Warm weather usually means wedding season, but what happens during a quarantine? As a photographer, I’ve photographed all types of weddings, but I recently captured one that really touched my heart with happy tears behind the camera. With wedding plans underway for a wedding in November of 2020, the quarantine brought one couple closer together and literally jump-started an earlier marriage.
“We knew we didn’t want to be quarantined apart from each other for an indefinite period of time. We also knew that we really wanted to be married,”
Micah Tapp explains. On April 2nd, Micah and his fiancee, Erin Day, heard the news about the upcoming lock-down orders in two days.
“I realized that pandemic or no pandemic, my heart really just simply wanted to be married to Micah,” says Erin. “I am so confident and at peace when I’m with him, so I didn’t see the sense in prolonging life without him as my partner in all facets of my life.”
So, after two months into the wedding planning process, deciding small details for their winter wedding, Micah and Erin Tapp decided to forego the larger wedding and become husband and wife right away.
Erin grew up in Peachtree City. She returned to the area to open her piano studio and work as a Library Assistant at the PTC library while working on her Master’s Degree. During this time, Erin’s faith was growing and she wanted to find a partner who shared her values. She hesitantly created a profile on a Christian dating website with the hopes of finding a partner who would invest in her faith journey alongside her. Ironically, Micah messaged her right away, but because Erin had regrets about online dating, she didn’t see his introduction until months later when she made a decision to take down the profile. Micah says, “Before cancelling the account, she scanned down the screen of emails and for some reason, she stopped at my name. Although she had planned to not view the messages, she opened and read mine.” They eventually agreed to a first date and by the evening’s end, they knew it was meant to be, agreeing to keep God at the center of their relationship.
Their proposal was similar to how their wedding day ended up, sweet and simple, but loaded with love and meaning. Micah says, “We were certain that we wanted to be married someday.”
With no specific plans on when he would propose, Micah kept the ring in his pocket for just the right moment, and it came unexpectedly. They had traveled to West Virginia to meet her grandfather, and early one morning, “Erin stopped and stood at the kitchen sink gazing out the window to a white forest covered from the overnight snowfall. She explained how her beloved grandmother would stand in that exact spot and talk to her when she was a child. Right then, I knew that kitchen was the most perfect place!” Micah recalls. He knelt down, asking Erin to marry him.
“It was surreal. She still had that sleepy look, which made her more gorgeous to me than ever. The expression on her face will never leave my memory,” Micah says.
When the world changed overnight, the two of them considered a quick and intimate wedding. Erin admitted that she was exhausted from wedding planning and just wanted to be Micah’s wife. Being a sweet and old-fashioned idea, they realized it was truly the type of ceremony they desired after all. With only 48 hours to pull it off before the mandatory lock-down, friends and family charged forward to create a beautiful memory for the loving couple.
Because there wasn’t time to worry about unnecessary details, the beauty of their love was allowed to shine through. Erin says, “Our wedding was one that only God could create. His plan for our wedding was so much bigger and more beautiful than anything I could’ve imagined.”
The sun trickling through the big magnolia tree spotlighted the altar that Erin’s father lovingly put together. Their cat wandered through the yard, greeting each of the ten guests scattered in the yard, keeping social distance. A dear friend surprised Erin with a bouquet that she had seen on Erin’s original inspiration board, complete with fall colors in the middle of the spring. Thankfully, her pastor (and marriage counselor) was available that day to wed them with encouraging and poetic words. A friend recorded the ceremony, doing a livestream on Facebook for friends and family.
Surprises of love came together so beautifully, but the biggest surprise of all was for Micah. With just two days to orchestrate the wedding, the plan was that Erin would have to wear a regular dress. When she realized their small wedding was coming together so elegantly, she secretly called the bridal salon where she had tried on a dress earlier that month. “With only one day before the lockdown, I explained our story and asked if they could sell me the sample size. The consultant was so charmed that she opened up the store Saturday morning and made a call to have my dress altered by a nearby seamstress. I drove to Atlanta Saturday morning to buy the dress, get the alterations and came home to get ready. My father picked up the dress and arrived home an hour before ceremony time,” Erin says.
Friends and family prayed together with Erin in the front yard. Then with eyes closed, Micah and Erin shared their last breathtaking moments before becoming husband and wife, praying together back-to-back. A few minutes later, Micah stood under the magnolia tree waiting for his bride. Tears filled his eyes when he saw Erin emerge in a stunning wedding gown with flowers in her hand and hair. It was meant to be, just like this, that day.
The words in their vows were powerful— the most incredible promises of love I had ever heard uttered. Listing the attributes of each other, they also promised to help one another become the best versions of themselves. They vowed to do the work necessary to keep their love alive, fueled by their faith.
The love story of Micah and Erin Tapp can be an inspiration to all of us during this time. Getting married in the midst of a pandemic is no easy feat. Learning to live together as husband and wife, with the stresses of this quarantine, has had its challenges, but the two of them have decided to choose simple and sweet… to come together, instead of apart. Reading their vows to each other when things get tough, recommitting their love and faith, they have decided to step back from the stress and realize what is most important— their love and faith. Just like Erin and Micah, we can choose what to focus on.