Maybe you're here because you're going to be or supposed to be a 2020 bride or groom. Maybe you're supposed to be a guest at a wedding this year. Maybe you're just here because you're bored. Either way, I look at it as more proof that no one is going through this year totally alone.
For the people who planned on getting married in 2020- you're definitely not alone. Not only do we have five people in our office who were supposed to get married this year, I was supposed to go to 13 weddings in 2020. So far, I've been to zero. It hurts me that so many people are so sad about having to have this big dreamy day altered, but after I decided to postpone my wedding for more than a year, I have some thoughts that could maybe help you.
For the couples
Go figure all of this happens on our year, right?! Everyone already doubted I'd ever get married, and now the actual universe is trying to mess it up! but it's okay. We're resilient, and it's setting us up for some interesting things to tell our kids. It's also putting us through some marriage tests that others didn't face beforehand.
Making the decision is the hardest part, I think. Whether you decide to postpone, have a small celebration, or go through with everything as planned, I think the earlier you make the decision and stick with it, the better. At this point, I don't think anything is going to get better in 2020. We're stuck with what we have now. So whatever works for you, make it happen, accept it, and start finding ways to be excited about the new dreamy-day you have coming. Each decision comes with pros and cons, unfortunately... but once you know what is most important to you, stick with it and don't let people sway you. [Again, as long as it's what you want and you haven't already been swayed.] It should be a decision you make with your partner, not everyone around you.
Let's say you want to go through with it. Being married ASAP is the most important thing to you. It's your person and your date and your year and no one is going to change that! You can still make it a special ceremony and I've seen so many beautiful setups that can really inspire you. There are also so many articles and blogs and such of people saying having it be intimate was more meaningful than they could have imagined! You can stream it for people, or not. Throw a big party when all this unknown nonsense is over! You can also still invite everyone and have a socially distanced wedding with masks, too. I think the important thing is remembering that you're doing it for you, and the downside to this option is that you can't be selfish. A wedding day is one of the few times in life we're allowed to be selfish, but getting married in 2020 takes that pass right out of our hands. Some people will feel uncomfortable, and that's okay. Don't let it mess up any friendships or relationships. [I swore I'd never talk to anyone who didn't show up to my wedding but... guess I'll have to consider it.]
If you want to postpone, that gives you more time to get creative, DIY, save money, see if other vendors are better or cheaper! It also gives me entirely too much time to be looking at random things to buy and forget that I got them, but hopefully I can get that under control. I'd say this is the best option if the party is the biggest deal to you. For us, nothing is going to change with marriage. We already live together, have some combined finances, and I don't plan on changing my last name. So while I'd love to have that "I'm married" twinkle in my eye, I can wait for it.. and I can buy all sorts of retinol products to hopefully prevent any further wrinkling.
One thing I keep reminding myself is that I don't have it bad at all. As someone who is still getting to work, from home, without kids... having to postpone my wedding day is no big deal. Think about the Olympians who have trained for the 2020 Olympics every day of their lives since they were 5 years old. Now they're having to train again, hoping their body is still in worldly shape in a year, and that no one else has come out of nowhere and passed them in the rankings.. and that's to say the Olympics even happen next year. I don't think we can say they definitely will at this point. I can't even begin to imagine that pressure and disappointment.
Also the nurses, parents, service industry, small business owners, athletes, college and high school students, and of course the wedding industry- they all have a much harder life than I do right now. Sure, I have to stare at 10/10/2020 on some flashlights that I ordered and wait an extra year to get registry items, see my friends, and have a ring on my finger... but they're missing out on really key moments that shape lives, the ability to keep their business open, sanity, alone time... and losing a year's worth of income as they graciously help us postpone our big days without much extra cost. It has me feeling like I SHOULD pay double for things [but also, that'd be really tough so I can not].
I don't want to make you feel like you don't have a right to be sad about the situation, because you absolutely do. I just like to put things into perspective so I'm not dwelling on it all the time. I took 48 hours to mope around and feel a bit numb, then I started planning the new day, and something to look forward to on my original date. It helps.
For the guests/invitees
I'm sure you already know how stressful it has been for us, so just be understanding and kind with whatever decision the couple makes. Be there physically but safely if you can be, but don't be afraid to stay away if you'd prefer that. There are so many ways people can be there for each other besides physically being in their presence, as a lot of us have discovered this year.
If your people are going through with it but you don't want to attend, send them something that can arrive on the morning of their celebration so they can feel your presence. Doesn't have to be big or just the wedding gift... maybe you can coordinate something with a family member and have an inside-joke-inspired gift to be given, or a bottle of champagne to be popped in your honor. Send a video message to them. Anything counts, I think, as long as it's done with the best of intentions and care.
If they decide to postpone, you could always send a gift to help them feel better, but all I wanted was some alcohol and a video chat with my bridesmaids. I felt so much better after chugging a bottle of wine while they all watched me virtually. Help come up with ways to celebrate them on the original date, even if it's something small. Just be supportive and understanding in their decision, and be excited about the new date. I knew it would be expected and somewhat relieving for everyone, but it still pissed me tf off when one person just responded with "oh, good. That makes me happy." MY STRESS AND SELFLESSNESS MAKES YOU HAPPY!?!??!?!?!!??? *breathe.* All I wanted to know was that each person was already putting the date in their calendar so they wouldn't make other plans.
These are just some of my thoughts, as the resident brideCHILLa. If you're dealing with a 'zilla, things might be a little different.. but who knows, maybe this will put them in their place. 🙃
Here's to a jam-packed 2021, marriages that can last through challenging times, and the most epic parties ever, because people will need it. [Unless they lose all their partying stamina, which.... I need that not to happen.] If you need someone to drink a bottle of wine and vent to, you know where to find me. You can also join us via podcast!