,944, according to The Knot’s Real Wedding study.
Couples who go the drive-thru route can then choose to add-on a fewcustomizations at a cost, including a car of choice (and yes, classic yellow checkered taxi cars are encouraged), a photographer and videographer, and even a preferred city spot.
Some recommended locations include the steps of the 42nd Street New York Public Library, Jane’s Carousel in DUMBO, the Guggenheim Museum, Fort Tryon Park, and many more.
“If you have a special spot where maybe you met or fell in love, we can go there too,” Gaskin said.
But how does it all work?
Gaskin said she stands outside the vehicle as a safety precaution, and couples can choose to remain in the car or step outside when saying their vows. Her team can also livestream the special day for friends and family, to make the once-in-a-lifetime occasion even more memorable for loved ones.
“We’ll help you still make it special. Just remember to stay positive,” she said.
The NY/NJ chapter has yet to formally officiate a drive-thru wedding, though they now have several couples booked for their nuptials later this summer.
What better way to commemorate your love story on National Drive-Thru Day?