The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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Real Bride Ashley Luu Conrad: Celebrating the Big Day Despite Covid-19

Real Bride Ashley Luu Conrad: Celebrating the Big Day Despite Covid-19

Real bride Ashley Luu Conrad shares with us her experience planning her September 2020 wedding while navigating the changes needing to be made because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the smoke from the California wildfires. We discuss the stressful process of getting her marriage license, the possibility of family not in attendance, and why they decided not to postpone. She also gives her advice to other couples that are making the decision whether to postpone or not.



Get to know Ashley:

Ashley was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She met her husband Skyler Conrad on Match.com on May 2, 2017. They got engaged at Mt. Evans in Colorado in September 2019, and married September 19, 2020 at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, California.

Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn!



*Disclaimer: Our interview took place in September right after their wedding. According to the CDC “COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the United States are rising. As cold weather moves in, people spend more time indoors, and as the holidays approach, take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. The more steps you take, the more you are protected against COVID-19.” For more information please visit cdc.org.




This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineers Eric Koltnow, Sean Rule-Hoffman and Declan Rohrs.

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Leah Longbrake:
Hello, and welcome to Weddings Unveiled, the podcast for your wedding planning process. I'm your host, Leah Longbrake. We know how exciting and stressful planning the big day can be and we're here to help, providing you with information and advice from industry insiders and those with firsthand experience.

Leah Longbrake:
On today's episode, we have real bride, Ashley Luu Conrad. She'll share with us how she planned her September 2020 wedding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the California wildfires. Ashley, welcome to the show-

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Thank you.

Leah Longbrake:
... and congratulations.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Appreciate it.

Leah Longbrake:
I'd love to start off with the proposal. Tell us about your fiance and how they proposed.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Sure. My fiance and I, just to even backtrack a little further, we happened to meet on Match. That in itself is sort of like, "Oh, we're one of those testimonials," like a lot of people. I think even just because in the way that it is now, online dating is pretty huge and everyone knows someone who's met somebody online.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh yeah.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
It was one of those circumstances where you even think to yourself that with dating being very difficult, you don't even consider the fact that it could happen going into it, and that's kind of what it was like for myself. Just trying to wing it and see what happens. It ended up working out for us really well, so we're really, really lucky.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And we basically dated for two years and he proposed last year in September. We went on a trip to Colorado where he's from, and we kind of got to do a little road trip to check out city to city. And basically, we checked out his home that he grew up at, at least from the outside. And we were at the top of a mountain called Mount Evans. And I'm not much of a hiker, so it's actually a very, very high altitude, top of the peak of this beautiful mountain. I want to see was over 14,000 feet.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh wow, and this is our first time in Colorado, right?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
First time, yeah. It was absolutely beautiful. We got up to the top; and funny enough, we had talked about wanting to get married and everything. And I'm kind of a control freak a little bit, so he already knew that I wanted to choose the ring and everything. I mean, I wanted to make sure it was perfect. Basically, I had it set up an appointment to buy the ring and kind of take a look at it and everything. But when we planned it, it was for a future date. I really was taken aback when he actually did propose because I didn't pick the ring yet. But fortunately, he pulls out this ring, and I'm going to call it like a prop ring because it was basically, it looked like the ring that I was looking into and he said that's just what he wanted to do to at least surprise me. He surprised me with this prop ring. It was very short and sweet.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I think also just from talking to other girls and everything, they've said before, "Oh, I want to make sure my nails are done. I want to make sure that they're ready, and I want someone there to take a picture." But for us, it was completely secluded. I didn't even brush my hair and my hair was tied up. I had no nail polish on. I was completely unkempt because I was not prepared, but it was a really nice surprise. It was a really sweet moment for us. And we're not like big on social media too much anyway, so it was very sweet that it was just our moment together. And basically, he professed his love a little bit for a minute. It was really quick and just really beautiful. And we both kind of cried a little bit and it was kind of a really sweet moment for us.

