I’ve been fairly quiet about this totally awful thing called Covid19, and how it’s affecting weddings all over the world.
And if you’re reading this, it’s probably because Covid is affecting your wedding in some shape or form, and for that I am truly sorry. Your love is worthy of celebration. Your wedding will be worth waiting for (if that’s something you end up having to do). And can you imagine how amazing gathering for weddings will be when Covid is behind us? Having ALL of your favorite people in one place after months apart, just to celebrate YOU? Wow.
It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel like this isn’t fair, because it isn’t. But for this post, I’ll try to stick to some hard facts and share what we’re seeing as wedding trends change in the time of Covid. I want to share tips and encouragement with 2020 couples, and maybe even give you a bit of hope if your wedding plans are changing right now.
1. An “intimate wedding in the meantime” is a beautiful option.
I cannot stress this enough: intimate weddings are beautiful. We loved them before Covid showed up, and we’ll love them long after. It’s not the right choice for everyone… but if you decide to hold an intimate wedding now before your larger celebration later, you get an opportunity to experience two totally different but awesome kinds of weddings! Of course you’ll have a big party with all of your friends and family down the road… But intimate weddings give you the freedom to also have a wedding day with a loose timeline. You get dressed, say your vows, pop champagne, take pics, and CELEBRATE! Intimate weddings allow you to spend the entire day together, and incorporate activities and places and things you love in ways you often can’t at a larger wedding. And you know how people say your wedding will go by in the blink of an eye? That doesn’t generally happen with a more intimate wedding. In my mind, this is a beautiful opportunity to truly have the very best of both worlds.
Brainstorm ways to make this time and this new wedding plan extra special. I think most couples have thought to themselves “what if we just eloped and did x, y, and z on our wedding day” during the process of planning a big wedding. Well guess what?! Now you can do those things and you TOTALLY should!! Treat. Yo. Self. Wear a totally different dress. Splurge on that gorgeous bouquet. Bring your pets with you – they’re now your best man/maid of honor. Hold your wedding in a location that is super meaningful to you both (as long as it’s safe to do so!). Have a luxurious meal. Watch the sun set. And just breathe in the first day of your new marriage.
Seriously guys, the opportunities are endless and I am EXCITED about this new trend. Can you tell?! Lots of you are going this route, and I’m pumped about it.
2. Remember that waiting to have a safe and joyful day with ALL of your favorites will be worth it.
On our wedding day, one of my favorite memories was seeing all of our family and friends gathered just before taking their seats for the ceremony. Hugging, smiling, laughing and just talking. Standing together in groups. Meeting each other and shaking hands. Everyone dressed to the nines, and together.
And I think that’s the moment that it really hits couples… when they see their guests starting to arrive. When they realize that all of their favorite people in the world are there to celebrate them.
Friends, that feeling is worth waiting for. I’m tearing up just writing about it. I don’t think I have to convince you of that in this blog post, but I do hope to remind you of it. This will all be worth the wait. A gathering without masks or fear, with no shortages of hugs and cheek kisses and handshakes.
3. Have a contingency plan, and stay flexible.
We are already seeing a lot of competition for a limited number of wedding dates in 2021. So stay in touch with your vendors, ask them to keep you up to date on their 2021 availability, and hope that you never have to use that information! But if you do, you’ll be ready to pull the trigger knowing you have your whole team of people locked in for your new date. Hopefully that saves you money, and it’ll definitely save you the time you’d have to spend finding and hiring new vendors if they’re not all available on your new date.
4. Communicate with your vendors. They’re there to help.
Be proactive, and be the first to reach out to them. Your vendors can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on! Ask them how Covid is going to change how they do their job, and what their policies are regarding postponements. Ask for their advice. Be grateful for the help they offer you, and accept any grace they give you in choosing new dates + waiving fees.
5. Know that Covid is woven into your wedding story now… and that’s ok.
One of my mantras is “if you can name it, you can face it.”
So let’s name it. Say it with me, friends: “Having a global pandemic mess up our wedding plans was something we couldn’t have predicted or planned for, and this sucks. We don’t deserve this.”
Now, consider this: marriages are more meaningful and joyful because of the hardships that they endure. In the same way that challenges and hardships will make your marriage stronger, I truly believe that weddings become more meaningful because of the challenges that couples have to endure planning them. I believe this so strongly because we had to endure a lot of difficult things while we were planning our own wedding, and those challenges made our wedding so much more meaningful and joyful (for us and for our guests). I wished away those challenges at the time, but by the time our wedding day arrived, I realized how totally perfect it was. And looking back, I truly wouldn’t change a thing. Hardships and all.
I know that each of you has grown closer to your fiancé during the wedding planning process. You have made hard choices. Discussed individual hopes and dreams for your wedding. Defined who you are as a couple. Juggled family opinions. Fully and unapologetically declared “this is our wedding, and this is what we’re doing.”
Dealing with Covid is just one more of those challenges. And it’s ok that Covid is part of your wedding story now. What if (hear me out)… it’s better this way?
Covid may be the reason that you get an awesome intimate wedding now, and a big amazing celebration later.
Covid may mean that you get to spend extra time at home with your new spouse as you navigate the first few months of marriage.
Covid may mean that you develop some extra traditions that are important for just the two of you this year.
Covid may teach you how to rely on your family and friends more deeply as you learn how to be married.
Covid may mean that you cherish those dinners out and vacations together so much more once you’re able to have them.
Covid may instill good habits of communication and quality time together early on in your marriage.
And lastly, Covid may help you learn one of the fundamentals of marriage at the very beginning: when you take away the wedding day and the honeymoon and the big exciting once-in-a-lifetime events, marriage is about loving one another through hardship. It’s about growing together, even in the mundane. It’s thousands upon thousands of days together where you have an opportunity to choose one another.
So let me conclude by saying this: It will be easy in the coming months to focus on the things you’re “missing out on.” (I know I catch myself doing that all the time, and I’m not even planning a wedding!) But my hope for all of you beautiful, wonderful 2020 couples is that you remember all the things that you’re gaining, too. You all are having a totally unique wedding experience – no one else alive has had to deal with what you’re dealing with right now. So embrace it. And know that you may – actually – be one of the lucky ones.