About the Series:
For this blog series we interviewed a number of our couples from 2020 to share their perspectives, experiences, and best pieces of advice for navigating the wedding planning process in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Something we all learned this year is that our best-laid plans may go awry, but working together - with a little compromise and adjustment - we can find a suitable solution.
As wedding coordinators, one of the biggest things we noticed early on in the year was that each wedding adjustment would need an individual approach based on the personal priorities of the couple. It is always our role to support our clients' personal decisions. For some couples the priority of their wedding was to keep their date, to be married, and to move forward in life together even if it meant a smaller gathering. For other couples the priority was to celebrate with all of their friends and family just the way they had originally envisioned, even if it meant postponing. Some wanted to ensure they could dance mask-free and hug their guests. Some made it a priority not to put their closest friends and family in a position of feeling the need to risk their health to celebrate. Some with larger numbers of guests coming from out-of-town needed to be sensitive to travel restrictions. Some were happy to connect with their guests virtually. Some knew their guests would come in person if they made proper arrangements for everyone to feel comfortable. Every event was a different story.
Instead of sending our couples a "how-to" message for taking the best steps forward in the planning process, knowing that no one really had a solution for avoiding the stress of covid unpredictability, we got pretty quiet, observed the industry, buckled up, and learned from experience all year long. From couple to couple, vendor to vendor, and successful event to successful event, now we can honestly say we know a lot about this! There were no one-size-fits-all fixes other than bringing the best attitude with every step forward.
So how should upcoming couples make decisions for their 2021 weddings? We have plenty of advice! But for this blog series, we want you to hear the advice of our 2020 couples who were in your shoes just a few months ago. We hope some of their decision-making and perspectives resonate with you.
PART 2: POSTPONE THE DATE, KEEP THE VISION
Featured Wedding: Serena and Basit
Original Date: 6/27/2020
Original Postponement Date: 6/26/2021
Second Postponement Date: 9/17/2021
Venue To-Be: Aster Cafe
Vendors:Becca Dilley Photography
What ultimately led you to decide to postpone your 2020 celebration to a future date....and then postpone a second time?
With the arrival of COVID-19 last February, we had begun to doubt that our original wedding date of June 2020 would have allowed our friends and family to attend without feeling that they were having to choose between their health/safety and their desire to celebrate with us. We were not sure how to proceed, until an exceptionally helpful and informative email from Julia arrived in our inbox. She addressed the unspoken anxieties that we were feeling and suggested several options for modifying our wedding plans, including next steps if we chose to postpone entirely. Prompted by the advice in this email and in our followup conversation with Julia, we were able to clearly define our priorities and realize that rescheduling to a later date was the right decision for us. At the time, we felt confident that postponing a year would clear us of the pandemic's reach--that we were taking the path of maximum caution in delaying a full year... oh, how wrong we were. Fortunately, we have been able to reschedule (this second time) for the fall of 2021, when presumably everyone who plans to attend our wedding will have had the vaccine.
With the news of COVID-19, what was your greatest concern in terms of your wedding? How have you managed your concerns?
There was just so much uncertainty to navigate. For example, we were about to send out invitations, but we didn't know if we were even going to be able to safely host a wedding in three months. Putting on a wedding involves a tremendous amount of long-term planning, and because everything about the extended planning process was in a state of constant uncertainty, we felt that postponing was our best option.
A lot of our anxiety was alleviated by getting legally hitched on our original wedding date, so we do highly recommend that. For us, we felt like that offered the best compromise between honoring the original date of our nuptials and rescheduling the wedding to a (much later) date when the event could happen most safely.
What has the postponement process been like?
At first, we felt enormous relief in having decided to postpone the wedding. However, the relief quickly turned to anxiety as one of our main vendors went incommunique after having been asked to confirm their ability to reschedule. It was all sorted out in the end, and fortunately all our other vendors were exceptionally responsive and flexible throughout the postponement process (both times!).
Looking ahead, how do you feel about / how do you plan to approach your wedding in 2021 (ex. health and safety adjustments, attitudes, priorities)?
In the unexpected and outrageous circumstance that not everyone has yet had the vaccine by the date of our re-(re-)scheduled wedding, we will definitely not be rescheduling for a third time. We have considered moving some of the wedding events outdoors, reducing the number of invitees, and distancing the dinner tables, among other adjustments. Hopefully, we will have to do none of those things, but only time will tell. Even if our dogs are the only witnesses for the wedding, it's happening this fall.
How has your perspective changed throughout the planning process?We are certainly more flexible now on making our wedding work--however possible--when the twice-rescheduled day finally arrives. Although we were never particularly rigid in our vision of what our wedding should involve, circumstances have definitely inspired us to be more accommodating than we might otherwise have been.
With some experience now, what is your best piece of advice to future couples who are planning their weddings through COVID-19?
Get a courthouse marriage now (like we did!), and then wait to have the wedding you want--the way you want it, no compromises-until the not-too-distant day in the future when COVID-19 will firmly be in the rear-view mirror.