Leah Longbrake:
I was going to say, yeah, how did you react? Were you shocked? Did you answer yes right away?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Oh yeah. I really just started crying a little bit. It's funny, he grabbed the wrong hand, which was really cute. I switched the hand really fast, like, "No, no, no. It's this one." I'm pretty sure I just mumbled thank you because I had no idea what to say. I was in so much shock. I was just like, "Thanks. I love you." And then we just hugged and that was it. It was really great.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And from there, I basically just tried to plan away and we wanted to kind of work on budgeting and all these things. From there kind of looked at a couple of venues, but even then it was pretty quick as far as our decision. We picked this golf club in San Clemente called Talega. It just really fit and the date at the time worked really well. It was May 2nd, which is the date that we actually met, and that was a date that they had available. They had very few options because it's super popular, a high demand location, as at the time even last year and next year. I mean, just huge demand. It just felt that it was [crosstalk 00:06:01].

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, I mean, venues can fill up fast, so it's good that you were getting on that right away. How long between the proposal and you actually planning and booking the venue was that timeline?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Proposed in September of 2019, started researching right away. I think we checked out the place and picked it and probably December.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, wow, you were on it.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, maybe December, latest January. And we picked May 2nd, and then kind of started trying to shop around and do all these things, and look for vendors. And then COVID hit. And basically, and myself included, I mean, I'm an events planner, so it was affecting obviously work because we were just really confused and concerned, and we weren't sure-

Leah Longbrake:
Right. And you're West Coast, so you were getting hit before even those of us on the East Coast. I mean, you were really getting it like, what January, February?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Correct.

Leah Longbrake:
Because it hit here really in March, so yeah.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
That's when it hit, and I was planning for trade shows. I mean, we were prepping for them for March and on. And so at that time when this was happening, things were obviously getting so bad that we were forced to not participate anymore. I want to say that these locations, these events were turning into virtual ones or either canceled for now, TBD, that whole thing, and it really shook things up. And I guess we were both very much about trying to think hard and positively about hoping that this thing would kind of blow over, and it really didn't.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
When we got to April, I would say, is when we finally made our decision on postponing, because even thinking about his family. Actually, they're living in Madison, Wisconsin and just having to consider the fact that they might not be able to get here. I had some family from NorCal, but mostly just local. But even considering how heavy it was, especially Orange County, it was really just getting worse. We waited for really as long as we could. And the venue was awesome.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I think there were so many pluses for booking this place because of the fact that our contact was insanely flexible and accommodating, understanding of everything. But not just that, I mean, I think a unique identifier for this venue is they didn't even have an actual contractual obligation that we had to adhere to, so we were super lucky with that. He was just very much about like, "Just kind of let me know what you want to do." We were looking at other-

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. Did they have any kind of clause or anything like that, that... ?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
No. Absolutely nothing.

Leah Longbrake:
That's fantastic.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
It's very unique to see that. I've never seen that in my life.

Leah Longbrake:
Absolutely.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
As we were looking at date options, obviously there weren't very many because people were either keeping their dates or people were starting to push their dates too, like first quarter, second quarter of the following year. In that sense then you know, okay, you're just not going to have as many options. The thing about it that makes this more unique, I would say, is my sister got pregnant and she was my maid of honor, she said she would not be able to make it to the May date because of just, she was kind of concerned. But not only that, the new date that we chose was September 19th and she was going to deliver on the day.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh wow. Oh my gosh.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Basically, she had said, "I'm going to do my best to make it because I want to. At the same time, it's really a gamble because I don't want to be exposed potentially."

Leah Longbrake:
Oh yeah.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
For a while, and I was very upset about it for several months because she had made the decision point blank not to come because she was just super uncomfortable and wanting to make sure she was just being a safe as possible, so it made sense.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And at the same time she said, "But in case things do get better, in case I change my mind, maybe I will. Depending on when the baby's coming maybe I'll try to make it there at least for the ceremony, because I'm sure I'll have a baby before. I mean, I'm not going to have it on the day. I mean, more than likely I won't."

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Anyways, we get closer. Mind you, we were, again, trying to be conscientious about budget. We were wanting this to be a very intimate ceremony. We wanted this to happen this year, so we knew we were going to lose a lot of people. And I think that's another thing to consider is obviously this wedding is very important. You want people you love to be there. You want everyone to be there. But at the same time, you have to think about what's most important. Which for us, we got to the point where we were getting a little bit over it and we really just wanted to have it, and we were just happy to have people there.

