The topic of the year, the dreaded coronavirus, has affected every aspect of “normal” life. Wedding planning seems to be no exception. The uncertainty of the pandemic in its early stages left many couples questioning if they should postpone their Big Day. Now that we understand that the pandemic likely won’t disappear soon, it’s clear that 2020 weddings won’t exactly be traditional. Pandemic or not, the planning period can cause stress and anxiety for everyone.
If you are a newly engaged couple completely lost on planning a large get-together at a time when everyone is encouraged to stay home, you’re not alone. Because of this, I decided to check in on my quarantine brides and grooms. I wanted to see how they’re coping with the changes and what this setback means for the future. The responses were packed with great tips for engaged couples undergoing the planning period during these uncertain times. I gathered the best advice for new couples from the “guinea pigs” who first experienced those wedding alterations.
“If I could give anyone any advice in the world, it is to hire a GOOD wedding planner. Tiara, from Events to a T, was an absolute Godsend. Even if you’re the best detail-oriented person out there, you never know what may pop up,” explains 2020 bride, Elizabeth. Clearly, Elizabeth was not aware that “global pandemic” was among the list of things that could pop up. In the blink of an eye, her fantastic wedding planner handled all the changes. Couple Elizabeth and Christian could cope with the overwhelming feeling of postponing without experiencing the stress of calling each vendor. “You never think anything bad is going to happen leading up to your big day, but then boom a global pandemic happens – get a planner.”
Several couples grappled with the tough and heartbreaking decision to postpone their wedding dates. Most determined that it was the logical thing to do as new information about the virus was uncovering. “In April 2020, we made the decision to postpone our wedding from June 27 to Sept 26 2020. This was done given Chicago and Milwaukee had not even hit the height of COVID-19 and it was unclear whether Milwaukee would be open even by June 2020,” bride Madeline informed me.
“In July 2020, we made the decision to postpone our wedding reception from September 26, 2020 to July 17, 2021. This was a bit harder of a decision and one more influenced by others.” In short, if it feels like a bad idea, go with your instinct. Given the nature of the times and the differentiating opinions on the matter, if you want a large wedding, your best chance of bringing in the most guests to your day is to delay it.
Contrary to the previous post regarding wedding planning advice, this may be the time to put others before yourself. Of course, the day is still about you and the love that you share with your partner. However, you’ll also want to consider the well being of those attending. Bride Alyssa explains a reason her and fiance Dan decided to postpone. “We didn’t want any of our guests to second guess if they should come or feel uncomfortable while celebrating.”
Another bride, Julisa, illustrates the importance of showing love on such a special day. “The safety of our family and friends was the deciding factor to cancel our wedding, especially since we have international and elderly family members. In addition, we want to dance and to hug our family and friends at our wedding. Social distancing isn’t an option for us on our wedding day!”
Standing six feet apart on your own wedding day isn’t great. If you want to show affection to your guests, (as you should!) waiting out the pandemic is your safest option.
Weddings are still happening amidst the stay at home orders. Tons of COVID couples are opting into smaller, more intimate ceremonies on the initially planned date. A larger reception can follow at a safer time. This opportunity allows you to focus solely on the love between you and your partner. Plus, you have more time to plan for a well-deserved party!
Bride Madeline provides a candid answer to this year’s mixed emotions. “…it makes me really mad and upset half the time. The rest of the time, I remember that I get to wear my wedding dress twice and spend more time with family and then both family and friends celebrating this time in our lives. It’ll make the reception so much fun and so meaningful after we have been apart from our people for so long.”
Plus, thanks to modern technologies like Zoom, friends and loved ones can still participate in your big day.
There will always be setbacks in life that you just can’t control. No one planned for a pandemic to happen. While it’s incredibly disappointing to postpone such a monumental event, staying safe from the virus is a top priority. Bride-to-be Julisa eloquently reminds us to keep our heads up during this time. “We can’t control a pandemic, so we’re not stressing. We feel incredibly fortunate to be happy, healthy, and together during this time. Since we can’t predict when this will end, we aren’t rescheduling until we know a vaccine will be available or widespread testing and successful treatment is available. Not rescheduling yet has taken a lot of stress off of us.”
Try to see the positives in postponing. A prolonged engagement means more time for wedding planning, more time to save money, and a killer party in 2021. Plus, as bride Elizabeth so lovingly put it, “The quarantine weight is a very real thing and my dress is not very forgiving.”
2020 is a rough time for everyone, and it’s normal to feel frustrated. The pandemic will end eventually, but right now it’s essential to stay healthy both physically and mentally. If you’re looking for outlets to express frustration, sadness, positivity, or anything in between during this time, consider joining bridal Facebook groups. It’s a great community that allows you to feel heard, while (virtually) surrounding yourself with tons of couples who are experiencing the same thing in your own city or town.
Despite the tough times, I’m still offering my services and I’m extremely flexible. If you’re a bride or groom looking to scale down your wedding, I offer four hours of coverage starting at $2,850. I also offer hourly coverage, if you’re only planning for a quick ceremony or elopement. All of my packages are customizable and can be catered to each couple’s needs. Whether you’re opting into a full micro-wedding, or just having a “minimony,” with the sequel wedding to follow, I got you covered. Learn more about my packages here.
If you’re wondering what your wedding day may look like during this time you can view my recent blog posts featuring weddings that have been downsized due to COVID-19. Emily and Bill got married along with eight family members at a barn in Arena, Wisconsin. Vi and Gabe got married at Cantigny Park in Wheaton also with eight of their family members. Your day can still be beautiful and special despite the circumstances.
Are you a bride or groom whose wedding planning was affected by the coronavirus? Give us some advice in the comments on how you’re navigating your wedding planning during this time!
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A city living fur momma who has turned a love for photography into a dream career. Now I am providing my couples with beautiful memories that they will cherish for a lifetime!
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