Love in the Time of Covid Wedding Contest Winners

Love in the Time of Covid Wedding Contest Winners

The last two years have been quite a challenge for couples and wedding photographers, to say the least. Many engaged couples had to postpone their weddings, downsize considerably, or pivot to move their celebrations outdoors. Everyone had to shift, grow, and stay flexible. 

With social distancing and masks required, artists worked hard to make the most of the restrictions in their area while keeping everyone safe, and found ways to bring newlyweds photos they could be proud of without a mask in every shot. 

Today we’re showing off the winners of our LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID contest, featuring the 50 Best Wedding Photos taken during the pandemic. Some are brilliant concepts, using masks and social distancing; some are simply genius photos of couples alone in their own world at a distance from their friends and family. Each photo reflects how the pandemic has changed the way people have celebrated their weddings since 2020 and how each photographer has adapted their craft.

Artists who were used to shooting up close with their 35mms have had to rekindle their relationships with telephoto lenses. Those who were used to posing with a personal touch, relying on facial expressions, have had to adapt and do things a little out of the box. Posing wedding parties and families in an eye pleasing manner while respecting the need for social distancing became a must. Covid is now our normal and it will continue to challenge us and call on our courage and creativity.

Scroll down to read stories behind some of the photographs and be amazed by the skill and talents of our entrants.

Bride and groom in masks at beginning of pandemic in Lithuania - photo by Laura Zyge
Bride and groom in masks at beginning of pandemic in Lithuania - photo by Laura Žygė Photography - Lithuania photographers

From the artist: Laura Žygė of Laura Žygė Photography

It was just the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Lithuania and very strict restrictions were being made during this time of quarantine. This couple, Lina and Dalius, weren't even sure if they were allowed to get married because nobody knew anything at this time. But eventually they got their approval. Masks were mandatory all the time and everywhere, and they even had to put their rings on with gloves; no kisses were allowed without them. When we walked through the city after the ceremony and saw this person in a protective suit, we decided to repeat their first kiss as it was - with masks on, because the serious, angry pandemic had raised its hand and made us all afraid. I belive love always wins and no masks, restrictions or scary pandemic can stop it.

Newlywed doctors during the Covid pandemic - photo by Jess Tisman
Newlywed doctors during the Covid pandemic - photo by Jeff Tisman Photography - New York photographers

From the artist: Jeff Tisman of Jeff Tisman Photography

This is an engagement photo of two doctors from Chicago, shot in the thick of the pandemic. When I first thought of the photo, they had just their masks on. But I love talking with my couples as we are shooting. And we started talking about what else they would have on as doctors. Hunter mentioned his Stormtrooper head covering and how both young and old people love Star Wars. He said how it helps a patient -- if only to bring a smile to their face and make a patient feel human, not just like another patient in the Covid ward. I put their heads so close together not only for dramatic effect but also to communicate how busy these two were in the hospital. They would barely see each other for days and sometimes weeks, even at home. They were so busy with the pandemic raging. But they did. And they are planning their wedding in Colorado in March.

Couple greeting guests at intimate wedding during Covid crisis - photo by Bee Two Sweet
Couple greeting guests at intimate wedding during Covid crisis - photo by Bee Two Sweet - Washington, DC photographers

From the artist: Brittany Diliberto of Bee Two Sweet

Emotions are always at an all-time high directly following a wedding ceremony. Generally, the couple experiences all this excitement with each other as they are being whisked away to get ready for group photos or portraits. With the more intimate weddings we have documented in the past year, we've noticed couples connecting personally with every person who attended their ceremony, and genuinely getting to soak in every moment of their day on their own timeline. 

Bride and groom getting married in grandmother's living room - photo by Brea Shaw of By Brea Photography
Bride and groom getting married in grandmother's living room - photo by Breanna Shaw of Photography by Brea - Maryland photographers

From the artist: Breanna Shaw of Photography by Brea

This photo is from Brooke and Brian’s first wedding, in Brooke’s Gram’s living room. Brooke called me the Wednesday before and asked me if I thought she and Brian were crazy for thinking of eloping that weekend. Her Gram’s health was fading and it was looking less and less likely that she would make it to their wedding a year later. I told her, no, they were absolutely not crazy, and asked when and where because I just had to be there to capture it for them. I’m so glad I did because Gram passed away a month later. She was so proud of them and loved them so much. It was truly beautiful that they got to share the beginning of their marriage journey with her. 

Sparkler exit with guest in masks during Covid pandemic - photo by Sasha Reiko
Sparkler exit with guest in masks during Covid pandemic - photo by Sasha Reiko Photography - Seattle, Washington photographers

From the artist: Sasha Reiko of Sasha Reiko Photography 

Covid hit 2020's wedding season like a storm, yet Yewlin and Sam handled it like bosses. Their families traveled in from all over the world so they knew they needed to keep everyone as safe as possible for their big day. The Corson Building and its team did an amazing job following all the Covid guidelines while still putting on a beautiful event. Pivoting wedding plans at the last minute is no easy task, yet Yewlin and Sam were able to change what they needed to while keeping it true to themselves and what they wanted. Families came together and enjoyed a heartfelt ceremony, a delicious farm to table dinner, sunshine, lawn games, and all the cake they could eat. What better way to send them off than a big sparkler exit! In the words of this couple, "We really hit the jackpot finding each other. We're stupid lucky".

Come see our whole collection of 50 incredible photos in our Awards Gallery now!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to our sponsors Two Mann U, a transformative mentorship for photographers, and PHAITO (AI editing for Lightroom), as well as Art, Life and Business, a consulting company focused on helping wedding photographers create fulfilling, sustainable businesses, owned by our founder, Blair deLaubenfels.