As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates and the powers that be continue to enforce social distancing and restrict gatherings, scheduled weddings have become a big question mark for a lot of engaged couples.
Brides and grooms around the world are understandably panicked as they are forced to consider postponing or rescheduling their big day. So many of you are worried about future plans for your wedding; there’s a lot we can learn from the experiences of couples who’ve had to reschedule their weddings from April and May. Now’s the time to (virtually) gather your friends around you for support, and check out our guide to rethinking your wedding in coronavirus times.
1. Remember you’re not alone
Maybe you’ve been planning your wedding for 2 years; maybe just a few months; or maybe you’ve been dreaming of your perfect dress since you were eight. The build up to any wedding can be intense and stressful, which makes the impact of coronavirus even more heartbreaking as it derails the biggest day of your life! Whilst this may sound dramatic, it’s important to stick together as a couple, to talk about your feelings and keep in touch with friends and family so you have a strong support network around you both.
To date, thousands of weddings across the UK have been rescheduled or postponed due to the pandemic. You’re really not alone – there are thousands of people in the same situation. The UK’s biggest wedding forums can be a great place to chat to other couples – try Hitched or Love My Dress. Here you’ll be able to seek support and help from people going through the same rescheduling dilemmas as you are.
2. Take proactive steps to find your calm
No matter where your wedding date falls on the calendar, you’ll have done a lot of planning for the big day! Between dress fittings, cake tastings and fighting over your mums’ wedding outfits, it’s likely to have been a stressful ride! Add a postponement or rescheduled date into the mix and I’m sure all hell has broken loose!
While it’s totally normal for you to be upset (and we TOTALLY condone you enjoying copious amounts of wine and chocolate right now) remember love will win and you WILL get married – you may just have to wait a little while. It’s crucial during any crisis to think with a level-head, stay calm and carry on. Don’t force it: in these stressful times it can take time to reach a stage where you can think clearly – but know you’ll get to a point where you can look for solutions together, and make that your aim.
If it comes to what would have been your wedding date, make it special. Perhaps treat yourselves to an extra special spa experience, as a reminder to take care of your minds and bodies during this unsettling time.
3. Treat yourselves
Nothing perks us up more than a thoughtful present. Give your other half something special and uniquely them, and bring back that smile you love so much! Try an online calligraphy workshop, or a letterbox meal kit, perhaps even a mega box set of that geeky series you’ve wanted to watch for years! Anything fun you can giggle your way through, or something romantic you can do together – something that screams ‘you got this!’ will revive your energy and give you both the confidence you need.
4. Avoid negativity online
In times of crisis, gossip flourishes. Social media is filled with opinions, rants and negativity – and that’s the LAST thing you need right now. Put a cap on your anxiety levels by limiting your facebook time, culling any ranty accounts you follow on insta, and definitely avoiding any gossip mags or columns which are spreading unofficial or unhelpful rumours or news.
Whilst ignorance isn’t always bliss, it is not useful staying glued to the telly, fixated on rising statistics and what this means for your wedding. The pandemic is out of your control; teach yourselves to learn to focus your energy on the things you can control and on keeping your spirits high.
5. Call suppliers for a chat
Planning a wedding is like running a marathon. There are many hours of preparation, not to mention the many moving parts that need to come together to make the day perfect! If you’ve opted to postpone the wedding, it’s important to let your guests know, and to contact all of your key suppliers to avoid losing deposits and to create a contingency plan together.
Many wedding suppliers are moving heaven and earth to help support their brides and grooms right now. When you call, don’t panic and don’t go on the offensive: have a friendly chat and ask how they’re working the rescheduling process. Wedding suppliers are independent businesses, run by human beings with big hearts (we’re the ones who want to be a part of the wedding industry after all!) – so talk through your worries and concerns, and you’ve got a great chance of making a new plan with your suppliers.
The best way to manage rescheduling with suppliers is to create a to-do-list and tick each line off methodically. That way you’ll be able to minimise your losses and keep stress levels under control.
6. Think through your options logically
During this uncertain time, it is really important to take control by laying out your options and choosing the best solutions together, for you as a couple.
Many couples are moving their wedding back a year to 2021. Where venues and photographers aren’t available on weekends, keeping an open mind and opting for a weekday wedding can be a great solution.
Where registrars aren’t available, contacting a humanist celebrant could be a genius solution: they can conduct a personalised ceremony for you on your ‘big’ wedding day, and you can pop into the registry office on any random Tuesday morning before your wedding to make things official.
As your original wedding date passes, you could mark the occasion with a virtual wedding, celebrating with family and friends on a group video chat.
And if the worst happens and you lose big deposits and can’t reschedule, consider the new wedding trends (which we loved before all of this happened) – elopements and micro weddings with just a handful of guests and the cosiest, loveliest party of all.
7. Refocus and reboot
The most important thing any engaged couple can commit to right now is staying healthy. Try to let go of the wedding stresses by refocusing and rebooting. This is the perfect opportunity to stay home, read, relax and most importantly, connect with each other.
A wedding is high-stress and very emotional. Find time in the day to practise yoga, meditate, or take a bath. It’s important not to be consumed by the wedding planning and rescheduling process but to rely on other activities and those nearest to you, to help refocus and channel your energy towards something positive!
8. Don’t do this alone
You might not have your mums, families and besties by your side right now, but it’s really important not to lose contact. Have an honest chat with the people who love you best – and let them know you need positivity and encouragement when it comes to rescheduling your wedding.
It’s perfectly normal to be going through a rollercoaster of many emotions right now, so chat online with the people you trust most to respond empathetically – be honest about your feelings and ask for help when you need it – either with practical things, a shoulder to cry on or a non-wedding chat and a giggle about other random stuff!