Leah Longbrake:
Was that the deciding factor for you when came down to either having it now or postponing it another year?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, I would say so. That's one of the biggest reasons is we were thinking about ourselves in the sense that we really wanted this to happen for us and celebrate and be able to move on to the next chapter. And the other thing was just knowing that because we have been waiting, we're figuring is there going to be a difficult time to find a date next year? Yeah, because everyone was moving their dates. From there, it would have been, how late are we going to have to move it? And then are things going to get better to the point where the show rate's going to be really good and everyone's going to really want to be there?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I think there's a lot of factors that are super gray. It's very much a gamble because even having September 19th as the date, there were people asking me if we were going to move it again. Because things were getting better, but not in a pace where you could say, "Oh yeah, everything's great now." And then it was more of a, it's better, but I mean people still aren't comfortable coming. We definitely had a fair number of cancellations, which we expected. And again, the venue didn't hold us to a guest count and they did not hold us to any minimums. That was another thing.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a huge thing.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
They said, "Hey, we're flexible. If this ends up being really small, this is okay." They were going to have social distancing measures and whatnot, moving everything to be outside. We were going to be indoors and outdoors, but it ended up just being all outdoors because of the regulations. And so in the planning process, it really worked out in our favor.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And so kind of just adding to what happened with my sister, I mean, she ended up not having the baby yet, but it was really any day. We were just waiting, waiting, waiting. And not only that, her husband, my brother-in-law, was actually our officiant. We had asked for him to get a license to be an officiant, but he said, "Well, if she's not having the baby yet, I don't think... If she doesn't come and baby is coming... " If everything's happening almost at the same time, he was like, "I don't think that I can come." And that was really the day before the wedding.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh my gosh.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I mean, it was when I said like, "Are you in or are you out? And basically-

Leah Longbrake:
Did you have a backup?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
We had asked my husband's brother to just do it for us. I said, "I have a script for you. You could be the backup." And we asked him the day before so he was like freaking out, but he was a trooper and he said he would do it for us. But the thing about it obviously is, how do we make this legal, right?

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, can you just go online and get it right away or does it take a day or two?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
You can go online and get it right away to be an officiant, but the thing about it was that we did not think about far ahead enough was getting the license. In COVID... No, no, my siblings told me, "Okay, it's so easy. You just walk in and ask for license, pay the small fee. Super, super easy." That's what I had in my head, but we didn't look until, I would say, two weeks before to figure out what was the process. Now in Orange County, California, or I think a lot of states actually right now is that they're virtual meetings. You can't even go inside and walk in or anything. You need to do an appointment, you need to do a virtual meeting.

Leah Longbrake:
And they have to mail it to you or email it to you?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Well, basically, I think that is the process. But the thing is, is that when we had asked to try to set up an appointment two weeks before, I think the date that they gave us was somewhere in October, later in October. We felt that was pretty late and we didn't want different dates to have to remember, the fact that we would have a ceremony before having the license. I mean, it was such a sticky situation, but because we ended up having our honeymoon in the Grand Canyon and Sedona, we were going to just drive out there for a few days after the ceremony.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
A colleague of mine at work actually said, "Well, why don't you just get married in Arizona then if you're going to be there?" And it was super easy. They were definitely not as strict as it is over here. When we drove to Arizona, we actually bought our license in Sedona right away. It was super easy. It took minutes. Beforehand, I had scheduled a ceremony with a judge at their city hall. We did the ceremony with the judge and our two witnesses was another judge and a clerk. That's actually what ended up happening to make that official was a post ceremony. And then my sister's baby was actually born the day before we made it legal. Technically it's funny because we'll be able to know what our anniversary is like for our weddings based on the age-

Leah Longbrake:
Weddings, plural.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
... Oh yeah, weddings plural... based on the age of the baby. It's kind of cute.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Fortunately, my sister did also make it to the ceremony and everything, and she got to walk down the aisle in a mask. She refused to not wear a mask, and so we've got some hopefully, okay pictures out of it. Kind of waiting for that from the photographer.

