Wedding Planning in a Global Pandemic

24th February 2021

Photo taken by John McMahon Photography
Love Letters by Fiona Newell Events

We have all watched the romantic movies; Father of the Bride, Runaway Bride, Mamma Mia, or even The Hangover. Each one of them had varying degrees of complications, mishaps and unexpected hurdles and obstacles thrown in their way on their journeys to the alter. Even the wildest imaginations of the greatest script writers in Hollywood couldn’t have come up with storylines to match the anguish, frustration, heartbreak and unimaginable disappointment that so many of our couples have had to endure over this past year. 

Since many of us were little girls we imagined and dreamt of how our wedding days would be; the handsome prince (or even the boy next door), the beautiful princess dress, the music, the dancing, how we would wear our hair, veil or tiara, the room full of all of our friends and family brimming with love and excitement. The only concerns and decisions we would have would be to decide whether to get married in a beautiful castle or on a beach on a tropical island, what song would the band be playing for the very important first dance as a married couple, how many people would manage to cram into the photobooth or what colour scheme or theme would we have. You found your handsome prince and all you had to do was plan your happily ever after. 

March 2020; it came rolling over the hills like a tsunami and a new reality hit. Plans that we had previously taken for granted were all thrown into doubt and the slow reality started to hit: the wedding may not be happening when or how we had always thought and dreamed it would be. That doesn’t mean it cannot and will not be as special and magical, it just means it will be a lot more difficult to plan. It means that you will have to be a lot more open to doing things differently and perhaps be resigned to the reality of having to wait longer than you had hoped to say “I Do”.

I have been working with so many couples throughout 2020 and continue to do so now in 2021. We are working together to change dates, reinvent new plans to make sure that their special days will happen, even if they are delayed a little. This is a brand-new situation for everyone and one we never imagined we would be in. Who would ever have put wedding planning and global pandemic in the same sentence pre-March 2020? With a little bit of flexibility, an open mind, a lot of patience and bucket loads of positivity it is time now to look forward to happy wedding days in 2021/2022 and beyond. 

If you have set a date for the first half of this year and you are nervous about what you should do, there are many things to consider and everyone’s situation will be different. You have decisions to make as a couple:

What is important to you? 

– Do you absolutely want a big wedding with 200 or 300 guests?

– Do you want to get married in Ireland or were you planning on a destination wedding?

– Do you want to have a live band?

– Do you want unrestricted dancing and mixing of your guests?

– Do you have friends or relatives that you really want to be at your wedding who have underlying health condition?

– Do you want a wedding with all the extra touches like photobooths, chocolate fountains, doughnut wall?

For some couples they will just want to get married regardless of what restrictions are imposed on them and for these couples a small intimate wedding call be truly special and beautiful. 

For many more couples they do not want to get married under these circumstances and feel they have no option other than to postpone until later this year or even push the date out until 2022. This is such a difficult decision to have to make but once you have made it the next steps are very important to minimise stress and to ensure that you bring as many of your previously booked wedding suppliers with you to your new date. After all, if you chose them in the first place you obviously love what they have to offer.

A few steps to follow when changing your wedding date that will make life a lot easier for you both:

Firstly, contact your venue and church and ask them to give you a list of three or four alternative wedding dates later in the year or next year, depending on what you have decided to do.

Send this list of dates to all of your other suppliers and get them to check their availability and let you know what they have free ASAP. 

Ask your venue if they would provisionally hold those dates for you for a few days (they aren’t obliged to hold them for you but definitely worth asking)

One date will hopefully stand out when most of your suppliers are available. Lock in the new date as soon as possible with your venue, church and suppliers and ask them if they can transfer your booking deposit to your new date. If one of your suppliers are not available for your new date, ask them if they can recommend someone for you. You have now secured your new date and all of your suppliers so it time to once again be excited about getting married! Don’t allow this pandemic to rob any more excitement and happiness from your weddings plans…it has taken enough already!

Our lovely chocolate fountain in action

It is time now to start to dream again. It is time to be excited again. It is time now to believe that the day that you have planned in your head for so long will be even more magical than you had ever hoped it would be.

We all need your weddings to look forward to. We need the joy in our lives that each wedding day brings with it. We have all been on this journey together and remember, albeit a little delayed and with a lot more stress than you could ever have imagined, you will still be walking down the aisle with the person of your dreams and that, ultimately, is all that really matters.

Stay safe everyone,