Planning a wedding during Covid-19 | Advice from a real corona bride

Sarah Beth and Coleman were married in a beautiful ceremony and celebration on June 20, 2020 – right in the middle of a global health pandemic: Covid-19.   Their wedding day was absolutely perfect (you can see a recap here!), but it wasn’t at all what they initially planned for their big day.  Unfortunately 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year to be a bride.  Obviously this year has been challenging for many people for many different reasons, but I’d really like to focus on what it’s been like for a 2020 “corona bride.”  Sarah Beth has so graciously offered to share her experience with you all.  What it was like to plan a wedding during a global pandemic, what she was worried about and sad about, and how she felt about her big day after it was all over.  We truly hope this gives brides who are still dealing with changes around their big day a lot of hope and peace.

Tell us about the things that caused you stressed/anxiety regarding planning a wedding during a global pandemic:

We are living in a time of such uncertainty that we really don’t know what the next month will bring.  At the beginning of the pandemic, we thought that by June everything would be fine.  But as it got closer, we truly didn’t know if on June 20th we would be having a wedding or if we would be getting married at the courthouse.  Because of this, we were really forced into holding off on a lot of major decisions as long as we could.  Holding off on these decisions as long as possible meant a lot of last minute cramming.  We were really scrambling the last two weeks before our wedding and had things we needed not arriving until 2 days before (couldn’t have done it without you, Becky!).

What changes did you have to make to your original vision/plans due to hosting a wedding during COVID-19?

  • The biggest change for us was drastically cutting our guest list.  We had originally sent out save the dates to approximately 350 guests.  We cut our list to family, wedding party, and the two families who hosted our showers.  As difficult as it was, it was really important to my husband and me to not stray from this because all the guests who initially received save the dates from us are very special to us and we would never want them to feel otherwise.  Luckily our friends and relatives are amazing and were very understanding of the change, and just excited for us to be married.  My bridesmaids actually had many of the guests who could no longer join us write the sweetest letters for us to read the morning of our wedding.
  • We had originally booked a 9 piece band with horns and the whole deal for our wedding.  One of our biggest priorities was for our guests to have a great time on the dance floor. Due to Covid restrictions and limited space at our venue, we could not have this band.  Becky set us up with the Tim Tyler duo 2 weeks before the big day.  He was AMAZING and we were able to still celebrate all night long on the dance floor!
  • Another big change was the food.  I had an amazing buffet style dinner planned.  One of my favorite things about receptions is the yummy food and being able to pick out everything you want.  Of course this wasn’t really an option anymore. Savoie did a great job changing things up and preparing boxed dinners similar to the original menu we had before (this fit our venue and style a little better than a seated dinner).

Did you think you would be upset/miss out on anything due to the changes you had to make?

Prior to the wedding I was definitely upset about having to change our guest count, worried that we wouldn’t be able to celebrate/have a good time, and disappointed about not having the delicious buffet we planned.

What are your thoughts/feelings on your wedding day after it’s over?  Did it still end up being the best day of your life?

Our wedding day was absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t have changed a thing! More than anything I was just so ready to be married to Coleman.  We’ve been together for five years and have been through a lot together, but planning a wedding during COVID was by far the most challenging experiences.  In the end, the stress and buildup of the whole process led to one of the most peaceful, laid back wedding days, and it was everything I could have ever dreamed of.  In the end, all of the details, guests, music and food are wonderful, but the marriage is what really matters and COVID really put that into perspective.  My husband and I both agreed we felt so much less pressure having an intimate ceremony and crowd; it really helped with the wedding day nerves!  I definitely had some butterflies before my first look with Coleman, but other than that the rest of the wedding day just fell into place despite the crazy planning process and it was perfect!

What advice would you offer to brides who are planning weddings during COVID-19?

One thing I learned during the planning process is that everyone has different opinions about everything going on in the world today. Ultimately you cannot please everyone, and that can be a very stressful thing when you’re making these huge decisions. It’s important that we be respectful of everyone’s thoughts as we are all learning together.  It’s also important that we keep in mind the safety of others and do our part to protect those who are vulnerable.  We live in a culture where there tends to be a mainstream way to do things.  That’s what makes making those big changes right now so hard, because we want what we are used to seeing others do.  As uncomfortable as it is, change can be a great thing and make for an unexpectedly wonderful turn out.  It’s an opportunity for brides to come up with unique alternatives that work for them.  Weddings might look differently for the time being, but it doesn’t mean that marriage can’t still be celebrated.

 

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