Leah Longbrake:
I was going to ask you if you did have fancy bridal masks and everything for the bridal party or for just you guys or guests?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
We didn't necessarily do that. I was thinking about it, but everybody already came in with a mask. We didn't do any kind of customize anything, but we had sanitizers that were customized, extra masks and tissues that were individually packaged. But I think it was just trying to think about the fewest touch points as possible.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
We were going to have a candy station and all that, but we figured a lot of hands in jars and scooping and whatnot so we kind of ditched that and kept it super, super simple. But at the end of the day, it really worked out well. And I think just having her there and not knowing she would be there for our moments, I think was really important. I think it's just being able to focus on the main things that are important instead of all the little fussy things. I think we can, easily, as a bride obsess over all of those things-

Leah Longbrake:
Oh yes.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
... because you want the flowers to be perfect and you want people to kind of follow through with what they need to do and maybe vendors and stuff. I think the only minor thing really was I had this hair and makeup artist who I did a trial run with way back, and she ended up having her baby at the same time as our wedding as well.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh my gosh.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
She said, "Oh, I can't, I can't do the service for you." Then I did have to find someone else, but I'm pretty sure, I mean, they did such an incredible job. That ended up really working out for me. At the end of the day, I think it's really just about really focusing on just celebrating and just really not sweating on the details. But, like I said, as a bride, I mean I half the time probably couldn't do that. My husband, fortunately, was there to kind of remind me to be present.

Leah Longbrake:
Stay calm.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Stay calm, be present. Those were things I was having a hard time with at least the first half of the day.

Leah Longbrake:
Was he involved with you as well? Did he stay involved in the planning process?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Oh yeah. I mean, we bought a lot of decor stuff at Hobby Lobby, so he was going to Hobby Lobby with me a million times back and forth, and really supported me on just any sort of little stressors that I had. But I'd say as far as that stuff that tends to be what the bride takes care of. Which as aesthetics and decor or whatever, it's definitely more so of what we're kind of naturally good at versus the guy, but-

Leah Longbrake:
It's true. How big was your guest count in the end?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
In the end, we did have some no shows. I believe a couple of people had gotten sick before and did not want to risk anything, which is a good idea when you invite people who, whether it's family or trusted friends that these are people who are thinking about everybody's health too. That's, I think, a big deal. We did lose some people. I want to say we ended up with about 50.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, that's a good number.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
We probably were going to have 80 to 90 people initially. And that helped us with our... We were covering the wedding, so as far as our bank accounts, it was not definitely-

Leah Longbrake:
It helped.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
... not painful. It helped a lot.

Leah Longbrake:
Now being in California where you are, does the ceremony location and the routes that guests had to take to come, did that impact at all from the fires? Were the fires impacting that at all?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I would say not necessarily where we were located. I'd say that it was at some point about I'd say a week before was a little concerning, just in general with the air quality here. Because actually my husband had gotten strep throat for a few days because we were doing a lot of walks because that's kind of what we have to do, right, to keep busy. But he was starting to develop an issue with his throat because of the smokes outside. And so from that, that was probably the factor we were just trying to think about. And really just if this air quality is going to get better or worse, because we were thinking about the photos, like is it going to be a very smoky kind of look in the atmosphere in all our pictures? And so I was thinking about that pretty bummed because I wasn't sure how quickly that would clear up.

Leah Longbrake:
If everything's outside, everyone's having to breathe that in too.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, exactly, so that was definitely something that we were thinking about. But when we got a few days closer into the date, we could see more blue in the sky. The sky was actually blue instead of this really sad gray kind of look and things were perfect from a weather standpoint. On this particular day, it was actually really perfect.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, that's so good.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
You said that the officiant situation, your sister going to give birth, COVID-19 is happening. What would you say at the end of the day was the biggest hurdle that you and your fiance, well, now husband, had when planning the wedding?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I think the biggest hurdle was making the decision to have it, because when you have guests and family and friends who are very worried about not only their health but exposing themselves to the potential of getting sick. Because you kind of never know what this disease, it's quite contagious. I think we didn't necessarily want to seem like we were making this decision and kind of feeling selfish about it per se, because we did indeed host it.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
There's obviously a number of people who moved it because they were thinking about the fact that, "Hey, I want everybody to be at the wedding and to celebrate, and we can't do it without all of these people," and also thinking about the safety. I would say it's making our decision to actually just have the wedding knowing that there could be risks and then hoping for the best that no one we're around has it, because there are people who travel to be there too.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
But fortunately, again, being outdoors makes a huge difference and so we felt good in that sense. But is everybody going to be socially... So of course, I was thinking about this a lot too, how do you have people socially distance the whole time? Is everyone wearing masks the whole time? But then when you're eating, you're not wearing your mask because you can't.

