You don’t need to read another blog about how unfortunate it is that weddings are being postponed, that brides and grooms are getting married without their wedding parties & guests, or how it’s affecting the wedding industry. Instead, you need ideas to help you move forward and get (almost) everything out of your wedding that you originally planned!
While the details and logistics of your wedding are sure to change, here are some ideas of how to create those lasting memories that you will cherish forever. And someday, you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren about how your wedding was flipped upside down because of COVID-19.
Your Wedding Party:
I’m sure you were looking forward to celebrating a Bachelorette party, having your nails done together, and a fun morning of getting ready. More than likely, none of that is happening now, or at least not to the scale you dreamt about. Now, your bridesmaids & groomsmen have spent money on dresses and suits/tuxedos but they may not be wearing them.
…or at least not on your wedding day. Even though they may not be with you when you say your “I Do’s” these are still your best friends. These people love you and want to celebrate with you.
Plan a photo shoot:
Get all the photos you would normally have gotten on your wedding day while having some fun together! Get everyone dressed up in their wedding clothes (yes, even go get your nails done together), find a beautiful location, and let your photographer do the rest. Although the photos aren’t being taken ON the day of your wedding, these ARE still your wedding photos – the photos with the people you are closest to and that you will treasure forever.
Night out with the girls:
I’m leaving the guys out of this one, because they probably don’t particularly love dressing up in suits to go out- but us ladies do! So you didn’t get a Bachelorette party, now is the time to make up for it. Your bridesmaids can wear their dresses and you can wear yours. Go out! You can go to dinner together at a restaurant, go miniature golfing or bowling, visit a winery or brewery, or even go to the bars downtown! Not only will you gain memories, you’ll make everyone who sees you smile!
Your Wedding Guests:
If your loved ones and friends couldn’t be at your wedding, take the wedding to them!
Keep in touch with snail-mail:
Send everyone on your guest list a photo collage of wedding photos from your day. Collect photos from anyone who may have snapped some on their phone and get creative! Choose your favorite candids, ceremony pics and a few from any celebration you had afterwards. You could go as simple as having these printed as post cards, or you could send them as formally as you did your wedding invitations. No matter how you share these pictures, be sure to include a heartfelt message to update your guests on “how you’re doing” or any future celebration plans.
You all could probably teach me a thing or two about using technology & apps to share good times and memories. So, be creative and use whatever your favorite methods are. Times being what they are, you probably have some kind of video recording of your ceremony. Use your discretion when sharing your entire wedding video; while it’s okay to share with your grandparents and best friends, your boss may not care to see the entire thing! Instead, create a short compilation of your favorite photos, the best parts of the ceremony (VOWS!!), and possibly some quick ‘interviews’ about the way you felt on your wedding day. This is also a great way to speak to everyone who couldn’t be there and share any future plans of gathering everyone together to celebrate.
If you have wedding favors that can be stored and used at a later date, when you may host your reception, then hang on to them. However, if you have wedding favors that won’t stand the test of time, find places to donate them in honor of your new marriage. Consider taking live items- like succulents or fresh flowers- to your church for distribution to shut-ins, or drop them at a local hospital for nurses and doctors to take home and enjoy. For food items- such as cookies or candies- check to see if your local food bank or homeless shelter would accept them. If they don’t, you could take them to your local police or fire stations as a way to say ‘thanks’ and brighten their day.
The Two of YOU!
Now that you’re married but can’t take the honeymoon you had planned, what do you do? There has to be some way to celebrate and make the week special besides just sitting around in quarantine looking at each other!
Recreate your first date:
A little bit of romance, and a lot of fun! Try to recreate as much as you can, from the tablecloths to the food. Find items around the house to ‘decorate’ in the style of your first date and just enjoy each other’s company. You can partner up to make all the details as accurate as you both remember them, or for a really good laugh, you could each recreate what you remember. One of you create the ‘date’ in the kitchen, the other create it on the patio. See your first date thru each other’s eyes, I’m sure “Him vs. Her” will be quite different and hilariously memorable. For another take on the first date, one of you could create the dinner setting while the other sets up for whatever “activity” you did. For me, it was the basic dinner and a movie (a really, really bad movie that we talked thru the whole time), but maybe you two went bowling or to a sporting event. Try to recreate as much of that as you can in your own home- I’m sure it will be just as entertaining as the first date!
Find somewhere to stay:
Your wedding deserves more than coming home to stare at your four walls during quarantine- so go stare at someone else’s! Think about if you know anyone locally who owns a lake cabin or camper that you could borrow. If possible, get away for a couple nights to somewhere besides your own home. If you can’t get away for the night, you could at least take some day trips. Hiking in state parks is currently the perfect (and acceptable) social distancing stay-cation. Get out in nature, hike, talk, picnic, and dream together of what you’re going to do when things get back to “normal.”
Get a pet:
This is not for everyone because it IS a lifetime (of the pet) commitment, but if you love animals and would get one anyway, make your COVID-wedding the perfect excuse to start adding to your family. Weddings are filled with months of intense planning and are typically “rewarded” with a honeymoon while you’re coming down from the wedding-high. Post-wedding, you’re also left with figuring out what to do with all the free time you suddenly have since you’re not planning. As long as you and your spouse both agree, a new pet could be the perfect “distraction” from the sudden “loss” that many brides feel when there’s no longer a wedding to plan for. Bringing a pet into the family will create a new dynamic of caring between the two of you while also providing a new source of entertainment/responsibility.
No matter what your COVID-Wedding turns out like, remember that the most important thing at the end of any day is that you’re married. For better or for worse, you have someone that you’re going to share life and make memories with.