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Real Joy Wedding: Jolie & Brad’s Live-Streamed Ceremony

by Katie Brownstein
Jolie Behrns-Vitale and Brad Kelly on their wedding day at home in Detroit, Michigan

April 17, 2020

For Jolie Behrns-Vitale and Brad Kelly, a live-streamed wedding wasn’t their original plan, but ended up being full of the excitement and emotion they had hoped for on their wedding day.

Jolie and Brad’s Wedding Plans

The Detroit, Michigan couple had planned a ceremony and reception at a beautiful art gallery in downtown Detroit for March 28, 2020. As the coronavirus started spreading through the U.S. and limitations on gatherings over 50 people were put in place, they moved to plan B, a small ceremony in the park with local family and friends, followed by an intimate dinner at a favorite local restaurant. They postponed their larger reception until October.

However, as the coronavirus continued to spread, group gatherings of even a few people were banned, ‘shelter in place’ mandates began, and local restaurants, bars, and businesses closed, the couple soon realized even plan B wouldn’t be possible.

Making the Decision to Live Stream

Despite all the odds, Jolie and Brad were determined to get married on their original wedding date. As Jolie put it, “We wanted to be married, we had it in our heads that we were going to be married in March, and with all the uncertainty in the world, we wanted the certainty of being married and keeping our date.”

And so plan C came to fruition — they would live stream their wedding, with their family and friends joining virtually, and Jolie’s dad, a state judge, joining virtually from the safety of his home to officiate their ceremony. Luckily, Jolie and Brad had already secured their marriage license, which her dad signed and mailed in following the ceremony.

Jolie quickly ordered a white lace top from Amazon that thankfully arrived by the wedding date, Brad wore a sport coat, and everyone joined a Zoom meeting on the afternoon of March 28 to watch them exchange their vows.

Wedding Day Emotions 

While Jolie and Brad were initially worried whether the day would still feel like their wedding day, Jolie said she experienced all the emotions of a wedding day, from happy tears, to excitement and giddiness. As Brad shared, “There were none of the distractions of an in-person ceremony. It almost felt more personal and more focused on us as a couple than with all of our guests in the room.”

For the couple that had been looking forward to their wedding for so long, they ended up feeling that their live-streamed celebration was just the joy they needed amid these uncertain times. This was the highlight of the coronavirus-induced shutdown for Jolie, Brad, and their guests, and the happy celebration everyone needed.

Post-Ceremony Celebrations

Following their ceremony, Jolie and Brad popped a bottle of champagne, shared a toast, and stayed in the Zoom meeting for a while to hang out with everyone. Later, they posted the recording of their ceremony on their Joy wedding website for their guests to relive the happy memories.

Jolie and Brad are still looking forward to their in-person reception this fall with friends and family at the venue they intended to be married at, which will serve as a sweet reunion for all their loved ones when it’s safe to be physically together again.

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