A Texas wedding photographer says she got sick with coronavirus after shooting a mask-free wedding — where the groom knew he had tested positive the day before the party but turned up to celebrate bare-faced anyway.
The photographer, who kept her identity anonymous, shared the story about the selfish newlyweds with Texas Monthly, recalling the moment a bridesmaid told her that the groom knew he had COVID-19.
When the photographer, who has asthma, came down with the illness a few days later, the newlyweds ‘didn’t care’ that they’d put her health and life in jeopardy and refused to apologize.
Selfish! A Texas wedding photographer says she got sick with COVID-19 after shooting a mask-free wedding — where the groom knew he had tested positive the day before (stock image)
The photographer was one of several to share her pandemic wedding horror stories with the magazine, but her recollections of the couple’s behavior — and one bridesmaid’s callous words — provided a particularly egregious example of newlyweds flouting pandemic restrictions.
She said that she was shooting a wedding in which guests and the bridal party went mask-free, and had been there for an hour or two when she was hit with the shocking news that it was about as dangerous as she could imagine.
One of the bridesmaids approached her and thanked her for ‘still’ coming, given ‘everything that’s going on with the groom.’
When the photographer asked her to elaborate, the bridesmaid admitted that the groom had just tested positive for COVID-19 the day before the wedding.
‘She was looking for me to be like, “Oh, that’s crazy,” like I was going to agree with her that it was fine,’ she said.
‘So I was like, “What are you talking about?” And she was like, “Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.”‘
People can still infect others with COVID-19 when they are asymptomatic, as particles carrying the virus can spread when they sneeze, clear their throat, talk, laugh, and just breathe.
A mask can reduce the risk of these particles spreading by catching them inside the fabric — but the groom wasn’t wearing a mask.
She was like, ‘Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’
Either way, masks are not 100 per cent effective, and anyone who is infected with the virus is advised to quarantine.
The wedding photographer was aghast to learn that the groom had the virus, particularly because of her preexisting condition and her three kids at home.
She and her assistant left the wedding before it was over, prompting backlash from others at the event who were angry at her for not sticking around though it would further endanger her.
The wedding planner reportedly slammed her for being ‘unprofessional,’ while the bridesmaids accused her of ‘ruining’ the ‘innocent’ bride’s wedding.
One bridesmaid told her: ‘I’m a teacher, I have fourteen students. If I’m willing to risk it, why aren’t you?’
When the photographer told another bridesmaid, ‘I have children. What if my children die?’ the bridesmaid brazenly replied, ‘I understand, but this is her wedding day.’
Ultimately, the photographer’s panic was justified: Within a few days, she started feeling ill, and soon got back a positive test result.
She had to cancel her Thanksgiving plans, give up other wedding jobs, and send her kids to stay with relatives.
All this, and the couple ‘didn’t care’ that she got sick, refusing to compensate her for the COVID-19 test or apologize.
Several other wedding photographers also shared their experiences with Texas Monthly, with one saying he’d been in hotel ballrooms ‘packed like sardines’ during the pandemic, with not a mask in sight.
Another experienced a similar scene, in which hundreds of guests without masks lined up for a group dance. Only the photographers and caterers wore masks.
One even spotted elderly guests without PPE, including one man carrying around his own oxygen tank.
Yet another said a grateful groom came over to thank her near the DJ booth — and while he was yelling over the music, she felt bits of his spit hitting her face.
Several American couples have been slammed for holding ‘super-spreader weddings’ this year, hosting guests for unmasked parties where the virus ran rampant.
Anthony and Mikayla Bishop tied the knot in Blue Ash, Ohio on October 31 with 83 guests in attendance.
Two weeks later, almost half of the attendees had come down with the coronavirus, including three of their elderly grandparents who had to be rushed to hospital suffering severe symptoms.
The Bishops, who dated for five years after meeting in college, say they tried to be conscious of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during the wedding.
They said they trimmed down their guest list, spaced out tables at their wedding reception, and provided bottles of hand sanitizer.
However, when Mikayla walked down the aisle, she realized most of her guests had decided to forgo face masks.
‘The first thing I see is I see everyone’s face. And that’s when I realized wow. Nobody’s wearing a mask,’ she told WLWT.
Rules don’t apply to them! Anthony and Mikayla Bishop got married on October 31, and 30 people contracted COVID-19 at their wedding
‘Weddings are definitely scary right now. I didn’t think that almost half of our wedding guests were gonna get sick,’ Mikayla added. ‘You’re in the moment. You’re having fun. You don’t think about COVID anymore.’
Reality soon caught up with the couple on their honeymoon when they began receiving calls from guests who had tested positive to the virus.
‘Every single day we’re getting a call. Oh here’s another person. Here’s another person. Here’s another person. And it starts to take a toll on you,’ Mikayla said.
The couple’s honeymoon was over — literally and figuratively — when they, too, came down with the virus. While the pair only experienced mild symptoms, they say they were racked with guilt because so many of their guests had become more seriously ill.
The couple say they believe it was the rowdy dance floor at their wedding reception where the virus could have easily spread.
‘That’s what was maybe the super spreader is the dance floor,’ Mikayla said. ‘Everybody’s in each other’s face and there’s no masks.’
Super-spreader: An August wedding in Maine had been tied to 177 cases of coronavirus, which spread well beyond those who attended
Victim: Theresa Dentremont, an 83-year-old woman who did not attend the wedding, was among the seven people who died in hospital. Her 97-year-old husband Frank Dentremont, who is a WWII veteran and the oldest resident of resident of East Millinocket, was also hospitalized but he later recovered
And in August, an unidentified California couple tied the knot in the rural Maine town of Millinocket, which has a population of 4,500 and no reported COVID-19 cases before the event.
Fifty-five people attended the wedding and reception held at the Big Moose Inn on August 7. At the time, Maine had capped indoor gatherings at 50 people.
Guests were not wearing masks during the indoor event and did not maintain a distance of six feet from each other.
Health officials say at least 177 coronavirus cases have been linked to the wedding, including seven people who were hospitalized.
A total of seven deaths have been tied to the outbreak. Four of the seven who were hospitalized died. None of the people who died attended the wedding.