As I sit here and type in my dress fitting studio, it’s a gorgeous day outside. The sun is shining, the sky is blue – a beautiful wedding day.
For many of you, your weddings will have been put on hold for now due to the coronavirus. When Boris Johnson proclaimed that social gatherings couldn’t take place for the time being, my heart sank for all the brides-to-be I’ve met and, of course, all the brides I haven’t. Your wedding day has been in the planning for months, maybe even years and for it not to go ahead is, well, not in the plan.
I understand how disappointed you are but there are some things that you can do to stay positive.
First things first – move the date
Something you can do straightaway is move the date. It sounds easy but might be a little complicated as you’ll have to coordinate all the different people and businesses involved in your day.
It’s a good idea to select a new date for your big day as soon as you can, and I’d recommend sometime next year as we don’t know how long this current situation is going to last. The venue should be fine with you doing this but bear in mind that they will have 2021 weddings booked in already – you might not be able to have the exact date you’d like. Try to be flexible and patient. This also applies to caterers if you’re using them, photographers, hairdressers and any other business that you’re employing for your special day.
It makes sense to go for a similar time of year unless you think your dress and those of your bridesmaids could work all year round. It may be that you need to invest in something to keep the wedding party warm if you change from a summer wedding to a winter one, say.
If you’re going to incur costs by moving the date, check your wedding insurance, if you have it. The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event so look for wording such as ‘act of God’ (i.e. something that you can’t control).
And then if you want to use this time to change venue completely, check the small print of the contract that you’ve signed. You likely paid a deposit and that may or not be refundable.
OK that’s the serious bit out of the way. You have a new date and that will no doubt make you feel positive and calm that your wedding celebration is going to happen!
Couples often wish that they could have just a little more time to work on the finer details of their big day and now’s your chance! If you were always a little concerned about sitting Auntie Pam next to your groom’s best mates from school, you can have another go at the seating plan. Were you considering doing a speech but didn’t have the time to write it? You have plenty of time now to not only write it but practise it too. And that first dance … they’ll be calling you up to Strictly Come Dancing after they see the new Mr & Mrs with their choreographed ‘show’!
Use this time wisely to make sure that your new wedding day is as perfect as you can make it.
As much as being in isolation is very strange, we are all saving money and for wedding couples, this could be very handy. If you had to make compromises on your big day before, see this as the opportunity to save more for your wedding fund so that you can afford what you really wanted.
You can start dreaming about that desert island honeymoon, Jimmy Choo wedding shoes or that designer wedding cake you saw on Pinterest! If, however, your savings will now stretch towards the venue of your dreams, do consider my point above. Your existing venue might not be willing to refund your deposit.
The original wedding date
When your original wedding date comes around, you are bound to feel at least a little sad. That’s ok, you know: we have all been thrown by these circumstances and we’re all allowed to be disappointed about cancelled plans.
I suggest that you have some fun on your original wedding date, though, and still mark the occasion. It’s been on the calendar for quite a while after all! Here are my top suggestions.
- Pop some fizz and catch up with your family and friends. You can do this over the phone but seeing your family and friends’ faces and would be more special. Dress up in something nice and don’t be afraid to remember what you should be doing at that time (“Now the hairdresser would have been arriving” etc) as you go through the day.
- You and your fiancé could prepare a unique meal for the day. Maybe splash out on steak or make a complicated dish together or even try to make the wedding breakfast you had planned!
- Eat cake! Order a cake in the same flavour as your wedding cake and really enjoy it! You can even cut it together as well – may as well get some practise in for your wedding day. I just don’t recommend you order a cake as big as your actual wedding cake – that’s a lot of walking round the block for your daily exercise!
- Plan ahead and write each other a love letter for the other to open on the morning of what would have been your wedding day. If you had written your own vows, save those for the big day and make this something a little ‘lighter’ but still as meaningful. It’ll get your day off to a beautiful start.
- You are likely to have had to move your honeymoon so use your special day in isolation to plan your new honeymoon. That might mean starting from scratch (if you know you’ll be able to claim your money back from the original) or, if you’ve just moved the dates, you can research local beauty spots that you might want to visit as well as great bars and restaurants. By the end of the day you’ll be so excited about your post-nuptials holiday that you’ll be donning a bikini and finding the sun lounger in the shed!
- This might be my favourite – pose for photos! This will be a fun memento of your wedding day for you to look back on and you’ll be able to create a photobook of the day to show future generations!
I know it’s tough having to move your wedding date, but it really is out of your control. As a wedding dress alteration specialist, I would recommend that you try on your dress every now and again to see how it’s fitting (behind closed doors of course!). If your dress does need altering when life returns to ‘normal’ then see me or your bridal gown seamstress asap to discuss what needs to be changed. The more time we have the better!
In these weird times, it’s important to stay positive and look forward to celebrating your marriage to the one you love with family and friends when everyone’s well and it’s safe to socialise. Think how much everyone will be looking forward to it! This is going to be an amazing story for the grandchildren …