3rd June 2020

Holding off until the last minute.

Next in the little series of blog in regards to coronavirus, to help support couples in the same situation. I’ve spoke to David & Sophie who were due to be married just last week in Northumberland.

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

Hi – we’re David and Sophie, from Newcastle. We got engaged in April 2018 and booked our original wedding date 2 months later. We’ve postponed our wedding to May 2021, we were fortunate enough to be offered a bank holiday date that all our suppliers can make so are feeling really lucky to be able to just move everything by a year!

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

We were due to get married 30th May 2020 at St Maurice Church followed by a wedding reception at Ellingham hall in Northumberland, which is an exclusive venue that offers package deals (weekend, weekday, peak and off-peak). We had 80 day guests confirmed and were holding on until the last minute to see if the wedding could go ahead.

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

In March the venue offered us the choice to hold a backup date – just in case. They were originally only offering alternative dates up until 31 March 2021, although all weekend dates were already taken, so we only had the option for a weekday wedding. We decided to go with Thursday 17 September as our backup and felt positive things would be back to normal by then. However, early on in May we began to have doubts about the September date, so secured a second date from the venue which we have now decided suits us better, even if it means we have to wait a bit longer. The church were really flexible and said they could work around whatever date we went for, which was a huge help as we are now getting married on a bank holiday Monday.

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

We knew we wouldn’t be able to have the wedding we had planned – ie a big 2 day affair with all our family and friends. Initially we were considering going ahead with a small ceremony only this year and postponing the celebrations to next year, however when Sophie got teary watching an episode of say yes to the dress we decided we still wanted the ‘big day’ with all our friends and family, and all the trimmings and excitement that a wedding day bring! It’s a once in a lifetime event and we have invested so much financially and emotionally that ultimately we decided it will be worth the wait if we can still have the day we dreamed of. It was hard to readjust to having a 2021 wedding date as you do start to plan your life around your wedding date, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a small price to pay.

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

The first people we contacted were our close family and friends to make sure they could make it. After that we contacted our lovely vicar, who immediately confirmed he could do the ceremony, followed by our suppliers including our brilliant photographer Dan McCourt 😉

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

Very positive and supportive all the way through. We had a mini celebration when our new 2021 date was confirmed!

How did your vendors handle the situation?

Our vendors have all been super helpful and thankfully able to accommodate our new date next year

Are you making any major changes to your plans?

No changes to our original plans, this is the reason we have decided to postpone a year to allow things to settle down and for us to have the day that we had originally planned.

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

The most stressful part was at the beginning of the pandemic when things were a little bit more up in the air. It started when we were unsure whether our respective stag (Budapest) and hen (Edinburgh) parties would be able to go ahead, and at this stage we didn’t yet have a backup wedding date. Once we had the September date confirmed we were able to relax slightly, although doubt soon started to creep in again as we started to see news reports declaring it would be ‘18 months’ before things returned to normal. Whilst we took out insurance with John Lewis when we first booked our venue, we were well aware that unless the wedding was cancelled due to circumstances outside of our control we wouldnt be covered, therefore we had to be mindful of this when making the decision to postpone. Thankfully, we’ve managed to extend our cover to next year, and now that we have a new date in 2021 that everyone can make (family, friends and suppliers) we can finally relax and start to look forward to the day again.

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

We booked a few days off work to keep the long weekend as we wanted to mark our original date and make it a positive and celebratory weekend. Some of our favours etc have the 2020 date on so it will be always be special to us. In the morning we put on our wedding rings, and Ellingham hall were kind enough to let us have a picnic in the grounds of the hall with our family, which was lovely. We had half hoped there would be acid rain on our original date (!) but in the end it was wonderful to bask in the sun and drink champers. We also picked up some tasty fillet steaks from block’n’bottle and a bottle of Dom perignon so we could have a special date night at home. We were also due to go on honeyMoon to santorini after the wedding, so one lovely friend bought us a santorini board game which we will play this week whilst enjoying wine and antipasti!

What has helped you through this whole situation?

I know it sounds so cheesy – but each other. Spending lockdown together has just strengthened our resolve if anything, and we just can’t wait to be legally able to call each other husband and wife! The support of everyone around us has also been invaluable and we feel so lucky to have such wonderful people around us. Despite a pandemic ruining our wedding plans, we feel very very lucky.

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

Two bits of advice..:
– David’s advice: it’s such an uncertain time that you have to decide what you want as a couple for the day. Only the couple can decide what is right for them.
– Sophie’s advice: stay in touch with your venue/vicar/registrar to see what your options are and keep an open mind. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when we made the decision to postpone, even though it wasn’t an easy one to make.

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