Hi, I’m Lynsey! I am blessed to have married my high school sweetheart, Tanner. Tanner is my best friend, my world, and holds my whole heart. He’ll never understand my love for him and how proud I am of him and all he’s done. The past year has been full of “hurry up and wait’ moments with COVID seemingly controlling our lives. One wonderful thing did come out of this year, though. Tanner and I were able to get married! The following is the first chapter of what I call my Sea Stories and my COVID wedding.
When Tanner first started talking about enlisting in the U.S. Navy, I had so many fears. My best friend and fiance would be leaving, and more upsetting, I would have barely any contact with him for weeks. I mean, letters are ok but it’s not as fast as calling. In early February, Tanner left for boot camp, just a couple of weeks shy of his 20th birthday. Seeing him go was the hardest thing I had ever experienced. I kept it together up until the day he left – but as I gave him a final hug goodbye, I burst into a puddle of tears and couldn’t even utter, “I love you.” Thankfully, my mother-in-law was with me and held my hand through the whole process. She really was my rock during boot camp, and I am eternally grateful for her.
Although recruit boot camp was challenging, Tanner successfully graduated, earning the title, U.S. Sailor. It felt like an eternity since I’d seen him, and I was excited to meet the man he’d worked so hard to become. Unfortunately, the military had other plans. His graduation was canceled due to COVID, which 100% sucked, and delayed a much-anticipated reunion.
After graduation, Tanner transitioned to his A-School in Charleston, SC, which was only a six-hour drive from me. Finally, I felt like things were falling into place. But, surprise surprise, the plan changed again as COVID caused a lockdown, and I couldn’t visit. I would tell him all the time that I just wanted him back, and he would always remind me that we’d see each-other soon. No matter how far away “soon” felt.
With no end in sight for COVID and Tanner quarantined to base, it became crystal clear that an in-person wedding would not happen. Tanner wasn’t allowed to leave, I couldn’t visit, and blah, blah, blah, whatever, you get my point. Through many prayers and a little help from our local County Clerk’s Office, we got married two months later, July 4, 2020.
You guessed it. We could get married through Zoom. For those not familiar with Zoom, it is a virtual, online platform traditionally used for business meetings. But in our case, a different type of meeting, our wedding. Tanner’s father married us (perks of having a pastor as your father-in-law). It was a small ceremony, including both virtual and in-person attendees.
Tanner wore his dress uniform, per my request because, sadly, I’d never actually seen him wear the dress blues. He looked so handsome, and I couldn’t help but feel butterflies in my stomach. It was such a mix of emotions that day. I was sad he wasn’t physically there to exchange vows, but I was so excited to become his wife finally. I never really believed I would be so blessed to marry my best friend, but God knew all along. Although a few things were lacking in our COVID wedding, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. No, it’s not convenient or easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing at the end of the day.
Military life, can throw a few curveballs, and I’m absolutely sure there will be many more. But as a military spouse, I have learned that you are never alone. There are so many other women in my shoes that know every bit of what I’m feeling. As far as having a virtual ceremony rather than a traditional wedding, it was definitely something neither us or our families will forget. God really did make way for us to get married and be together again. God is the one who knew that all of these crazy things would fall into place the way they did. God knew when I didn’t.
Stay tuned for my next Sea Stories post!