BUDA, Texas — They would describe their relationship as anything but normal.
Bri and Lindsey Leaverton met two years ago and earlier this month they had planned to get married. But like so many weddings, the coronavirus canceled their plans, but it also opened the door for a wedding that was anything but normal.
On a quiet Tuesday night, the screens at Doc's Drive-In Theater were going to play something slightly different than their normal showing. It's where Bri Houk and Lindsey Leaverton were getting married.
The original plan was to have the wedding on April 10 at Hotel Ella, but with the state of Texas on a stay-at-home order, that wasn't going to happen.
"Rona foiled all the plans and the way that everything fell into place to have what ended up being... more than we could have ever asked for thought or imagined at this drive-in movie theater," said Lindsey Leaverton.
"Oh my gosh, I can't believe that we've done this and we pulled it off," said Bri Leaverton excitedly before the wedding.
With friends and families staying in their cars, it was a chance to follow the laws, while sharing in a special moment. But when those moments have to be shared from 6 feet away it can be tough.
"There was a moment when I saw my parent's in their car, I completely got choked up overwhelmed with emotion," explained Lindsey Leaverton. "I loved that they were there, but it killed me not being able to embrace them."
While embraces would have to wait, the sun setting allowed everyone to share in Bri and Lindsey Leaverton's special moment.
But why now, in the middle of a pandemic, have a pop-up Pandemic wedding?
"The day before our would-be wedding, we got a call from one of our family members, and we found out one of our family members tested positive for coronavirus, and it was a call that I think... [it] made us realize, you know, we're not promised tomorrow and we don't want to wait," said Lindsey Leaverton.
Since then their relative has gotten a negative test result.
"You are here together today in front of the people that love you most, saying yes to each other," said Jen Hatmaker, their officiant.
People watching on the theater's screens, and also people watching at home. The two set up three separate live streams, one on Facebook, Instagram, and also YouTube. So that the people who couldn't make it, or choose not to come, could still enjoy the celebration.
"It allowed us to invite more people to our other wedding that we had planned," said Bri Leaverton.
Allowing more people to share in their ceremony. Lindsey Leaverton, a musician, wrote a song for Bri Leaverton that she performed. Bri Leaverton didn't know that was happening until the moment.
After that, the two exchanged vows.
"Nothing about us is usual, but nothing about this has felt more like home," said Lindsey to Bri Leaverton.
"I honor you today and every day, I love you," said Bri, before turning to Lindsey Leaverton's twin girls. "Anabella and Olivia, y'all are my favorite little girls in the whole world and I can't wait to have a lifetime of Parry Gripp dance parties with you."
"Ladies, seal your vows with a kiss," said Hatmaker.
"So many nerves as I was standing up there," Bri Leaverton explained.
"The cars became the new applause," added Lindsey Leaverton. "I think we made some really sweet lemonade, out of some really rotten lemons."
The beginning of a new line, in a way we would normally only ever see on a big screen.
"We're wives, I know, it's crazy, it's still hitting us. I'm like you're my wife," the two said back and forth. "We're married, we're married."
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