Advice from a bride…

I know a lot of people have questions in regards to postponements so I have put together a series of blog posts in regards to COVID19 and weddings. I started with COVID19 & Your Wedding, a post about steps to take whilst thinking about postponing, now I’ve reached out to Harriet & Paddy one of my couples who have had to rearrange their wedding due to corona virus to get a real insight and advise for any couples going through a similar situation.

First off,  can you tell me a little about yourself? How are you feeling and what is your current situation?

Paddy and I have been together for 8 years and met in my first few months of university. We were due to get married this month but have postponed until February next year. 

We currently feel lucky as we are both happy, healthy, have each other, have work to keep us busy during lockdown, and a teeny tiny garden to escape to. Having to postpone the wedding comes with the obvious sadness and frustrations but it is something to look forward to post-lockdown! 

What was your original wedding date and at which venue? How many guests had you invited?

We will laugh in a few years time about it, but with having to postpone as a result of Coronavirus we are now on our third wedding date! We had originally booked our wedding for Sunday 3 May this year at Woolas Barn just outside York. At the time it was a bank holiday, and with many of our guests travelling long distances, people would be able to make the most out of a long (and hopefully sunny) weekend in York.  However a day or so after we posted out our Save the Dates, they announced they were moving the bank holiday to the week after meaning we were stuck with a Sunday wedding which wasn’t ideal! After an initial panic and frustration that we had wasted money on sending save the dates to our 70 or so guests, luckily all our suppliers were lovely, kind and flexible and let us move a day earlier to Saturday 2 May.

When did you start to think you may need to make alternative plans?

I had my hen do the weekend before lockdown and it was in the back of my mind during my hen do that we might need to change our plans, but at the time it was only as a passing thought. 

What was the deciding factor when it came to actually postponing?

Initially we thought we could maybe still get married just the two of us with two socially distanced witnesses and then have a party to celebrate post corona! Our venue was more than happy for us to do that. That obviously became impossible when the registrars confirmed they weren’t officiating weddings until at least July so it was at that point we knew we would have to fully postpone!

What were your priorities when deciding to rearrange your day, who did you speak to first and what kind of response did they have?

Our venue let us know their available dates if we needed to postpone pretty early on. Pre-corona, the venue were planning to close January through to March 2021 so had all those weekends available. I then got availability from our suppliers for February and March (January was a bit too cold for me!), once the final decision was made that we needed to postpone we were ready with dates that worked for us and all our suppliers!

Everyone has been so kind and accommodating, we made great choices with our suppliers! I’ve heard some horror stories from people working in the industry where couples have taken out their frustrations on them.

How did you find the reaction from your friends and family? How did you let them know?

As soon as we knew we were postponing, we messaged and called everyone straight away. A couple of our closest friends were travelling half way around the world to be at our wedding so they were first on our list to speak to. I felt slightly guilty and hoped everyone managed to get flights, travel, and accommodation refunds!

How did your vendors handle the situation?

AMAZINGLY. So so so kind and I can’t thank them enough!

Are you making any major changes to your plans?

None – beyond investing in a jacket to go with my  wedding dress that I had chosen with a spring wedding in mind! 

What was the most stressful/difficult part of rearranging? How did you overcome it?

I think we got very lucky! All our suppliers are independent businesses and have been so accommodating and flexible. I cannot thank them enough. I’m not sure we would have had the same experience if we were using large companies with less flexibility. 

How did you or how are you going celebrate your original date?

 Waking up on our wedding day morning was tough but my wonderful bridesmaids had made a video full of messages from our  friends and family that made me laugh and cry my eyes out in equal measures! We will definitely play it at some point when we finally get married!

Throughout the morning we had so many deliveries and door step drops  of flowers, alcohol, and cake from our lovely friends and family.

We then escaped for a few hours for a walk in the countryside and then in the afternoon we got dressed in proper clothes (not the standard lockdown comfy clothes!) and called all our friends and family as we realised people were worried to call us as they didn’t want to upset us! A lot of wine and cocktails were drunk while we listened to our wedding party playlist we had prepared and we had a three course meal delivered from a fancy restaurant!

What has helped you through this whole situation?

Having each other, the kindness of our friends and family, the calm and kind nature of our suppliers, and some good beers (ha!). Plus we now have longer to save for our honeymoon! 

Do you have any advice for other couples in a similar situation?

Stay calm as it’s not the end of the world, you still have each other and we have found everyone is so excited to celebrate with you after lockdown on your rearranged date! 

Do whatever makes you happy on what would have been your wedding day. We both put our wedding rings on as that’s what felt right to us.  Another friend who had to cancel their wedding had a Zoom with all their guests – it definitely wasn’t for me but that was worked for them. 

Be prepared to be flexible – I would have never imagined having a February wedding when we first got engaged!