Covid-19 has taken so much, and Ariah and Ben McCarthy thought it was going to take their wedding too.
But sometimes love is more powerful than a pandemic - young love, and the love of a mum for her 26-year-old "baby girl".
Yesterday, the North Shore couple were married on the front lawn of their Bayview home.
They were joined only by the two others in their level 4 lockdown bubble, flatmates Alex Pereyaslavets and Jamie Broxup, and - standing more than 2m away - celebrant Ruth Montgomerie.
But the couple, who originally planned to wed at North Auckland's Leigh Central function centre before 130 guests, were far from alone.
On a table maintaining social distancing of the couple from Montgomerie, sitting alongside hand sanitiser and a marriage licence, was a 360-degree video camera which livestreamed the ceremony to more than 100 excited family and friends in New Zealand and Australia who had - before Covid-19 scuppered so many plans - planned to attend in person.
"I'm really happy," Ariah McCarthy told the Herald after the ceremony.
A neighbour's dog barked during the ring exchange, and the couple had a close call with another neighbour, unaware of the nuptials, turning on a noisy power tool as the ceremony ended.
But otherwise, "everything went so well", McCarthy said.
As well as her flatmates, who stepped up to help when the couple's usual network of friends and family were physically unable, another person was also deserving of special thanks, McCarthy said.
When large gatherings were banned, borders closed and self-isolation became our new normal last month, the couple made the decision to postpone their wedding a year.
But McCarthy's mum, Naomi Peters, knew yesterday was a special date to her daughter.
Two sets of her great-grandparents married on April 11.
She told McCarthy, "If you still want to go ahead with the wedding, we understand".
After checking with Ben's parents, who also gave their blessing, the couple decided they would wed on April 11.
"It was mainly because of the date, because that date's really special."
Their hopes were initially dashed, when Montgomerie was told by authorities she could not officiate a wedding over video call, the couple's initial plan for the ceremony.
McCarthy, physics and science teacher at Papatoetoe's Aorere College, shared the bad news with her mum.
Peters was undeterred.
"I said we couldn't do it and she said, 'Why not?' I was like, 'It's against the law, mum'. She said, 'Well, I don't think that's fair'."
That night, as McCarthy slept, Perth-based Peters' fingers hit the keyboard.
By morning the determined mum had set up a change.org petition calling for a law change to allow online weddings, and dispatched dozens of emails, including to the highest office in the country.
"I went to the Labour Party website and I just emailed all the Labour MPs, including the Prime Minister, because I can and I did," Peters said of her scattergun SOS.
"These kids just wanted to be married."
Within hours, Births, Deaths and Marriages registrar-general Jeff Montgomery emailed to say that, as long as social distancing rules were followed, and sanitiser provided, the wedding could go ahead.
Her daughter had become "worn down" with trying to make the wedding happen, so it was her job to take over, Peters said.
"I did and here we go, we've had a virtual wedding … she's our baby girl and she'll always be our baby girl. That's just the love. Any of my kids, I'll do anything to make them happy."
McCarthy's still in awe at her mum's efforts to ensure the couple's big day went ahead, even though she couldn't be there.
"I think it was her way of being there. She can't physically be there, but this way she can have a hand in it. Even though she's across the ditch, she basically made this happen."
While the couple exchanged rings and are now legally married, and loved sharing their small ceremony with excited family and friends - many of whom dressed up and bought treats to celebrate virtually with the couple - they held back some of their plans for next Easter's full ceremony.
McCarthy decided not to wear her wedding dress - it's outside her bubble, and she wants to save it for next year's ceremony anyway.
The couple, who met during basic training for the Navy in 2016 and became engaged two years later, would also write their own vows next time.
And she didn't really consider walking down the front step to the yard the same as walking down the aisle, so that would be new too, McCarthy said.
A virtual wedding reception of a few drinks followed the ceremony, before the couple's flatmates cooked them a roast lamb dinner and a surprise dessert.
Their wedding had already raised the spirits of so many they know and she hoped, in a time of hardship, it would raise the spirits of those they don't know too.
"It's such an uncertain time, it's nice to see something positive. It's nice to see there are normal things happening, like a wedding.
"If we can keep some normality, I think that's reassuring for people."
For Peters, it wasn't just the smiles of her daughter and new son-in-law which made her efforts worthwhile.
It was those of the many who'd already been touched by the "happy love story", strangers and friends who had shared their messages of support, she said yesterday.
"These are the ripples of happiness that come from today."