Covid-19 Bachelorette Weekend

A world pandemic doesn’t stop this bride from celebrating her marriage. Katelyn Watkins continues with wedding festivities and travels to the Outer Banks with her bridal party. (Photo courtesy of Ashlyn Watkins)

Andry Nieto proposed to Katelyn Watkins in July of 2020. The couple didn’t want to wait for the unknown ending of the Coronavirus for their wedding festivities. So, the new bride continued on with her Bachelorette weekend. 

I am Watkins’ sister and maid of honor, Sophie Stoddard is her best friend and second maid of honor, and Julia Van Nut is her favorite cousin and matron of honor. The three of us were in charge of planning the weekend, making sure to accommodate everyone’s safety. In the end, it took a few months of planning.

To keep everyone safe during the trip to the Outer Banks, N.C, we “told people to be extra cautious the two weeks beforehand,” said Watkins. This meant wearing masks, social distancing, and staying away from most people. 

We did not want to risk anyone’s health, especially the bride who has an autoimmune disease. 


Finally, after waiting for this special trip, October 23 came around, and everyone hit the road. Leesville Road High School had a teacher workday, so my sister, her friend, and I had the opportunity to leave early. 

We had such a fun time on the car ride there, full of adrenaline and ready for the weekend ahead. After listening to music, talking our ears off, and enjoying the beautiful scenery from the windows, we finally made it to the Outer Banks.

Arriving at the AirBnB made us even more excited because it was so cute. It was a beautiful house that was able to fit our party of twelve. Staying in a hotel would have been more expensive and less safe during COVID times, which is why the planning team chose this house.

Especially with Covid-19 making people have a hard time finding jobs, the bachelorette guests didn’t want to spend a lot of money on vacation. To help with money, Van Nut and I went grocery shopping Friday night. We got enough food so that we only had to eat out twice.

When Van Nut and I got back to the AirBnB after grocery shopping, we saw that more girls had arrived. The party was starting and everyone was so excited to be around people, especially since the past few weeks were lonely. 

That first night, everyone ate homemade pizzas while getting to know each other. Life felt normal again– actually being able to hang out and meet new people was something most of us haven’t experienced in months. 

At the end of the day, the bride was so happy, but her voice was going away. Her vocal chords weren’t used to her talking that much, since she hadn’t had much social interaction the past several months. 


All the young women had the opportunity to sleep in. Van Nut, Stoddard, and I had planned a full day ahead so sleep was important. At 10:00 A.M. I helped make breakfast smoothie bowls for everyone. 

After eating a delicious breakfast, everyone but the bride changed into black outfits for the next activities. Once ready to go, we grabbed our masks and left for Sea Green Gallery.

Sea Green Gallery is a cute little art gallery and store in Nags Head. The bride is an artist, so this was an ideal place to bring her. She walked around the store excited, and left with an art piece for her  new shared apartment. 

The happiness on Watkins’ face turned to pure joy as we drove into Jockey’s Ridge, OBX’s amazing sand dunes. Anyone who knows the bride, knows her saying “God is romantic.” The huge sand dunes in the Outer Banks make you feel as if you’re in a desert, making Watkins think of God’s romanticism.

With everyone in black except for the bride, Audrey White captured incredible pictures of the party. Watkins was so filled with joy that you can see her jumping in a few of the pictures.

Distanced from strangers at the Jockey’s Ridge, none of us had to wear face masks. We felt like we were in a dream escaping from Covid-19 realities. 

Once we finished with the photoshoot, we ordered takeout– a lot of places still don’t let you eat inside. They had delicious gluten free/dairy free food, so the bride was able to eat good food during her diet. 

The beaches are open despite the ongoing pandemic, so we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Let’s just say, dance parties ensued on that beach, and there was lots of laughter.


October 25, the day we went home, was a sad day. The weather was rainy, and we had to clean out of the AirBnB by 11:00 A.M. Those who were strangers at the start were friends by the end, making goodbyes hard. 

Watkins, soon to be Nieto, had an incredible time with her closest young women in her life! She had barely seen any of her friends since March, “so it was all the more special to me,” said the bride. 


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