KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cristen and Spencer Williams were forced to cancel their original wedding plans out of safety concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. That didn’t stop them, however; they improvised.

Instead of waiting until the COVID-19 virus passed, they decided to move forward with their special day — virtually.

The wedding was originally scheduled for May 9. With the number of cases growing daily, and travel becoming a concern, the couple made the difficult choice to abandon their original plans.

“When things started coming out, our wedding was about 50 people and so we were like, ‘we’re still in the guidelines, we can still maybe make it on May 9’ and then once it started getting more serious and the numbers kept going down, we just didn’t want to put anybody at risk,” said Cristen Williams.

The couple decided to elope, but still wanted their family and close friends to be included in the festivities. Their solution: Hold a small ceremony in the backyard and broadcast it on Facebook Live for loved ones.

With just the two of them and an officiant, the couple was married Saturday while family watched online. Cristen says it was difficult at first to accept that her wedding day would not be what she thought, but she knew that it was better not to put their families at risk.

“I think it’s good to know that you can be upset and that’s a valid emotion throughout this but also there are bigger things going on right now and the main thing about a wedding like I said before is that you’re marrying the person that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.” Cristen said.

The couple plans to have a second ceremony with their families present when it is safe to travel again.

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