We know you probably never want to hear the words “coronavirus,” “quarantine,” and “unprecedented times” again, but unfortunately The Rona is still among us. Corona brides across the world are lost when it comes to what to do now that their wedding has been postponed or canceled. The days of saying “I do” in front of friends and family and taking shots with your bridesmaids at the open bar seem so distant, but we’re hopeful that the investment towards celebrating this new chapter in your life is worth the wait. For those of you that have officially made the decision to share your vows with your S.O. in 2021, you’re probably wondering WTF to do with all of your plans now? Don’t freak out, because we’ve gone ahead and asked the experts to share their thoughts on what couples can be doing in the meantime to ensure that all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted before the big day.
Yes, you probably had everything planned out perfectly, right down to your personalized stationery before the virus happened, but now that your plans have changed, there’s some tricky re-thinking to do. “It goes without saying that trying to navigate the postponement of a wedding is mind-boggling, and it can be hard to know where to start, or better yet, figure out an organized way to keep track of your progress and your remaining to-dos,” says Lisa Bowser, Founder of Brite Lite, a company that makes LED neon signs. “Lists on lists on lists can be quite boring to look at, yes?” Um, yes! Bowser recommends the acrylic dry-erase Goals Calendar to eliminate your wedding stress. Bonus: you can still use it in your home after your wedding planning process is (finally) over.
Read Your Contracts
I know we’re all programmed to click “accept terms and conditions” without a second thought, but with circumstances constantly changing as our world adapts to the virus, it’s essential that you and your future spouse have your contingency plans up-to-date. As AJ Williams, Founder and Creative Director at Boston-based event planning company AJ Events, recommends, “When reading your contracts, make sure you have your planner and vendors develop a rescheduling contract or addendum, and to change the Force Majeure to include pandemics and decreased capacity due to government mandates.” This way, you won’t have to scramble to make things work any more than you’ve already had to.
See What Safety Precautions Your Vendors Are Taking
When you do end up walking down the aisle, you want to be sure all possible measures are put in place to ensure that your guests stay happy and healthy. AJ Williams reports that for all future events, his company “will require cleaning/sanitation measures from our vendors and venues working on our events and add sanitation efforts plus add supplies at attendee check-in to protect the safety of our work environment and your attendees while allowing us to continue to service our clients.” He adds, “We have created branded plexi walls on our bar and catering stations, adorable customized face masks with your favorite quote or funny message or emoji icon to include your signature style. Get creative while keeping safe.” So make sure you check with your vendors to see how they’re adapting to these (my brain: don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it) unprecedented times.
Enjoy Your Engagement
Though you’ve (understandably) been mentally designing your reception place cards since the moment you got a ring on your finger, take this unique opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy this extra time of being engaged to the love of your life. Of course, says Taylor Waxman of L.A.-based event design and production company KED & Co., “Changing your wedding date can be emotionally draining. Managing your friends and family travel plans, rescheduling your vendors to make sure everyone is available on the same day and overall reimagining a new date in a new year—you’ve been through it.”
When adjusting your wedding planning timeline, though, staying sane is essential. “Don’t over plan,” advises Waxman. “It’s very easy to focus on your wedding during this time, but our biggest advice is: don’t. Once you have your vendors and location rescheduled and all guests are alerted of the new date, take a step back to enjoy your engagement. Spend quality time with your partner, schedule outdoor picnics or Zoom dinners with family and friends, take this time to reconnect and appreciate what is around you.”
Make The Process Fun
Now that you’ve got some extra time to plan things out, you and your partner can hone in on achieving the wedding of your dreams. Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director at Colette’s Catering and Events, suggests that you “Cast aside what might be typical wedding traditions, and do what YOU really, truly want for your wedding. Explore bright colors, beautiful seasonal menus, wine flown in from your favorite winery, book a unique outdoor venue, mix and match your linen pattern choices, custom built backdrops from local artists, neon signage, etc. Now you have the time to really customize!”
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with pressing health concerns on top of your color scheme choices, “Making the difficult decision to postpone your wedding should be the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, try to make the rest of the process fun,” advises Matt Ramirez, Senior VP of Marketing at Generation Tux. “Look at new wedding trends, new seasonal colors, and opportunities to update your wedding plans! Everyone in the wedding industry knows this is a tough time for couples, and we’re here to work with you. Take this time with your husband to design the look of your wedding suit or tux again, order some free swatches, and get a free home try-on delivered to the groom.”
If you want to get creative without overloading your plate, Taylor Waxman suggests designing your own thank you notes online, finding custom postage for your wedding invitations, registering for gifts, working on your wedding website, finalizing your guest list, and choosing meaningful songs to be played during your ceremony. She also suggested pulling inspiration images (as if you needed an excuse to add to the wedding Pinterest board you’ve had since college.). “Focus on your style and look, try not to go too deep in detail,” she recommends. “Keep this light and fun.”
Can’t Wait? Go For It!
As Nike says, “Just Do It.” If you and your S.O. are itching to get married ASAP, Sarah Kuhlberg suggests having a mini wedding and eloping in your backyard, and then scheduling a reception for a year later so you can celebrate your first anniversary with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and feel free to “Create your dream celebration and know that this new wedding style is something we are all getting used to.”
