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Dear 2021 Bride | Pandemic Wedding Planning

January 22, 2021

Hey Guys! What a WAY to start the YEAR, with this encouraging letter! You remember Emily!? She shared a WONDERful post, regarding her Postponed Wedding in 2020…..and they DID end up getting married before the end of the year! I asked her to share with you, some words of encouragement, as she’s now on the other side! It’s WORTH a read, and a share with ANYONE you know getting married this year and next! And I’m almost 90% booked for this year, due to postponed weddings so don’t hesitate to reach out to me about your potential date!

Dear bride-to-be,

A few months ago, I wrote to you about my postponed wedding day

Well, time flies, and now, I’m approaching my five month wedding anniversary. 

Looking back, my wedding day looks nothing like I had expected, but it was somehow even better than my previous vision of my dream day. 

When I rescheduled my wedding from May 2, 2020 to August 22, 2020, I thought my future husband and I were in the clear. Like many of us, we assumed numbers would go down, travel would be safer with necessary precautions and our wedding-related stress would finally be out of our minds. However, as August 22 neared, it became clearer with each day passing that the COVID situation wasn’t turning around. 

When we initially postponed our wedding date in the spring, we acknowledged what we would do if things didn’t turn around, ultimately deciding we wouldn’t reschedule another time. While it’s a personal decision, we knew neither of us could handle another round of stress, heavy decisions, sadness and waiting. So, dreamy beach wedding or not, we were going to move ahead with August 22 in the safest way possible. 

As we approached our late summer date, another big round of questions set in.

Where do we get married with our venue still closed? Do we still need a beach permit? Do we just skip the reception? Do we opt for a courthouse wedding? Do we uninvite people — especially those traveling or in high-risk groups? Do we mask up except for our first kiss? What happens with catering? Will my bridesmaids stand up with me? 

This was just the start, but I won’t bore you with every finite detail. 

As I was confronted with these daunting questions, I felt overwhelmed. I had panic attacks, and I wasn’t sleeping well. Just when I thought we solved one issue, another came up — over and over again. Eventually, I started to tackle it just like the postponement: one step at a time and with clear, open and honest communication. 

I’m not going to say it was easy, but sometimes the ugliest, most dreadful storms bring the most beautiful rainbows. Our wedding was certainly a rainbow. 

Here’s how:

Communicate from the heart. As a COVID bride, you’ll likely have to discuss some hard topics that brides in previous years didn’t have to contend. Hold important, meaningful space for you and your partner to honestly discuss what you need versus what you want from the day. Communication doesn’t stop there, though. Communicate with your vendors. Pick their brains, come up with a game plan and write it down so everyone is on the same page. Finally, communicate with your guests. We unfortunately had to uninvite people, but did so personally on the phone versus a blanket card or email. You may be afraid, but people are more understanding than you give them credit for! With the guests who are attending, keep in close contact as well. Offer a timeline, get clear on expectations (for instance, prompt them to think about their comfort levels on photo opportunities) and lean on their support. 
Go digital. While we had to uninvite a large chunk of people, we wanted to make sure our direct family (in my husband’s case) and maid of honor (in my case) still got to be a part of the day from the safety of their own home states. While we all have digital fatigue, this is what it’s here for! We set up a WiFi hub, laptop, speaker and another phone recording for remote guests to chime into (we used YouTube Live!). Finally, test it out beforehand. We encountered some technical difficulties that I’m glad we solved a few days before. Our maid of honor and best man also sent over recorded versions of their speech that we shared via a big computer monitor later in the evening. 
Make it fun. The day may be full of quirks, but there’s still ways to make those quirks fun. Hang fun signs around your hand sanitizer, get matching masks, decorate an outdoor space, get a speaker and still do your first dance even if it’s the only dancing of the night. It’ll be special. Trust me. 

We initially planned a small, 100-person wedding. We were going to get married on the sand along Mission Bay and follow it with an indoor/outdoor reception at a beautiful venue that overlooked the water. We had grand plans to have a taco bar, dessert donuts, toasts and an epic dance floor. Instead, we had a 13-person outdoor-only wedding. We got married at a grassy neighborhood park overlooking the ocean with our masked officiant and some of our closest people looking on from spaced apart seats. I donned my dream dress, my husband was decked out in a brand new handsome suit and our vows were exchanged under the sun, beneath a floral-decorated arch created by a dear friend. We hosted an al fresco dinner in a backyard. We played videos of speeches. We had our first dance. We played lawn games and had meaningful conversations with our guests. The night flew by. Before we knew it, we were leaving the backyard as a married couple, surrounded by joy and love. It was intimate, beautiful and kicked off what’s been a loving, kind marriage. 

I know our “dream day” didn’t look the way either my husband (that’s still so exciting to say!) or I had envisioned it when I tearfully said “yes!” during a sunset proposal. But, at the same time it did. We both met, hand-in-hand, to exchange our vows of commitment, to share in a promise of unity and partnership and to celebrate the joining of our lives in this new chapter. We got to marry each other, and at the end of the day, that’s what the wedding was all about. 

Cheers,
Your Fellow COVID Bride

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