Planning A Wedding During A Pandemic: Every wedding planning journey has its twists and turns. To make sure your path is as smooth as possible and to help you keep an eye out for tiny potholes and giant roadblocks, always follow the advice of your local health guidelines and the recommendations set forth by the CDC. The state of the pandemic can change quickly, but by staying informed, you can make it to your destination—wedded bliss—without a hitch.
If you’ve had to cancel or postpone your wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel for you; it’s been a really hard year for couples, and rescheduling your big day is emotionally tough. It can be upsetting to change your wedding plans—especially when you’ve been planning for months.
But just because your original wedding date won’t be the day you say “I do,” there are still ways to make it special. Here are some ways to celebrate your original wedding date until your nuptials happen:
Acknowledge your original wedding date by enjoying a special meal for you and your partner. Depending on dining restrictions in your area, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, or order in and make a cozy, romantic atmosphere at home. Light some candles, pop a bottle of bubbly (if you drink), and enjoy an intimate meal.
Some couples like to celebrate their would-be wedding day by ordering their wedding cake. Not only is this a way to support one of your vendors during the pandemic, but it also gives you an opportunity to have a piece (excuse the bad pun) of your original day ahead of your rescheduled event.
The safest way to celebrate with all your loved ones right now is virtually. Until your upcoming wedding takes place in person, toast to your original date online. Organize a virtual wedding bash for your family and friends and ask everyone to dress up as if they’re attending the real deal.
If you want to incorporate elements of your wedding, send guests the recipe for your signature cocktail ahead of time, so they can mix their own at home. You can even put on a “wedding playlist” that guests can dance to or have members of your wedding party give short toasts. Also prepare a little speech that you and your partner can deliver to guests. Let them know the best is yet to come.
Remind each other why you’re getting married in the first place and exchange a meaningful love letter or thoughtful gift with your spouse. Write a heartfelt message about why you love your partner and how you’re looking forward to getting hitched when the day comes. Giving each other a personal letter not only evokes a sense of closeness, but it’s also a nice keepsake for your future.
Likewise, you may want to celebrate your original wedding date by giving each other something small (or big, depending on your budget). A framed photo of your favorite picture together or a handmade album of your memories are thoughtful options, as is a piece of jewelry, like a bracelet with your original wedding date engraved on it. The key is to exchange something special and meaningful with your significant other, not something off your wedding registry.
If you’ve already booked a wedding photographer for your special day but had to change the date due to COVID-19, ask to see if they’re available to take some physically distant pictures of you and your spouse-to-be. If it’s within your budget, arranging a mini shoot on your original wedding day helps support your vendor, plus is an excuse to dress up and make more beautiful memories. Years from now, you’ll look back at your wedding day photos and your would-be wedding day pics. How many couples can say that?!
While honeymoon plans may be on pause, why not celebrate early with a little weekend getaway with your significant other? Planning a mini vacation is a nice way to celebrate your original wedding date and offer you and your future spouse a chance to just be together and relax. (Don’t we all need some relaxation after this year?!) See if there’s a nearby cabin in the woods to rent or a quaint waterfront cottage. Depending on travel restrictions in your area, flying cross-country may be off the table, so plan a local escape that’s in line with any regulations.
If staying at home is what’s best, then have a staycation. Make a little itinerary with activities, like takeout Italian food from the best restaurant, followed by a phone-free evening watching your favorite movies. Get creative with your plans and be sure the focus remains on you two as a couple.
Not all couples want to celebrate their original wedding date, since the occasion can evoke a range of emotion, including sadness, anger, and disappointment. Sometimes when processing grief or loss, the only thing you want to do curl up on the sofa and watch cheesy rom-coms. If that’s how you feel, honor that. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel, so don’t beat yourself up if you’d rather lay low on the day.
Cancelling or postponing a wedding is a really hard and emotionally taxing decision. If it’s important to you, it’s a great idea to celebrate your original wedding date and find ways to make the day memorable in its own right. And, no matter what, just remember that when your postponed wedding day does come, you’ll be celebrating extra hard to make up for lost time.