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Perfect Day: Pandemic changes wedding plans for couple

A Natchez wedding, which had been planned for 250 people, was downsized during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the happy couple said their big day couldn’t have been more perfect.

Miranda Allen-Henderson and Dustin Henderson had a large audience for their engagement in December 2018, when Dustin proposed at the checkout line in Natchez Market II.

It had been the same place where the couple first met when Miranda was 15 years old and Dustin was 16, he said.

“I was working at the market and Miranda came in with her mother,” Dustin said. “I tried to talk to her, but she was kind of shy and stood behind her mom. She was wearing a ballet leotard. I had another friend who danced with the ballet academy, so I asked if she knew her and she did. I got her number and we started to date.”

The couple dated for five years before Dustin proposed where they met, he said.

Miranda said she had planned for a large wedding at Longwood, surrounded by their friends and family.

“We were supposed to have 250 guests. I actually had everything planned to a ‘T,’ but then the pandemic happened,” she said. “The closer the time came, we just decided to go ahead and do it. A month before the wedding, we had to start from square one. We picked everything out last minute, but it turned out perfect.”

On May 30, Miranda said she and Dustin got married in downtown Natchez at her grandmother’s house, with only nine people attending — including the bride and groom.

“The recommended number of people at the time was 10, and we tried so hard to keep it to fewer than 10 people. It was just us and our parents and my brother plus our photographer, preacher and a videographer.”

The couple also made a special visit to Dustin’s grandmother, Georgia Henderson, at Natchez Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. They stood outside the glass door entrance for Georgia to see her grandson and new granddaughter in their wedding gown and tux.

Miranda said one memory she would cherish from their big day is the “first look,” and Dustin’s smile when he saw her wedding gown for the first time.

“Honestly, I think it went better than we’d planned,” she said. “We hadn’t planned such an intimate wedding day. … Even though we’re in a pandemic, we were still able to get married and have a perfect wedding day.”

Miranda and Dustin said they would still celebrate with other guests at a vow renewal ceremony in September at Longwood.

“In the end, it’s not about the wedding you have. It’s about the marriage that we’ll have together for the rest of our lives,” Dustin said.