Veiled, but Not Mandatorily Masked? Despite Strict Protocol Plans, Cynthia Bailey's Weekend Wedding Raised Concerns
Cynthia Bailey and Mike Hill at the Women's Cancer Research Fund "An Evening To Remember" on February 27, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Ahh we love black love ... and white weddings, think about it. We also got around to putting in place a thorough safety plan for gathering amid an ongoing pandemic. So we've warmly welcomed the protocol-friendly pivots that some engaged celebs have taken over the past few months, whether it's outdoor ceremonies, distancing (a la Elaine Welteroth), masks as favors (based on Niecy Nash) or both.
Love, lockdown style: Elaine Welteroth's chic stoop wedding celebrated the social distancing ceremony
When we heard that Real Housewives of Atlanta star and model entrepreneur Cynthia Bailey was pushing ahead with her wedding plans for Fox Sports sports caster Mike Hill on October 10, we were encouraged to hear that they would take "strict" precautions to ensure safety their guests ”- so the couple informed the people before the ceremony and also granted the magazine exclusive photos.
Before the wedding, Bailey and Hill hired a team to thoroughly clean the venue. Before entering the ceremony, guests were required to undergo a temperature control and wash their hands. Once inside, they will be separated from each other according to social distancing guidelines.
"Everyone has to wash their hands before they get in, and we will have hand sanitizing stations all over the venue," said the reality star. "And everyone must always wear a mask, it's not optional."
"We want people to be comfortable and not look irresponsible," added Hill. "We're doing everything we can."
The couple shared more details on their plans on Page 6, where they shared plans to provide both indoor and outdoor socially distant seating and “face masks and shields” to their guests - and to have them worn by security forces. Bailey remarked, "Instead of focusing on the accessories in my hair or the type of food we're going to have, Mike and I put most of our wedding energy into COVID-19 logs ... and we don't play" around."
"If someone doesn't play by the rules, they'll just ask to leave," added Bailey. "We take it seriously, we want to protect ourselves and our guests."
"We have so many rules and regulations in play that I'm surprised someone comes," she continued. "We set up the food stations to take all of this into account, and you don't have to sit at a table with people you don't know, you can sort of move around. It's a huge room so you can be so far from people as you wish while still feeling connected to the ceremony. "
More candid photos and videos of the undoubtedly joyful wedding and reception tell a slightly different story, however, as masks appeared optional at best at the lavish event at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth, Georgia.
While the couple reportedly had self-isolated "for several months due to COVID-19," they obviously couldn't guarantee their guests would. Regarding her own quarantine, Hill told People, "If we could survive this, we could survive it all together ... we're happy, we're ready to go."
"This is not our first rodeo," said Bailey when she married her "best friend", who she became engaged to in July 2019, after a 14-month advertisement. "Both Mike and I have been married before - but we're ready to ride!"
The couple may be rightly ready, but with all due respect to the date they chose, after just weeks since Trump's garden party proved to be a super-spreader event for Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett, they were really ready to host 250 guests in an indoor venue? Understandably, many supporters of the RHOA franchise - in which Bailey may have made history as the first cast member to have two weddings during their tenure (Season 13 is currently being filmed) - have been doubtful about the safety of the event.
"Wait? Aren't we in a pandemic?" Read a comment on an Instagram post after the event, while others commented on the same post:
"Lots of people don't wear masks"
"I thought you would be responsible for this, lol. I hardly see masks and all of them side by side. "
“Nobody wears a mask! We are [our] worst enemy! "
While we can't say no one was wearing a mask (we see several), it was definitely missing enough to make us wince at the possible contagion - especially since the guests at Bailey and Hill appeared to be a predominantly black crowd, and we were including the population group primarily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak (actually one in 1,000 black Americans). While we may not approve of the seemingly lax protocols, it was ultimately up to the couple and the comfort of the guests - although we know that is not the extent to which the broadcast works. So for the sake of public safety, so we hope they will all be quarantined after the incident as well.
As for what was worn at the event, People offers a few details, including on Bailey's black designed wedding dress:
The bride wore a dress by Nneka C. Alexander from Brides von Nona and Badgley Mischka shoes and headgear from Bridal Styles Boutique. The couple exchanged rings from the Rockford Collection and Beverly Diamonds during the celebration, put together by wedding planner Courtney Ajinça.
Bailey's Real Housewives of Atlanta costars Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore and former castmate Eva Marcille were also there in white dresses to support Bailey as her bridesmaids, while Porsha Williams, Marlo Hampton and Real Housewives from Potomacs Gizelle Bryant and Karen Huger all all attended in attendance were stunned in black, occasionally with iridescent masks and face shields as accessories for their evening wear.
Speaking of Marcille, you and Bailey recently teamed up with Seagram's Escapes to encourage us all to shop for black this coming Christmas season. The models are designed to help black-owned companies not only survive but thrive this holiday season - one uniquely challenging due to the pandemic - and help bring Seagram's first Holiday Marketplace to market.
"As business owners, we've found that African Americans lose a disproportionate amount of business and not only have trouble, but completely lose companies they've worked on for years," Marcille told Page 6. "I mean, there are millions of us who do are unemployed. "
It's an inequality The Root recently reported on and one that Bailey personally witnessed, as mentioned in a press release to The Glow Up. "Many of us took a major blow during the coronavirus shutdown and are struggling to stay afloat," she said, adding that she had a difficult moment struggling to keep our own businesses up and running during the ongoing outbreak hold. “By helping black-owned companies, you are enabling communities to grow stronger by investing in small businesses that help sustain them. Seagrams Escapes Holiday Marketplace: Black-Owned Businesses is a great opportunity to help black-owned businesses and I'm very excited to be launching this program with Seagrams Escapes. "
Black business owners are encouraged to register for the Seagram's Escapes Holiday Marketplace by October 15. Three participating companies will receive a $ 10,000 grant to expand their reach, including promoting Bailey and Marcille.
"It's really stupid because it makes black-owned companies aware that you may not have known about," Marcille told page 6. "It creates a space for them to thrive and stand out during the holiday season."
We hope they all thrive - which is why we not only express our concern for the health and safety of everyone, but also congratulate Bailey and Hill and hope for the continued health of their new marriage.
"We're not perfect, but we're perfect for each other," Bailey and Hill told People. “We live in a completely different time and now we recognize more than ever that life is too short and that we do not take anything for granted. We are so grateful that we found each other. Love with God's help conquers all. "
All the best for the happy couple - and their guests!
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