Updated: Mar 1, 2021
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 1: KEEP THE DATE, CHANGE THE VISION
Featured Wedding: Nicole & Logan Sargent
Photo: Madison Delaney Photography
Venue: The Charleston Event Center
Floral: Forever Floral
Bride's Attire: Angeliques Bridal
Groom's Attire: Knights Chamber Clothiers
Hair: Maddie Gienau
Video: MoneCarlo Artis "Artis Films"
What led you to ultimately decide to stick with your original wedding date instead of postponing?
Quite honestly, I just wanted to marry my now husband. At the end of the day, that's what it was about. With the help and guidance of Julia and the venue, we were confident in being able to still have a magical wedding day. In addition to that, thankfully, COVID had been under decent control for most of the summer leading up to our wedding date and restrictions weren't too strict for us. With the news COVID-19, what was your greatest concern in terms of your wedding? Our greatest concern was people not being willing or able to attend (which only happened with a few) or people contracting it from our wedding. Thankfully, out of all guests, we heard no word of any cases from our wedding.
How did you manage your concerns? Do you have a new perspective in hindsight?
We literally took things day by day and did our best to stay educated and organized while staying in contact with our guests and vendors. In regards to perspective, we honestly felt like we were going into things with a blindfold on...but now that we can look back, things could have been a lot worse and we are grateful everything worked out the way it did.
List a few key ways you adjusted from your original plans and dreams to make your day happen:
I feel selfish even trying to list things off because truly, many people have and had it far worse than us. If I had to pick a few key ways, it would be:
We did have to change our dinner plans from buffet to plated meals to allow better social distancing.
We stocked up on more hand sanitizer than we would've imagined, lol.
We did have to change our seating and table arrangements to allow for social distancing rules to be in place which proved difficult at times while planning and coordinating.
What was the worst problem or most difficult hurdle you faced in terms of adjusting your wedding to COVID-19 protocols?
Well, other than getting caught in the cross-fire of thousands of dollars of non-refundable deposits and the thought of POSSIBLY postponing after over a year of planning, there wasn't a whole lot we as the bride and groom had to do other than downsize our guest list. It was tough to do so, but quite honestly downsizing saved us money, made for a more spacious celebration & made for a more tight-knit, meaningful guest turn out that actually allowed us to spend even more time with our closest friends and family (that we wouldn't have been able to do as much if there were 75 more guests we had originally planned on having). Although it was tough to break the news that we simply couldn't have them there, we know everyone understands. How did you face this problem / hurdle?
When it came to choosing who to cut from our guest list, we took advice from other brides/grooms & used a few rules of thumb:
- Have we met this person before? (ex. plus-ones) - When was the last time we saw or spoke to this person / what kind of connection do we have? - Is this person a positive influence in our life? - Does this person genuinely have us, our relationship, and our future in their best interest?
In addition to these things, we chose to keep it to MN residents only, especially because most of those who would be travelling informed us they likely would not have attended anyway due to the pandemic.
How did your perspective change throughout the planning process?
Honestly, I thought it would be a lot worse than it ended up being. If anything, in my opinion, the pandemic has made weddings, and particularly partnerships/relationships, more meaningful. Looking back, what do you remember most about your wedding day?
Other than the PERFECT fall weather, it would be the fact that there was not a single COVID concern from anyone there. It felt normal and relaxed. Everyone said they had so much fun and despite all the concern and stress leading up to the day, it was as close to perfect as it could get. We feel truly privileged and blessed for this.
What is your best piece of advice to future couples who are planning their weddings through COVID-19? Remember you're not alone right now. So many weddings have been postponed and we know it's a challenging time for so many couples impacted by this pandemic among other life factors. Find the right people to have in your corner and don't stress until you absolutely need to (hopefully not at all though). Most importantly, remember why you are doing this in the first place - to marry the love of your life. That is really what glued it all together for us while navigating the chaos. You will get through this!
With a prime date like 10/10/2020 and with these positive attitudes and memories to last a lifetime, we are so happy for Nicole and Logan for making the decision that suited them best. It was a joy to be part of their day!