A Lesson on Lasting Love from a 2020 Elopement

Photos by Hannah Forsberg, courtesy of Erin Ganaway

It might have seemed that 2020 was a year for so much of life to be on hold, that memories we hold so dear and anticipate to make in the wake of beautiful moments to come would cease to surface until who knows when. As COVID-19 shook the world and for the most part, stopped it in its tracks, we felt compelled to seek precious moments throughout the year that assured us that despite the alarming events of 2020, there was always a light that made itself known through the bonds of love.

In one of these incredibly heartfelt glimpses of love outshining all, we take a look at a few snapshots from a quiet yet beautiful day for poet Erin Ganaway and her husband, Gavin. Originally meant to enjoy a destination wedding of their dreams with loved ones in attendance, their plans ultimately changed at the height of COVID-19, especially when both had also unexpectedly contracted the virus and were severely ill. Time was on all our minds in 2020, be it too little or too much of in a devastating year– in overcoming these unexpected obstacles, Erin and Gavin, being faced with time’s uncertainty, knew exactly their special day couldn’t be spared another minute.

And so on June 29th, the happy couple came together at the historic Swan House in Atlanta, a stunning 1928 Renaissance and Classic revival mansion where they married in a small gathering with few friends and family. “There are certain things I will always remember,” reminisces Erin on her blog, “the sweet smell of peonies in my bouquet, the slant of sunlight that blessed us all morning long, the look on my husband’s face when he first saw me, the perfect pairing of champagne and fresh lemon cake enjoyed in a light breeze, the wonderfully exhausted feeling of collapsing into our hotel room after the day we had planned in one form or another had finally been realized.”

From these precious photos we can enjoy a still and elegant day that will remain a glowing memory of bliss and classic romance, illuminating the grace and happiness that the happy couple were able to celebrate after all.

“We hope when all this passes, when we no longer need to remember our masks and hand soap when we leave the house,” says Erin, “when we no longer have to worry about vulnerable loved ones being susceptible to this notorious and fatal virus, we will join together with family and friends to celebrate our union.”

For the challenging year behind all of us, we’re happy to see this beautiful day for a most deserving couple, smiling back in favor of the resilience of love that will always remain timeless and outshine the darkest of times, especially during 2020.

Read more about the full day and the Erin’s experience on eloping during a pandemic here on her blog.

Would you like to share a happy vintage moment of the year behind us? Let us know in the comments, and here’s to the warm promises of 2021 ahead of us all!


Erin Ganaway is an Atlanta-based writer and author of two collections of poetry: Memories of Green and The Waiting Girl. She draws inspiration from her rich Southern roots and New England heritage that traces back to the Mayflower, with fond and unique memories from her grandparents’ Appalachian farmhouse to summers on the charming shores of Cape Cod. Read her work on Instagram @eringanaway and learn more about her inspirations on eringanaway.com.

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