In Texas, they say you can either go big or go home and these five neighbors somehow managed to do both.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads in the country and local governments are telling residents to stay home, practicing social distancing can also be isolating. So these neighbors in Georgetown, Texas, came up with a creative way to pass the time together -- from six feet apart.
Five friends and neighbors joined together for "wedding dress Wednesday," posing in their wedding dresses for a fun photo shoot.
Elyssa Seibel, a professional photographer, said the wacky wedding shoot was the brainchild of her and the other women: Jamie Egloff, Bryce Ellerbroek, Shannon Thomas, Nina Wagner and Jaime Sladek.
"Nina decided that a fancy wine night was exactly what she needed and so she proceeded to put on her wedding dress and take a picture of it—and let me tell you, she had a blast,” Seibel, 31, explained. “After a few glasses of wine, she decided to call it ‘Wedding Dress Wednesday’ and that’s when my photographer brain snapped on. I asked in our group chat how many of the women could come outside in their wedding dresses to take photos, and no one hesitated.”
“Five women outside of their homes in old wedding dresses, can you imagine? It was hilarious and epic," she said. "Some of our other neighbors started coming out on their driveways."
Seibel said it was a "little bit of a struggle" to get all the women in one shot while staying six feet apart, but they made it work.
“The posing was crazy because we’re always used to being up in each other’s business, so having to keep that strict separation was tough,” Seibel said. “I somehow was still able to come up with a few creative poses while still having them remain six feet apart and still all be in one frame.”
Seibel said the entire neighborhood is accustomed to spending time with one another. Between the six women, they have 14 children and every Friday the families block off the street and play hockey and football or just catch up. But since the pandemic, they've been catching up over the phone instead and have been missing one another.
The photo shoot in their wedding dresses was a fun way for the women to take their minds off the current crisis.
Jaime Sladek, a teacher who took part in the shoot, called it a "much-needed stress relief."
“It had been a rough day with trying to manage online classes and there are so many changes at home," Sladek said. "There is a lot of disappointing news right now... so just being able to get out on the street and see each other as we’ve never seen each other before was a really good feeling. It was so ridiculous but it brought a lot of joy.”
She added: "I haven't put on my wedding dress since I got married 13 years ago, so it was fun for my daughter to see me in it."
Sladek said she hopes the shoot brought a smile to people's faces on Facebook and helped counteract some of the stressful news out there.
For Seibel, this pandemic has been a reminder to celebrate life and find ways to cope together.
"I think we take for granted, the little bit of human interaction we get each day,” Seibel said. “Even just walking down the street and saying hi to a neighbor. This definitely puts a lot of things into perspective, to be able to not only give ourselves a laugh and a little break from the stress of this crisis. I think the goal is to find as much happiness as possible in all this craziness. We’re all in this together and all helping each other find ways to cope.”