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By Doris Strnad, Rental Manager
Brandon & Robyn – November 9, 2020 (11+9=20)
2020 was at best a challenging year for many reasons, but COVID-19 ultimately caused a worldwide shift that touched all of us in one way or another. For Brandon and Robyn, 2020 was the year they wanted to get married despite whatever difficulties might affect their plans. After their romantic engagement, the planning began to take form. They would often joke about getting married at the Museum where Brandon works as the Director of Facilities. But their real dream was to whisk away close family and friends to Sedona, Arizona for a personal wedding. Unfortunately, the COVID outbreak created a roadblock for those plans, and they needed to reshape their vision. Brandon and Robyn felt uncomfortable asking family and friends to travel and put themselves at risk. Therefore, they decided to go with what was familiar and already felt like home, the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art.
After shifting gears to MOAS, they approached the COVID situation with a unique advantage, Brandon’s knowledge of the Museum buildings and all the inner workings of each space.
“Being intimately aware of the building and its top-of-the-line air filtration system, which includes UV, we felt completely comfortable having our loved ones enjoy the facility during the pandemic. We provided sanitizer bottles and social distancing stickers for guests to indicate their physical contact comfort levels.”
Planning the layout and design of the ceremony and reception was a breeze for the couple since Brandon has set up and broken down many weddings and other rentals firsthand. They did however put a unique spin on the layout for the ceremony. Not only were the chairs all focusing inward on the couple, but their wedding was the first occasion where the market lights were installed for a ceremony in the Permanent Gallery, creating a cozy environment. All in all, they were fortunate that they could stick as close to their previous details as possible and did not have a difficult time making changes or giving up on any of the special choices they made, for example, the delicious Ben & Jerry’s catered dessert.
Even though COVID dashed their initial hopes of a Sedona location, moving their wedding to the Museum was much smoother than expected, especially compared to many 2020 couples who had to make drastic changes or even postpone their weddings due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean Brandon and Robyn didn’t have other unexpected challenges! Tropical Storm Eta was barreling towards central Florida. The entire cocktail hour and reception was intended to be outside in the AdventHealth Courtyard, but the weather shifted their plans once again. The day before their wedding, they had to make the decision to move everything inside to the Main Event Hall.
Undoubtedly, many serendipitous events made Brandon and Robyn’s special day genuinely memorable. But the biggest surprise for Brandon was how well it all turned out.
“We didn’t have a wedding planner and when the day arrived it quickly became obvious how big a production a wedding can be! After having set up functions at the Museum for the last five years, I was surprised at how the large space could transform into an intimate setting, and once the ceremony started, I no longer felt like I was at work!”
The next day, Brandon and Robyn flew to Sedona to take wedding pictures amongst the magnificent desert and mountainous landscapes of Arizona.
Congratulations Brandon & Robyn!!
We at MOAS are extremely grateful for everything Brandon Sheppard does to make sure our facilities are in top-notch condition so our patrons and the public can truly enjoy everything the Museum has to offer. We are so pleased that Brandon and Robyn had such a wonderful experience and a magical wedding at the Museum!