Like many brides-to-be, Baltimore resident Sarah Studley was ready to say, “I do,” but her plans quickly fell apart when COVID-19 hit.
Her wedding plans at Spreckels Pavilion were placed on hold indefinitely and a wedding dress was left unworn. Studley, however, decided to put the gown to work in another way and got vaccinated while wearing it.
“This is my event of the year,” Studley said. “I’m getting vaccinated and that was the light-bulb moment: 'OK, I know where I can wear my little polka-dot dress.' ”
The University of Maryland Medical System recently tweeted a photo of Studley receiving her first COVID-19 shot. She's seen in a white dress with her sleeve rolled up, getting vaccinated.
Studley told NBC 7 that she was wearing the dress she originally had in mind for her dream wedding but decided later on to transition to a more formal gown. She said she saw an actress pose in an elaborate gown for her vaccine shot and was inspired. She wanted to share her dress with others since her wedding guests would never see it.
“There were lots of people there, so I chose that as my moment and also getting the vaccine is really exciting,” Studley said. “It was a celebration.”
Studley and her fiancée, Bryan, were supposed to celebrate their big day in November. They had announced their engagement the previous year with a photo from the San Diego Zoo, but just as Studley was getting into the full swing of wedding planning, things took an abrupt turn with COVID -19.
“We mailed out our save-the-dates and the next day, I found out I had been exposed to COVID,” Studley said.
Fortunately, Studley didn’t catch COVID-19 but the fallout from the virus was enough for her to sideline her big reception and downscale to a more intimate ceremony with family. Studley still got married in San Diego, tying the knot with her fiancée Bryan at the marriage hut outside the County Administration Building.
Studley’s photos capture the reality of a wedding amid a pandemic. In one photo, two guests can be seen with masks seated on a closed bench. In another, a county clerk looks through a window with joy as the two newlyweds kiss. Studley said that, even though it wasn’t the dream wedding she envisioned, the community sure made her feel like it really was her special day.
Photos: Bride-to-Be Wears Wedding Dress to Her Vaccination
“I can’t even count the number of cars that honked their horns,” Studley said. “People that yelled congratulations and told us we looked great. It was really heartwarming.”