Thoughts from a COVID bride,
I remember back in March, I was about to start working from home full-time because of COVID-19, and my biggest worry was if the wineries we were planning on visiting for my bachelorette weekend would be opened up again in time for our trip (and if I’d be able to find any toilet paper at the grocery store). Our trip was on April 4th, and we were positive that things would be back to normal by then. We got engaged in December, I bought my dress two days after Christmas, we picked out our date and venue, and were right smack dab in the middle of wedding planning in March!
It’s now September 23rd, we’ve been married for three months, and if you had told me all of the things that would transpire in these last six months, I would never have believed you. I know things have been so hard for so many during this time, and I know that a wedding is so small in the grand scheme of things. But I also know so many others who have experienced this season in the same way as me, so this is for you!
Getting married in the midst of a global pandemic is hard. You are now a bride-to-be, an event planner, an expert on current CDC and state health and safety regulations. You are fielding calls and texts from vendors, friends, and family with questions, updates, and concerns, and then having to follow up again the next day when the entire landscape has changed yet again. You are getting messages saying: You should postpone, You should cancel, You should require masks, I’m not coming if masks are required, Is it still happening? Will there be a dance floor? What are you doing to keep me safe? You are watching the news like it’s your job and scouring the internet to try to find just one alterations shop who is open and can fit you in to get your dress hemmed.
And you’re doing all of this while trying your best to stay present in this new season of engagement and grow in your relationship with your soon-to-be husband. You are trying to keep your eyes on what matters at the end of the day, your marriage (which is hard to do when you’re getting calls that the church you’re getting married in and the country you’re honeymooning in are CLOSED).
As a bride during COVID, you may have to:
-Move your wedding date or reconfigure your ceremony and reception.
-Send out new or updated invitations to all of your guests to alert them of said changes.
-Make changes to your guest list so that fewer people are in attendance.
-Cancel your bachelorette party, bridal portraits, and other pre-wedding festivities.
-Have a virtual bridal shower, or cancel it altogether.
-Reschedule or completely cancel your honeymoon.
-Be missing people on your big day that weren’t able to come due to travel restrictions, illness, or their own health and safety.
-Rearrange your spaces to spread people out to an approved six feet.
-Provide your guests with masks, sanitizing stations, and more.
As a bride during COVID, you will:
-Have all of the stresses and to-dos of a normal wedding season AND
-Get the unsolicited opinions of so many that have something to say about how you’re choosing to get married.
-Have to work with your vendors and research safety precautions to ensure you’re being responsible with the health of your guests.
-Assure many friends and family members of all of the safety precautions that are being taken.
-Have moments of jealousy for people who didn’t have to make any compromises in planning the day they’ve always dreamed of.
-Have countless sleepless nights filled with worry and anxiety for the health and safety of your loved ones.
-Get countless phone calls and text full of love and support from the people who love you no matter how you choose to get married.
-Have quite the story to tell your kids and grandkids someday.
–Never forget this season of life. Ever.
Back to March, my worry of my bachelorette party getting cancelled came true. We postponed our weekend, my out-of-town friends cancelled flights, and we looked at our calendars to see if there was a different weekend that would work for everyone. There wasn’t. They threw me a virtual bachelorette party, which I absolutely loved, but I felt so sad that I wasn’t going to be able to get with all of my friends in one place before our wedding.
Fast forward to the end of April, and we get an email from our church that they won’t be able to hold our wedding in June. The country of Barbados issued a 14-day quarantine policy upon entering the country. Our reception venue was still open, but we had no guarantee that they wouldn’t be forced to close down the week of our wedding, so we made other plans.
We got married in Evan’s parents’ backyard on our original wedding date with only our families in attendance, and it was the best day of our lives. We flew to Florida instead of Barbados and had a week on the beach to celebrate our new marriage. We rescheduled our reception for August when we were sure that COVID would have died down. My friends threw me a staycation bachelorette sleepover the night before the big day. And I got to wear my beautiful wedding dress twice.
It wasn’t how we’d envisioned it way back in December when we started this journey, but it was a sweet season. We grew as a couple because we were forced to make tough decisions together throughout the entire process. We had to come together and decide what was truly important to us. As Evan would say, “What is mission critical?” And that was our marriage!
I know this season has been difficult for so many, but at the end of the day, you just have to keep your eyes on what is important and keep the people you love close. One day, when a wedding planning problem is once again as simple as roses or peonies, you’ll be able to smile and remember the chaos and beauty that was your time as a COVID bride.
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