Leah Longbrake:
That's so difficult.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And I've had that question asked by some people too, "Is it safe to have the wedding?" And you know what, honestly, you know weddings. I mean, you're taking pictures with people all day, and we were dancing and we're doing all these things, so everybody was... When you think about it, we started off distanced, but I mean, we did not stay in the clear appropriately the whole time. It is a risk to have it. That's just the decision that we did.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And then also thinking about how... At this point, it's been like two weeks so we were like, "Okay, we're in the clear and we didn't hear from anybody, so I think we're good." It's, obviously, for a lot of people you're going to have to, if God forbid we have some kind of bizarre situation like this, you do have to think about what's most important. And we just wanted to have the day, we wanted to move on to next chapter. And because this is such a strange position that we're in, I would hope for everybody who's planning a wedding for next year and the following year, I hope everything goes off without a hitch, but you're still going to have no-shows because other people get sick for different reasons or they can't come and babies and all these things.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Multiple people couldn't come to our wedding because it was, "Oh, we're about to have a baby." That was a big thing for me. I think there will always be no-shows, there will are always be people who have something going on where they can't come. I think really between the husband and wife, just do what's best for you. There's always something that's going to come up. It's such a quick day, as I was told-

Leah Longbrake:
It does go so fast.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
It literally flew by so fast and I didn't even realize that, even being two weeks, it doesn't feel like it.

Leah Longbrake:
Right? People warn you and you think, "Oh, whatever."

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, exactly.

Leah Longbrake:
But it does.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Exactly. It does. And so just have those special moments and hopefully you'll remember what you did. I mean, I didn't drink very much, so I remembered everything. It was good. I'd probably suggest that too. I mean, this is a quick day, so don't over do it. Your guests will do that for you, so it's okay. You don't need to be the couple that ends up standing out for that reason. But yeah, just enjoy the moment.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And if things don't work out the way that you expected it, it was bound to happen. I mean, my immediate family wasn't there at our ceremony until like 15 minutes before, not even. I mean, they were really cutting it close and I'm still trying to figure out what happened there. But yeah, people are going to show up late on your special day.

Leah Longbrake:
And you can't control it.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
You can't control it.

Leah Longbrake:
You Just roll with it.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, exactly. It's just funny how, I think about it now, it's going to be really interesting to see the pictures because you know I don't necessarily want to put on display of a bunch of fake faces that you can't really see. It's going to be interesting to try to figure out if we have some good pictures that come out of it and focusing on some of the solo picks that we took together off to the side instead. I'm hoping that it'll turn out really good.

Leah Longbrake:
Any last piece of advice for couples planning their wedding?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Last advice for planning? Well, a thing that was very helpful for us was that we purposely did not really ask for physical gifts. We didn't ask for a nice fine China or kind of the typical stuff that people might want to ask for. For us, we already moved in together before we got married, so I mean we technically had the stuff that we needed. We just simply asked for kind of a honeymoon donation kind of thing. And when we did that what was a big plus was just the fact that... Well, I have very fortunately a very generous family, so even family who were not able to make it still sent us some money through this.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, very nice.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And so we did very well financially from this because we just had a number of people who couldn't make it and still sent us this as a gift. If you don't care about the stuff, I would also recommend that too, just kind of like a honeymoon fund sort of thing and then you could kind of describe where you plan to go. Because this was actually, even though we did a drive to Grand Canyon and Sedona, this was our third honeymoon that worked out, right?

