Planning a wedding during a pandemic is a challenge. However, for my fiance and I, it was never an option for us to get married on a later day. We always knew that no matter what happened with the wedding — whether it went on as planned, if it was downsized, or if we couldn’t have one at all — we would still be meeting with an officiant and getting married on May 23rd, 2020. Here’s why we kept that date amid social distancing.
We found a way to celebrate as a group while respecting social distancing requirements.
Our guest list shrank from about 70 guests to 16. The wedding was held outside behind our church on a concrete slab near the pavilion (the trees in the background ended up looking beautiful!). We spaced out seating and set limits on the dance floor to adhere to social distancing. So much of the planning process was different from what I thought it would be like, but it didn’t matter. It was still magical.
The staff at the wedding venue was amazing as we figured it out.
This has been a stressful time, no doubt. But they have been in constant communication, always informing us of our options and possible next steps. With our guest list being smaller than expected after receiving RSVPs, they were even willing to accommodate. They sat no more than 10 at a table and spaced the tables apart. They also offered us the option of postponing the wedding to October because they had a cancellation. Having great vendors certainly helps to have a great pandemic wedding!
Close family and friends helped us pull all the details together last minute.
I bought my wedding dress during a lunch break from work, and we got our marriage license during one of my lunch breaks too. I bought silicone rings from Walmart. We made so many decisions last minute or even the same day — and I am so grateful for my talented friends and family for their help. Our officiant, our photographer, my sister for doing my makeup, and a friend who did my hair. I am grateful to my parents for getting us reservations for dinner and a hotel in Tampa afterwards too. In the end, a small, casual wedding really represented us as a couple. Although I am so excited to wear my fancy dress and veil at wedding #2, get pictures at a beautiful outdoor venue, eat good food and cake, and celebrate with everyone we love, I wouldn’t change a thing about our first wedding.
We didn’t miss out on all the wedding traditions.
Although it was different from what we had originally planned, I don’t regret a thing. Our guest list was obviously smaller. However, we were still able to have a wedding party, enjoy some socially distant dancing, and take wedding photos with family. We ultimately decided to postpone the big reception. It will be all the more amazing when we can invite our whole original guest list.
I know a lot of people who are engaged right now, some of which chose to postpone their weddings. That may work for some people, but for us, this was the best option. If you’re considering getting married despite everything going on in the world, I want to encourage you that it can be just as wonderful as you imagined.
A wedding is not about the decorations, the music, the pictures, or even the guests. It is about the two of you and the love you have for each other. It is about making a lifelong commitment to stay by each other’s sides. So even if every single aspect of your wedding looks different than you thought it would, there is one thing that will stay the same. It will be you and the person you love starting your lives together, and that is something beautiful no matter what else is going on in the world.
Featured image provided by the author.