Here we are again, friends.
This morning our (Northern Irish) government has announced further restrictions to weddings that has left so many couples frantically trying to salvage their wedding days. As it stands, here are our new restrictions:
- No more than 25 people will be allowed at a ceremony
- NO reception is allowed
Not a lot of wiggle room there. So. Where do you go from here? It's less than ideal, but as a vendor I will do my best to walk with you through it. If you're in doubt, always check with your local councillors who will advise you on specifics of new restrictions.
So in light of these new super restrictive restrictions what can you do? Read on as I help you walk through your options and hopefully help you decide what is the best steps for you and your partner.
What do you want?
Wow, most UNHELPFUL question ever right? But think about it, babe. What do you want? What is your priority? What is most important to you two as a couple?
Do you two just want to be married? Has it been a long time coming and all you want is to be able to call your partner your husband or wife?
Can you wait? Are you two happy to postpone (again in some cases) till you can have your PERFECT day with all of your family and friends there?
There is no right answer here. But what is best for you and your partner? I always tell my couples (even before this Covid mess) if you would marry this person in your jeans, then you know you've made the right choice. Are you happy to be married in your jeans? Well keep reading and let's sort through your options!
Want to go ahead?
YAY! You can do it! I know it seems daunting but at the end of the day you'll be married. AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS! Here's some things you should remember when deciding to go ahead with your wedding:
- Edit that guest list. "Okay, duh Kellie." But here's my advice: You can only have 25 people there, so focus on family first. And when I say family I mean immediate family. Who is on your guest list that NEEDS to be there? Mum, Dad, siblings, grandparents? I know it gets sticky, but we're all in this together. Politely explain to extended family the situation you find yourselves in. Let them know just how badly it stings but assure them that there will be a celebration in the future (if you decide to have one!) and they will ALL be there. Odds are your family will be elated for you regardless.
- Have a super tech friend or family member? Get them on that live stream action so your friends and family can watch your ceremony and celebrate with you from afar.
- Edit that bridal party. YIKES! I know. You've gone through all the motions of asking your gals and guys to stand by your side only to tell them, "Never mind!" But who do you NEED to be there? On your register, you just need one witness each. So I'd advise a Maid of Honor and a Best Man and add on more if you have the room. But start there. If it'll still be tight, cut all bridal party. Mum and Dad can be your witnesses!
- COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR VENDORS! We are here for you and we're all stuck in this weird time together. Let us know exactly what you're thinking so we can be there for you exactly as you need. We can also help answer questions and guide you in making choices!
How will it look?
The last thing I want to do is minimize the stress and heartbreak you've been through in having to change how your day looks, but I am here for the intimate wedding! Covid has forcefully made the intimate wedding a trend and if there is a silver lining in this whole thing then that's it. All that matters is that you end the day married, right? So let's run with it and make it the BEST day possible. Here are some ideas to make your new intimate wedding superb. Again, chat with your venue. They will let you know exactly how long you can be there and what your options are.
- If your ceremony is in a church, we'll get you hitched then go somewhere beautiful for some memorable photos! Plan a celebration for next year, and I'll come back and capture it all over again!
- Get married before God; do the legal stuff later. I'm all for this faux elopement method. Let's go somewhere incredible with your families, have the two of you exchange vows and rings, then have it legally done on paper at a later date. You'll be married but not "married" and have some incredible photos to remember your day by. Just think of all the amazing locations you could do your wedding photos! Then as soon as you can, head to the registrar's office, city hall or a church and make it legal!
Because these new restrictions are SO limiting we can't even go out for an intimate dinner celebration or even go back to Mum's for a cuppa. It is tough. But it's for the best; and we can still make the best out of it!
Want to wait?
Great! You're holding on for your dream day surrounded by your loved ones! And it will be so worth it! I know it may be a long wait, but I promise it'll be worth it. Here's a checklist to make sure your postponement goes as smoothly as possible:
- Make a list of your vendors and check with each of us. If you have a date in mind run it by each of us to figure out availability. If you don't have a date in mind, we'll help you find a date that we are free! Again, you aren't in this alone - we are all here to help you! Each vendor may have different policies, so check that contract to better understand our cancellation and rescheduling policies.
- If you need to find a new vendor due to a conflict with your new date, ask for referrals for another vendor in their similar style. Some vendors are also running deals and giveaways especially for couples who have had to postpone so keep your eyes pealed for those.
- Alert your guests of the new date. Some websites such as VistaPrint are now providing "Save our New Dates" that you can send out to your guests.
- Have someone help you! Recruit your Mum, Sister, Maid of Honor, bridesmaids (whoever!) to help you make lists of what needs to be done and who needs to be contacted. Delegate jobs between the two of you too! One of you contact your florist while the other contacts your photographer etc. Together you can get it sorted in no time!
- Breathe. Hang on to each other. Your day WILL come and it WILL be perfect!
You can do it. Whichever way you decide to go, whether you decide to spontaneously leave it all and have a special, intimate wedding on the cliffs with a party later, or decide to wait for your big day full of friends and family on a packed dance floor, you will be surrounded by love and support. We are all new to this. No one has planned a wedding during a pandemic before! Have grace for yourself and each other. This is stressful, no doubt about it! But at the end of the day, what matters? You two do. Do what is best for you and I guarantee you will be loved and supported through it. Hang in there! Remember: Love always wins!