Before Cynthia Bailey and Mike Hill said "I do" on Oct. 10 in front of 250 guests, the couple was at odds about whether they'd have a wedding amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
During Sunday's Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13 premiere, the then-bride-to-be was back at home in Atlanta, Georgia, with Mike after they had been quarantined together in Los Angeles for months.
"I was in Los Angeles for a total of four months because I got stuck when the quarantine happened. Mike and I were tested during the quarantine. I mean, you can't go anywhere. You just have to be in the house with this person all the time. Mike and I are back in Atlanta together and it feels so good to be back at Lake Bailey," Cynthia, 53, said in a confessional.
Sitting down with her then-fiancé to discuss the wedding, Cynthia shared how grateful she was to have the Fox Sports host back in Atlanta with her. "The quarantine was tough, and let's just say I'm really happy that you're here at Lake Bailey in Atlanta with me," she told him.
"Are you?" he asked with a laugh, to which she replied, "Yeah, I am. Just was a lot. Like, you just can't be in the same space with people and can't go nowhere. Kind of similar to jail. You know what I mean?"
And he agreed: "It was jail. But, you know, you was a really good cellmate."
Quarantine "just got the best of us," Cynthia admitted to cameras. "We had time to really just nitpick about everything. Like, who's turn is it to go to Costco? Who left the unwashed pot in the sink? Although we were tested, we passed the test! And being quarantined together has definitely made our relationship stronger."
Reunited back in Atlanta, Cynthia was focused on planning for her perfect day. "The quarantine definitely put a halt on wedding planning, but now that Mike and I are back in Atlanta, I have to run full speed ahead because if 10/10/20 is our perfect date, I got to get to planning for it," she explained.
Although the quarantine strengthened — and tested — their relationship, they faced another challenge: deciding whether or not to have a big wedding during COVID-19.
While Cynthia had "no doubt in my mind whether or not I want to marry you after the quarantine," she told Mike, she did "have a lot of stress going on with like planning the wedding and trying to figure out everything."
Earlier that day, Cynthia got a call from her wedding planner, Courtney, who told the RHOA star that Georgia's governor had "issued executive orders for no gatherings of more than 50 people" amid the pandemic.
"We have 250 people that we're inviting," said Cynthia.
To Mike, 50, the news was admittedly "disappointing. You know, I want a lot of people that really care about us to be there."
"But at the end of the day, it's supposed to be our day," he told her. "So if we've got 50, five, or just the two of us and a minister, that's all we really need," said Mike.
Cynthia, though, had a different perspective and wanted their big day to be full of friends and family.
"I think for women it's different," she said. "I have been married before. Like, I don't have that good of a memory of my last wedding. It was just a lot of drama from financially. Some of the people that were there weren't supportive — basically haters," said Cynthia, who was previously married to Peter Thomas.
And with Mike, "you're like my happily ever after," she told him. "And I just want an amazing day that I can not only share with my family but also share with my friends."
While Mike was understanding of her feelings, he realized that what they were dealing with "is life. Who knew that COVID was going to happen?"
At the time of filming, Cynthia seemed to be flexible about their wedding date. "To me, if 10/10/20 is our perfect date, things are going to be opened up and we'll be able to have that wedding. If it's not, then maybe we're not meant to get married 10/10/20. Maybe God is like saying, 'Hey, do it another time.'"
The groom-to-be, on the other hand, wondered "why is it that we have to move our perfect date because the world isn't perfect right now? You understand what I'm saying though, right?"
"I'm saying if God forbid we can't have a lot of people there, the two of us can still be married on that day and we can have a ceremony later," he added. "What I'm asking you now is: If the people can't be there, you don't want to get married?"
As Cynthia paused to think it over, he admitted, "I mean, even the hesitation kind of worries me."
"No, it's not hesitation. I'm thinking," she told him. "I want all of it. I deserve all of it."
Mike agreed that she did deserve it, but he wondered, "Am I not enough?"
"You are enough," Cynthia assured him.
It was apparent that Mike and Cynthia were not on the same page as she attempted to explain that she wanted their loved ones to be present and able to "take part in" the special day.
Being candid, Mike said, "I'm not hearing it the way I want to hear it, I gotta be honest. I don't give a f— about that wedding as long as I'm married to you."
At that, he posed the question: "You've got to ask yourself: Do you want a marriage or do you really want a wedding?"
While audiences will see the behind-the-scenes of their wedding planning process as the season airs, viewers learned in October that the couple tied the knot on the day they had set their sights on.
The pair got married during a lavish wedding ceremony at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth, Georgia. They exchanged vows in front of 250 guests, including Bailey's reality show costars Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore and former RHOA castmate Eva Marcille, who served as bridesmaids and put "strict" COVID-19 precautions in place in order to ensure the safety of their guests.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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