It’s unusual to plan your wedding during your first year of marriage, but that’s precisely what Lexi and Tyler Edwards did. The pair had originally planned to throw a big wedding on June 26, 2020, that would include 220 guests, but COVID-19 sidelined those plans. The couple then had to decide whether to postpone the nuptials or go forward with a small ceremony, without dancing and with masks. After much discussion and prayer, the couple decided that they desperately wanted to share their day with out-of-town relatives and friends. So they opted to push their wedding off by a year and tie the knot in the summer of 2021. Soon after making that decision, however, they began having second thoughts.

“We realized that what we wanted more than anything was to be married and start our life together,” says Lexi. With their hearts set on saying their “I dos,” Lexi and Tyler tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on July 16, 2020, at the Peterloon. In attendance were their respective parents, Brian and Karen Kilgore and Rob and Cindy Edwards, along with Lexi’s sister and Maid of Honor Madison Taylor Kilgore, Tyler’s best friend Cody Hundley, and two dozen others.

The quaint, secluded garden provided the perfect venue. Because it 

was such a small affair, the couple can recall every part of the day. However, that’s not to say that they didn’t look forward to the big shindig, which took place on July 16, 2021, at the Monastery Event Center.

“Ultimately, I feel like postponing a year made it even better!” Lexi says. This time around, she and Tyler penned their own vows — a moment made even more special after having already lived for a year as husband and wife.

“Tyler and I learned a lot about marriage through that first year that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Lexi says. “In writing our vows, we asked ourselves, ‘What are some things we thought were really important to us that we can reiterate in our own words and in our own way?’” 

There were some fun surprises sprinkled throughout the day. Such as Tyler purchasing a new wedding band for Lexi, which he slipped on her finger during the ceremony without her realizing the difference.

“The plan was to save money for now. We were going to get rings off Amazon. As we were walking back down the aisle together, Tyler asked, ‘Did you see the ring?’” recalls Lexi. “I said, ‘Yes, the fake one,’ and he said, ‘No, it’s real.’ I freaked out!”

The couple feels so blessed to have gotten the chance to experience the best of both worlds by having a small and large ceremony. “With big weddings, brides and grooms often say they can’t remember how they felt or what they did during much of the day. I’m so glad that didn’t happen for us,” says Lexi. “In that intimate ceremony, I remember how I felt. I remember Ty’s face. We had the opportunity to slow down and be in the moment.”

The second ceremony was all about getting to see all the people they couldn’t include and doing all the things they couldn’t do the first time around. For instance, they got to have a dance floor where guests let loose and had fun without worrying about social distancing. Lexi also got to have her first dance with her dad, something that was extra-special. When Lexi was 10 years old, her parents renewed their vows, and Lexi shared a first dance with her dad. As a surprise, a giant video screen began playing their daddy-daughter dance from that day.

“I ugly-sobbed!” says Lexi. “You’d think I was in pain the way I was crying. But it was so great to have that first dance this go-round.” 

Their bridal party consisted of 11 bridesmaids and groomsmen, which the couple affectionately named their “football team.” At the reception, they made their entrance with a song and silly antics of their choice. The results were highly entertaining. For starters, the groomsmen and bridesmaids swapped outfits so that the men sported dresses and the women tuxes. Then each person came up with their own unique entrance.

“We had people doing flips, riding scooters, shooting cash out of a money gun,” says Lexi. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was so fun.”

The bridal party said that one cool thing about having two weddings was that they had the opportunity to be both a guest and a participant.

Still, for someone who is a planner by nature, this was a challenging year. “I like to know how to do things. I like to talk to other brides or look at magazines,” says Lexi. “But with COVID and the topic of postponing weddings, there’s not a handbook for that.”

Now that they have enjoyed Wedding One and Wedding Two, they are fielding the question that many new brides and grooms get: “How long until kids?” 

The answer is — not quite yet. Even though the past year was wonderful, the new couple was very busy. The newlyweds are looking forward to spending more quality time together before committing to children. 

As an elementary school teacher, Lexi devotes most of her day to her second-graders at Riverview Elementary in Hamilton, Ohio. Working in a high-poverty area can be tough, but it’s where her heart lies.

“This is my passion,” says Lexi, who admits she teaches the children less and loves them more on some days. “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Tyler works in sales at ConstructConnect. Since the pandemic started, he’s been working from home. “More power to him!” says Lexi with a chuckle. “I wouldn’t get anything done if I worked from home. I was a nanny over the summer, so I was out of the house!” 

As for what’s next? Their plan is simply to be. “We have to teach ourselves to get into more of a restful mode,” says Lexi. “What do we do? We rest and enjoy life as married best friends.”