Most advice out there is how to handle postponement or virtual weddings, but what about us who are considering waiting it out? Or at least wait for a while before committing to a date or virtual?
I got engaged at the end of April 2020. Since the pandemic furloughed me, I read a bunch of books about wedding planning, Meg’s books and a couple of others. Our situation was tough before the pandemic hit, since I am from overseas, my fiance’s family is from the East Coast, and we live on the West Coast. Logistics would have been hell, even in a perfect world. Now with COVID, we don’t feel comfortable setting a date. It is not like we can really tour a venue or get a real grasp of who might be able—or alive—to make it. The usual estimates about how many might decline aren’t going to work.
The worst and most unexpected thing is: no one wants to talk about weddings. Any advice on how to maneuver unwanted talk? I am desperate for it. If I want advice, I have to force the conversation. It is an incredible lonely experience. What I want to read about is whether others are having similar experiences or if it is just me.
You are so not alone. I’ve been running APW for going on 13 years now, and the real reason this site exists is to assure folx planning weddings that they are not alone in this. In the best of times planning a wedding can be an emotional isolating experience, and we are in some of the worst of times.
So here is what I want to say to you: you are doing a damn good job. You’re being thoughtful, you’re being realistic, and you’re being responsible. And in this totally overwhelming new world it’s often hard to be ONE of those things, let alone all three. You’ve even come to terms with the fact that in an uncontrolled Pandemic, people are going to die, and that means some of your loved ones might not make it to your future wedding. And that is the very hardest thing to come to terms with.
And because you’ve done the work of facing up to how dark this timeline is, you want the connection of wedding planning conversations. And that’s connection you should be able to have. (I mean, currently, I am surviving on day dreams right now. Maybe one or more of them will turn into a real plan, but I’m currently thinking about: building a tiny office on our property, getting an airstream, and building an A-frame cabin in the woods. You know, all at the same time.) The pandemic is awful, and we all deserve the escapism we can get right now.
My main advice to you (now and always) is ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Call someone you love (or text them, DM them, send them a note by carrier pigeon, whatever works) and say, “Things are really hard right now, and I want to talk about my wedding. I feel like wedding planning has been taken away from me and I just need to feel normal for a minute.” Most of the rest of us also desperately want to feel normal for a minute, it’s likely folx will be happy to chat. (And I’m hoping folks in the comments will join you for exactly that.)
But beyond that, I just want to say the best thing any of us can do right now is be realistic, and lean into what is happening… because who knows what the future will bring. It’s tempting to want to imagine that you can safely have a 100 person wedding in the middle of a pandemic, if you do it exactly perfectly. But you can’t. The sooner we realize what our real options are, and then lean hard into whatever we choose, the better off we’ll all be.
John Sawyer is a wedding expert and author of several popular books on wedding planning, including “The Ultimate Wedding Checklist” and “Wedding Day Tips and Tricks.” With over a decade of experience in the wedding industry, John Sawyer has helped countless couples plan their dream weddings with ease and joy. Her writing style is warm and engaging, and her advice is always practical and actionable.