What does one do when they’re planning a wedding in the middle of COVID? How do I find some calm during all of this?
I apologize now because I know this post will be filled with tangents. There are so many things I could say right now, in the midst of the journey we’re all on. But in a way, all of those things have also rendered me speechless. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and the impact it has on you, my couples. Of course, there is the joy and anticipation of a year that many say has been thrown into a tumultuous uncertainty and now many of our couples are finding themselves trying to decide how – and if – to keep planning during this pandemic.
I’ve written and re-written this post many times over the past few days. I wish that I could hug each and every one of you – and when I see you again, on the other side of this and it’s safe to do so, I will definitely hug you. We will be reaching out personally to all of our couples for 2020 and discussing our plans and policies and we have faith that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I was 8 months pregnant with my second when 9/11 happened. I remember the way I felt about bringing a baby into the world that felt so uncertain. To say I was scared is an understatement. A whole lot changed, but in so many ways for the better. Often, that’s what happens. We go through incredibly rough, seemingly insurmountable challenges and only later realize what a gift it was. Our Earth is healing in light of this. We are finding ourselves, our families and our friends all over again. We are coming together to help those who need us. We have been given the gift of time to create a new future for ourselves to focus on where things should start – with ourselves, personally. We can accomplish things we’ve been too busy for. We can create the life we have only imagined. And yes, when we get to the other side, we will be changed … that is inevitable. But we will also appreciate things we took for granted for most of our life – and that, I think, is an incredible foundation to a new marriage.
This isn’t going to be a post about our policies – we can talk about those one-on-one if you’re one of our couples. I’m not going to spit numbers at you, or my predictions, or anything like that. This isn’t the time for it, or the place, and I am definitely not the person.
What you are going to find out during this time though, is the heart of your wedding party, your venue, and your vendors. We have a very serious job in this industry. We are responsible for protecting the wedding day of our couples – in whatever form that takes for whatever vendor you hire. You should never feel worried, or concerned or nervous, or like “just another wedding” to your vendor team – and fortunately or unfortunately, planning a wedding during COVID is going to show you the people in your life who are there to help.
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Roger’s mother
Our job is to be your calm.
To reassure you when things are flying in your face during planning and you aren’t sure if this is a normal way to feel, or think, or if it’s an acceptable thing to do. I am going to take a break from the norm of the COVID wedding posts going around, and try to help you find a little calm during this time. What does this mean for you, as our client, besides this list? It means you can email me or friend request me, or text me if you need to chat (email me to get my cell number). And definitely make sure you’re a part of our client group, if you’re not already. I don’t care if you just want to talk about wedding colors or what TV show to binge next – I’m here.
- Step away from the News.
It’s important we’re all informed, of course, but watching everyone speculate is going to do nothing for your nerves. Check the CDC, WHO and Washington Department of Health websites for the up to date info without all of the drama. The Washington COVID site and Governor Jay Inslee’s site also have some great, easy to understand information. Don’t listen to speculation that we are not going to have a wedding season in 2020, or that we should all just plan for nothing for the next 18 months. No one has stated that to be a fact or a mandate yet (even if the news mentioned it once or five times).
- Connect with Wedding Vendors.
Guess what – pretty much everyone is at home right now. Touch base with the vendors you’ve already booked. Talk about your ideas, not just your questions about COVID. Research other vendors you still need. Some of your other vendors may be able to help you figure out how to narrow it down, and even have questions you never thought about asking.
- Make a Backup Plan… but don’t stop planning.
Don’t panic, of course. Don’t cancel or postpone or reschedule if your date is not covered by a currently mandated closure. Have hope. But, if you do have to do something smaller, what will that look like? Your vendor team may be able to help you out with this too. We have some awesome alternatives for our couples. Can you have a smaller ceremony and then plan your reception later? Having a backup plan you feel good about can help ease stress.
- Make Something
Right now, we have been given a gift of time. It may not feel like that and some people may not like that I am taking that perspective… but we have to be able to shift our perspective if we want to keep our mental health. the best way to do that is to make something. That can be an actual craft or DIY project (we’re currently building raised planter beds in our yard and starting our seeds for our vegetables, fruits and flowers), or it can be something that helps you grow as a person. Want to learn a new language? Write a book? Learn how to play the guitar your fiance bought you but you can only strum one note on? Take a college class to up your professional game? Work on a project in your house? Learn how to bake an awesome dessert? Now is the time to do it.
- Work on something for the wedding.
Pinterest boards of ceremony decor, reception decor, photo ideas, flowers – that’s all a great distraction (poke around your wedding photographer’s gallery and blog posts for things to pin, too! You’d be surprised what you might find). You can also design your guest book, wedding website, save-the-dates, invitations, menu cards, and so much more right now. Figure out seating charts, and maybe play around with some virtual table setups and decor. Tackle as many of the tiny things as you can – we even have a checklist to help you.
- Get outside and go on an adventure.
Go for a walk if you can find a place with no one (or very few people) around. If you can’t do that, go for a drive. We took a nice little scenic road trip yesterday up to Deception Pass, Bowman Bay and then out to Oso – and never once got out of the car. The views were beautiful and we kept away from the crazy huge crowds of people that were stopped in all of those spots.
- Connect with others.
Set up Zoom or Skype calls or use MarcoPolo with your wedding party, and make COVID an off-limits topic. Talk about honeymoons or wedding plans or bachelor/bachelorette parties. Have a virtual wine or beer night. Play a card game over webcam. Play charades or pictionary or CatchPhrase.
- Have a date night.
Make dinner and do the cheesy “candlelight dinner on the floor” thing. Play a board game. Play the couples questions game. Play twister. Make a list of things you want to accomplish together in the next year. Play or learn a video game together. Do Mad-libs. Bringing back some of your childhood playfulness can be great for any relationship – and especially so now.
- Listen to Podcasts.
If you haven’t delved into the world of podcasts yet, you are missing out! There are podcasts for nearly every topic under the sun: wedding planning, business, marketing, true murder, meditation, Laser Stories, life, goal setting, and so much more. I am not an Apple user, so for my android I like to listen using CastBox.
- Help someone.
If you can get out and help others who need it (grocery store runs, picking up prescriptions, mowing an overgrown lawn for a neighbor who can’t leave their home, walking someone’s dog who can’t get out, donating food to hospitals and food banks, etc) then do it. Teach one of your passions virtually to students out of school. Do a “2020 COVID wedding couples” virtual meetup on Zoom or Skype. Help each other find the light during this planning period.
Don’t just look for the helpers, be a helper. And in that same thought – your comments can help other local couples planning their wedding during COVID.
How are you staying calm and finding peace and continuing to plan and nurture your relationships during this time?