Years of planning and then pandemic hits. The country shuts down which means wedding plans get put on hold. Venues shut down, vendors are not allowed to be open and some might shut down for good. Where does that leave you? In a PANIC!… Here is my advice for whatever that is worth…
First… Take a breath.
Take a minute to freak out because nobody would disagree that this is a big deal. But just freak out for a minute then take a deep breath, exhale and then realize that if it’s out of your control, don’t stress it. Think of it this way… what is stressing about it going to accomplish. Is being stressed going to open things up? Is being stressed going to suddenly let everything be ok? When you put a lot of effort into making your big day perfect it’s heartbreaking to see it fall apart but at the end of the day… think about what you are celebrating… your love for each other… so does any of it really matter? Tell yourself that it does not matter as many times as it takes until you actually believe it.
Now… Get to work
Call your vendors.
Check in to see what they are thinking. Everybody is approaching things differently. Some are taking extreme caution, while others are ready to go the second the state says they can get back to business. If you are thinking of keeping your original date, or postponing, it’s best to know if your vendors are on the same page. Being proactive is going to cause you a lot less stress… Pick a handful of dates you are willing to switch to and present them to your vendors. Not all your vendors are going to be available for all the dates so you will have to prioritize what means the most to you. Personally I think the DJ is the most important for obvious reasons, so find a date that works with me… then see if the other vendors line up too… but you might have your heart set on a venue so you have to go with what they have available. However you prioritize, be mindful of contracts and cancellation fees that might occur. You can get a feel for all this stuff and who might be available while still holding onto hope that your date is going to be available.
Things to consider…
How far do your guests have to travel? Do they need to make travel arrangements? Hotel reservations etc… if that is a lot of the crowd coming, then give them as much time as possible. Get a feel for how your guests are feeling about the pandemic. Some people are REALLY concerned about the virus while others don’t give it much credit. It’s ok to think either way and be mindful of it while keeping/rescheduling plans. Some people might not come because they don’t want to be around large crowds. You have to take into consideration who wouldn’t come and how much they mean to you. I know that sounds cold but it’s the reality of the situation, if a parent says they aren’t coming would obviously mean more than the date of your second cousin. If venues can open, they might force you to scale back your numbers anyways, so this might be something you have to do anyways.
If you must reschedule…
HOORAY Two Anniversaries.
Non-pandemic reasons, my wife and I got married twice. Once in a small intimate ceremony with a dozen or so family and really close friends… then a large wedding reception with 300 people. Now we celebrate our marriage twice a year (and of course every other day too).
Things you can do on your original date:
I don’t know about other states, but in NY they passed legislation that allows for online marriages now. I am ordained and could do a zoom wedding with you. Invite as many people to the zoom call as you want to watch the two of you get married virtually…
Plan a Stay at Home Date night.
Champagne, order a fancy take out dinner from a local restaurant, dance to your wedding song… do whatever the two of you like to do. You can even order a small cake from your cake maker, a center piece from your florist etc… (the vendors will appreciate the business, TRUST ME).
Act like you are on your honeymoon. (Guys, sorry… but get used to having to do this stuff once you’re married)
Throw on fuzzy bathrobes, do spa treatments, a bubble bath together… stuff like that.
Put some tropical music on and pretend you’re at the beach.
Have a Virtual Reception
Invite everybody to a Zoom reception… have them dress up, let people make speeches…. Send out recipes ahead of time for your signature cocktails… have your first dance even…
Most importantly ….
Give yourself permission for any emotion that comes.
You might sit on the couch and just start crying, scream at the top of your lungs or you might
laugh at the situation, you might do all of them… It was a big day to you and how you handle that is OK…
it’s OK to not be OK. Anybody that tells you to just get over it… is off the wedding list (just kidding… maybe)
Hopefully all of this craziness is over quick… but if not, we’ll get through it together… just take a breath and roll with it because at the end of the day it’s all we can really do.