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Our first one got canceled because it was Hawaii. Our first one was in May in Hawaii and we were going to do a little island hop between Oahu and Maui, and they were quarantining people for two weeks whoever traveled there. We didn't want to do that because we didn't have that much time to spend and we didn't want to just spend it in quarantine, so that didn't work out.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
And the second time, I was actually planning on going to a friend's wedding in the Philippines. We thought, "Well, kind of to make our investment worthwhile, let's go to different areas that are close to the Philippines. What sounds good?" At that time, when we were trying to book flights, the pricing was amazing. Obviously, we know why it was super cheap. We found this trip from Long Beach to Auckland, New Zealand for an insanely cheap price. I want to say the $300 zone.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh wow.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I mean, crazy, crazy price. And from there we thought, "well, if we build our trip around that and then kind of do Singapore for a few days, do Philippines and kind of do this whole huge journey, it could be a really cool trip." And that was supposed to be this year in November. And we were going to tie it to my birthday. It was going to be this whole thing. We booked a lot of the stuff, the flights and everything. And of course, as we know how things, technically haven't gotten better, my friend ended up postponing her wedding to next year. And then we had to cancel all of our flights, and we had like different airlines.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh gosh.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
But the other thing that I would say as advice would be waiting for those flights to get canceled on you because that way you actually get the opportunity to qualify for a refund. If you were to cancel first, there's potential that you wouldn't. It might just be a credit. That's what we were doing was we're actually just waiting for those flights to cancel on us, and that's what happened actually. At least half of the trip, those airlines have already just flat out canceled. So even if we wanted to go, we wouldn't have had the opportunity.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
This third one worked out. It was a shorter trip. Hopefully in the future, we can kind of use our credits for a bigger trip if it is that ends up at least working out, depending on flights and the industry and everyone's comfort level. I think that's going to be a really big determining factor of when is the right time to get married now or when is the right time to travel? I don't know if there is one because-

Leah Longbrake:
It's just a personal thing [crosstalk 00:35:08]. Just like you made the decision you want to be married now, you just found the way

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Some people want to wear masks everywhere they go from running outside to just making... Obviously, indoors you have to wear a mask, but it definitely... Except in Arizona, a lot of people were not wearing masks, which was insane, indoors. It seems that they're not as... I'm not sure if it's not as regulated there, but we saw a lot of people not wearing masks, not socially distancing. We spent a lot of time in our patio. We had a really nice patio that overlooked the mountains. We usually ordered and picked up and went in there.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
I mean, I think everybody has to use their best judgment to make their decision on whether or not they're going to want to either attend and participate or get married, but I'm sure people will kind of figure out. I think the trend is those small, intimate, special weddings instead of inviting your local neighbor and everybody under the sun. I'm sure that's what we'll be seeing are just these smaller, intimate weddings, which is nice too because at least you get the chance to talk to everybody that's there. I want to say I was able to do that for the most part. And if you've got a 200+ wedding, I mean, I'm sure more than likely-

Leah Longbrake:
You sometimes don't even see somebody.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Right.

Leah Longbrake:
You could get lost in the crowd.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Exactly.

Leah Longbrake:
I mean, not you as the bride-

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
... but not seeing the guests.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Oh yeah, because I think a chunk of the wedding is just on pictures, right? It's just about that. And I think the other thing is just to try to have fun, and remember why you're having a wedding, why you're there. Pictures are important, but just also make sure that you should definitely want to focus on celebrating and having conversations and really enjoying yourself with those people who are there to kind of support and celebrate that marriage. That's really what people should be focusing on.

Leah Longbrake:
Well, thank you so much, Ashley, for being with us today and sharing-

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Yeah, thank you.

Leah Longbrake:
... your journey down the aisle.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Appreciate it.

Leah Longbrake:
And so happy for you and your husband, and we wish you the best.

Ashley Luu Conrad:
Sounds good. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

Leah Longbrake:
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. A special thank you to executive producers, David Moss and Gerardo Orlando; production director, Brigid Coyne; and audio engineers, Sean Rule-Hoffman and Declan [Roars 00:37:59] .

Leah Longbrake:
Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

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