Sidney Daugherty and her husband, Ryan, never expected the COVID-19 pandemic to make their wedding more special than what they had originally planned.

Sidney Daugherty of Valrico got engaged in May of 2019, and she was so excited to start planning her wedding that was supposed to take place on March 21 of this year.

“All of the planning went really smoothly in the beginning because COVID wasn’t even a thing at the time,” Daugherty said. “Our venue, Southern Grace, was an all-inclusive venue and it was a really good process from the start.”

The smooth process started to change around March 14 for Daugherty. “March 17 was the day for me that COVID became real to me. The week prior, our hair and makeup artist decided to cancel to keep her and her family safe,” she said.

Daugherty tried her best to pivot and try keep up hope that her wedding would go on as planned.

“I was very stubborn to the idea that my wedding would be postponed or cancelled,” Daugherty said. “I had family come to town, as well as my husband’s family come to town too, and we wanted to continue with our wedding as planned.”

She did, however, call her wedding venue to ask what the chances were they would have a backup date available if she had to postpone her dream wedding.

“They did have a backup date to move all their spring brides to September if they were affected by COVID,” Daugherty said. “I was glad that they had a backup plan in place if we had to postpone.”

As the pandemic worsened, Daugherty and her family made the difficult decision to postpone the wedding.

“That was a very emotional decision for me,” Daugherty said. “I poured a lot into making that day special and I was definitely one of those brides that dreamed of her wedding since she was 7 years old. I had my wedding Pinterest board since I was 13 years old, so it was hard to call friends and family to tell them we had to postpone the wedding.”

Her venue had moved her wedding to the new date of September 12.

“When we had our wedding on September 12, we ended up having so many beautiful surprises from our wedding venue,” Daugherty said. “It made our day more special than what I had thought it could be. We felt that maybe all of what happened could have been the best thing to happen to our wedding. We have many happy memories and family moments we will never forget.”