COVID brides everywhere can relate.
The past year and a half has given us a lot — record-breaking climate disasters, billionaires in space, reflexive waving at the end of Zoom calls — but it’s taken away more, including big, extravagant weddings that have all but disappeared thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The continual spread and the Delta variant have made large social gatherings way more difficult. Consequently, happy couples everywhere have had to take the hatchet to their guest lists — lest they postpone their big days indefinitely — including none other than newlyweds Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. When the two got hitched on July 3 at Shelton’s Tishomingo, Oklahoma, ranch, there were only 40 guests present for the intimate ceremony, forcing Shelton to have what he called “awkward” conversations with friends over the last few weeks about why they didn’t get an invite.
Shelton joked to SiriusXM’s Storme Warren on Aug. 4 about reactions he’s gotten from friends who are feeling a bit snubbed in the weeks after his wedding. “I've had awkward conversations with so many of my friends. 'Oh, oh, yeah. I read about that. How was that?' Listen, we kept it small, get over it. That's not about you,” he said with a smile.
Among those who didn’t make an appearance were musicians and good friends of the couple Adam Levine and Luke Bryan. When he appeared as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in April, Levine, a fellow coach on The Voice, actually spoke about his friends’ engagement, expressing interest in attending the wedding and even possibly performing — only after landing a few digs at the lovebirds, of course.
"I'll go to the wedding and I'll object," Levine joked to DeGeneres. "I probably won't be invited now that I'm saying this on live television. But I'll be there somehow."
About his friends’ wedding ceremony, Bryan recently told People, "I did not know it was happening. I found out with the rest of the world.”
But even if some folks were missing, Shelton and Stefani still pulled off a special ceremony, officiated by longtime buddy Carson Daly. They were surrounded not only by close friends and family members — including Stefani's sons (with ex Rossdale), Kingston, 15, Zuma, 12, and Apollo, 7 — but also “a few acres” of zinnias that the couple planted together in the spring, according to Shelton.
“[Gwen’s] passion outside of music is flowers,” Shelton told SiriusXM. “This last spring, when we had time, we went and planted a few acres of just zinnias. And it was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t gonna work but we’ll try it.’ And, man, we’ve had all this rain this year, and there’s just acres of those things. She’s in absolute heaven with that.”
It’s OK, Adam Levine. I have Stefani-Shelton wedding FOMO too.