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Photo taken by Arizona elopement photographer Maya Papaya Pictures.

Many 2020 brides were faced with two options in regards to their weddings: postpone or cancel. The realization that you may have to push your wedding a year or two out probably left you feeling a bit defeated. The questions than is, what’s important to you? The day is, after all, about your love and celebration. SBSN bride Alexandra Izzo was not going to let anything stop her from marrying her partner this year. Alex and Jeff met on the backlot of Paramount, she was doing background and he was one of the Assistant Directors. Love at first site? That’s how Jeff describes their first run in with each other and Alex now believes it must have been.

The proposal was one for the books. Alex was convinced a proposal was coming, but the perfect opportunity would be on their trip to NY. *Spoiler alert* she was wrong. Alex and Jeff had a multi date day planned. They started off at a movie screening, and Alex got dressed to impressed with hopes of meeting big time producers and directors (good looking out Jeff). After the screening they headed to the Getty Museum. Then surprise, dinner reservations! Before dinner they headed to a dive bar in Marina Del Rey followed by a quick walk down the pier before dinner. The two were greeted by a Captain of a charter boat who offered a ride to the first couple they saw because of a cancellation. While getting on the boat meant missing their dinner reservations, this also meant a possibility of a proposal was off the table. With all the treatment the “cancelled guests” got-they’re drinking, they’re eating appetizers…Alex’s favorite song comes on. Oblivious Alex gets up to dance with Jeff to her jam. One smooth move, and he’s down on one knee proposing. She said yes! (of course) and says it was probably the best day of her life. They also got to eat dinner, on the boat—no bride to be was left hungry.

Engaged 7/2/19, planning a week later. With the Scottsdale AZ venue secured, vendors booked and their 200 person guest list done, all the two had to do was wait for October 2020. In comes 2020 with other plans for the couple. They had so much already planned and done the decision for the couple was obvious. There would be no waiting another year. There would be no looking back and thinking “Oh this day would’ve been our anniversary. I also have a weird thing with numbers” says Alex. Elopement and a big wedding in the future it was!

The plan was to take photos in Sedona after their wedding, now instead of just photos Sedona is where the two will have exchanged vows. Since planning in CA for a AZ elopement during a pandemic, Alex’s parents can be thanked for setting up all the last minute details. From hotel bookings to dinner reservations. A lot goes in to wedding planning, having to shift plans is no different or easier.

The once 200 person wedding was down to 20, no dj, no photo booth, and no makeup artist. Luckily their photographer was still available and so willingly adjusted rates and they found a new videographer who exceeded expectations. Everything was done and they were ready to be husband and wife. After they eloped they realized that nothing can top that. There was no need to have the wedding day they had originally planned. Instead the two will celebrate with a big party in year. Although their wedding day is now cancelled, their love was not.

The newlyweds at their Sedona elopement. Photo by Maya Papaya Pictures.

Alex’s advice for any brides planning their weddings right now: “If you’re planning to elope just because you’ve always wanted to, you have time to plan. If you’re doing it last minute due to covid, the only advice I can give is to ask for help. Repeat: ask for help! I was so exhausted and done with planning an entirely different wedding, by then I was so spent. Keep it small, easy and light. You want to enjoy the moment. ( also make sure you only purchase one “change the date” per family. We have about 200 extra because we were scrambling and didn’t realize.” The save the date advice is actually great advice for any one planning (signed someone who ordered 200 invites for their own wedding).

There are many things that 2020 couples have had to face when planning their weddings, the decision on what to do is up to you. The love you share doesn’t have a time limit. Postpone, cancel, elope. Any way you put it, in the end the two of you will have said “I Do.”

Danielle Ristau


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