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You get engaged, and it’s all sunshine and Instagram likes for a few weeks. Then the terror will set in when you realize you’ve just become a one-woman party-planning committee for what will amount to a sh*t show in a nice venue with fancy clothes. Unless you’re planning on hiring someone to do the dirty work and heavy lifting for you, the majority of wedding planning—from dress to shoes to flowers to photographers to food—will be on you, sweetie. While, yes, parts of it can be totally super fun, there are a lot of dark things that’ll come out during this time. Here are a few things nobody tells you about wedding planning.
1. The Groom Really Won’t Care And, If He Does, You’ll Be Annoyed
At first, he’ll be all, “Baby, I wanna be an involved groom.” That’ll die off after about three months. Especially once you start asking him what he wants the boutonnieres to look like or what color napkins you should have for cocktail hour. You may also start pulling decision-making away from him after you ask him to choose groomsmen gifts and he decides he wants to buy the tuxes for each of his eight dudes and maybe throw some knives in for good measure. Or when you tell him to pick things out for the registry and you see he chose four different shovels, a drum set, and a lawnmower.
2. You Will Stop Caring, Then Start Re-Caring
You’ll probably hit this point during the font-picking process for your invitations. Or maybe during the centerpiece discussion. It doesn’t matter. You’ll have a moment where you’re all, “OH MY GOD IT’S JUST A BIG PARTY—WHO F*CKING CARES” and you’ll stop planning until you get 18 emails about flowers and payments then you have to jump back in.
3. Planning Blows Regardless Of Wedding Size
Whether you’re gearing up for a hipster Mecca at the local IPA factory or a Princess Diana themed affair in a cathedral, you’re still planning it. There will still be seating arrangements to configure, flowers to choose, timelines to create, and arguments over shoes. So don’t think that just because you’re planning a small garden party afternoon affair that you’ll have less to do than the b*tch that wants a 500-person shindig at the local country club. The suckiness of wedding planning does not discriminate, and is equally sh*tty for everyone. I guess that’s comforting?
4. You Will Cry
You may tear up over napkin colors. It may be when you realize you can’t afford the $30k flower bridge option. It could be when Daddy puts the kibosh on a 6-hour open bar, which, rude. Doesn’t matter—prepare to cry. A lot. Sometimes over nothing.
5. Everyone Will Have An Opinion
I think I was two months into planning when two close family members ganged up on me about how I was wearing my hair and makeup. “Why would you pay for makeup? My girls didn’t and it was fine. It won’t look like you.” “Don’t wear your hair down—it’ll be tacky and weird.” “You don’t need a veil.” “You’re spending too much money on an up-do.” “Buffets are gross.” “Can we have top-shelf vodka?” “I’m not coming if it’s not an open bar.” “Why didn’t you put dishes on your registry?” “I don’t want to wear that color dress.” You’ll have a meltdown and will likely give in to at least some of the critiques. Or you’ll cry-scream at your mom and get drunk alone while sobbing through Pinterest pages because no one understands your vision. Speaking hypothetically of course…
6. You Can’t Escape, Even In Your Dreams
Prepare to wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming that either no one came to your wedding or all the flowers were carnations or that your bridesmaids wore the wrong shoes (after you explicitly told them where to buy the ones you wanted them to wear) or that your photographer forgot to take pictures. I speak from experience. This sh*t will consume you.
7. Adios, Money
Unless mommy and daddy are footing the entire wedding bill, chances are you’ll be paying for sh*t right up until the “I do’s.” Even if your parents are paying for the venue and wedding itself, you’ll probably end up buying bridesmaid gifts, last-minute umbrellas (don’t get me started), shoes, honeymoon outfits, favors, etc. After the wedding, though, you’ll be like, “OMG, where’d all this cash come from?” so that’s something.
8. Music Is A Nightmare
First, you’ll go back and forth over band vs. DJ (really, whether you want a wedding singer trying to hit the big times when their rendition of “FAME” or a cheese d*ck DJ from Long Island called DJ Spinzz whose go-to line is “ALRIGHT PARTY PEOPLE”). Once that’s settled, prepare for the discussions about the ceremony music and cocktail hour music. Will there be violins during the actual nuptials? How about a booming pipe organ because there’s no other f*cking option in the cathedral? Oh, then prepare for your parents to try and “help” by creating the playlist for cocktail hour because, like “well you’re not even going to be here for it” and then having to gently explain to them that two hours of show tunes and Bruce Springsteen are not the atmosphere you’re going for.
9. Things Will Go Wrong
…and you won’t care. Honestly, on your wedding day, your limo driver may make a wrong turn after you told him EXACTLY where you wanted pictures done. Your florist may show up way too early with flowers. Your bridesmaid’s dress may rip right down the back during pictures. Someone could throw up on the floor at your venue. All these things happened at my wedding, and I didn’t care. You’ll be so caught up in the whirlwind of the day that little sh*t won’t matter.
10. You Won’t Know How To Spend Your Time Afterwards
Once the day has passed and the planning is over, you literally won’t know what to do with all your free time. You may even feel kind of sad that you don’t have dresses and flowers and open bars taking up all your time anymore. We suggest yoga and day drinking.Images: Sweet Cream Photography / Unsplash; Giphy (5)