My last post talked about our blogging hiatus and one of the reasons for this was because we’ve been planning our wedding! Last Saturday was supposed to be our wedding day. Sadly, due to the current lockdown restrictions in place, it was postponed. We knew that planning a wedding in 2020 would probably take a little extra wedding planning. Although, we didn’t expect to have to cancel it.
We had reached a point where we had the entire wedding and honeymoon planned to perfection. Save the dates had gone out and we were finalising invitations. We had about two weeks to go before the big day.
(Yes, I know that sounds late in the day to be sending invitations out. Although to be fair, we’d planned the entire thing from start to finish in about six weeks flat. It was lockdown, after all. We had absolutely nothing better to do, and it’s not like our guests had any other plans!)
But then… Boris dropped his big fat rule of six bombshell and reduced wedding ‘guest’ lists to a maximum of 15. Of course, that changed everything.
Why Were we Planning a Wedding in 2020 Anyway?
Some might say we’re totally bonkers for planning a wedding in 2020 during a coronavirus crisis. But at the time we were planning ours, we thought we knew what we were dealing with. The summer wedding season was almost over and many people had already postponed their nuptials until next year at least. So that left wedding venues open to the idea of accepting smaller wedding bookings at weekends. Ordinarily, the wedding venue we have chosen would only take such a small booking on Mondays to Thursdays.
The main reason for planning a wedding in 2020 is because there’s no chance of our guest getting out of hand. I used to work as a waitress for large weddings at various stunning wedding venues. I used to love it because they were always such happy occasions; it never felt like work. However, the one thought that would frequently run through my mind at every event was;
“That poor bride!”
Why Poor Bride?
I always feel sorry for the bride because there are so many demands on her on her wedding day. I mean, when does she get to relax with her partner so the two of them can enjoy their day? There is so much pressure on her for every single detail to be perfect. On the run-up to the day, she organises absolutely everything. But then comes the big day…
On the day, she must look like a princess, be the centre of attention and be sure to make every single one of her guests feel welcome. Not only that, but half of them she probably doesn’t even know. The couple probably only invited them because ‘so and so will get upset if we don’t’. The wedding day ends up not being about the married couple but everyone else.
But the bit that really fills me with terror is that on top of all this pressure, she then has to walk down the aisle… With everyone staring at her! While completely keeping her shit together mind you! Can you imagine how completely terrifying that must be?
I have never wanted to feel like that on my ‘BIG’ day. I’ll settle for a small one thank you! Thankfully, Paul is happy with this, which left us with a few possible options:
I had always pictured myself having a destination wedding somewhere so inconvenient that nobody would want to come. I know that sounds utterly selfish, but I really am that terrified of walking down the aisle. Although right now, with rules on travel changing every five seconds, planning an overseas wedding is practically impossible.
The only other alternative would be to get married in a registry office. Under normal circumstances, we may have chosen to go down that route. But when all fun has been cancelled, that just seems a bit sad and well… Unceremonious.
At the time of booking our wedding, the rules allowed 30 ‘guests’ in attendance for the ceremony and reception. Receptions were only allowed to be in the form of a sit-down meal, which we were totally fine with. The restrictions would still enable us to create a guest list accommodating our close friends and family.
The circumstances surrounding coronavirus meant that inviting loads of people we didn’t want there was out of the question. Feeling more than happy with that situation, we booked our wedding at Oddfellows on the Park, in Cheadle. But then the new restrictions limiting wedding celebrations came into play…
A Little Side Rant About ‘Guests’
I’m saying ‘guests’ in inverted commas because Boris’s idea of ‘guests’ is not the same as mine! My definition of a guest is someone I choose to add to my guest list. By the government’s explanation for lockdown purposes, I count as a guest at my own wedding! As does my husband to be. Photographers and other third party suppliers also count as ‘guests’, and so do the registrars! What?
The photographer and other third party suppliers, I completely understand. After all, it’s your choice whether you have them there or not. However, it’s MY bloody wedding, I am not a guest, and neither is the groom! The registrars are not guests either. I didn’t bloody invite them; they have to be there by law! How dare they take up space where my beloved friends or family might be!
So in my view, the decision to further reduce wedding parties to allow only 15 guests is an absolute joke! As seen above, 15 doesn’t actually mean 15. Minus the happy couple and the registrars, what that leaves is a guest list of 11.
The Agonising Wait
When we heard the news, we were devastated. We knew we would have to decide between postponing our day or dramatically reducing our guestlist. Initially, we were anxious that the venue might hold us to our contract, insisting that our wedding must go ahead. Which, of course, they would have been perfectly entitled to do.
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but for us, that meant having to decide which of our nieces and nephews we uninvite. Our nieces and nephews! Some of them have never been to a wedding before so you can imagine how excited they were. To have to uninvite them would be too disappointing. For us, never mind them!
You can’t imagine the relief we felt upon receiving an email from our wedding planner saying:
“When the guest limit was 30, we were fully prepared to open and work with the restrictions. However, when this was dropped to 15, we had to delay our opening. As you can imagine the majority of our events and weddings wanted to then postpone or cancel when this news was announced as they were working on 30 guests if not more. The core of our business is events, and while the government are restricting us hosting any, it is more cost-effective to keep our doors closed than it is to staff and run an empty hotel.”
Our Wedding Day is Not Just About us
Of course, we’re a bit miffed that our wedding day didn’t go ahead. But all the wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and suits will keep until all this nonsense is over.
More than that I feel sorry for our guests who have bought new outfits and shared our excitement. Even more than that, I feel sorry for the staff at Oddfellows our florist and photographer. They have all been so fantastic about the whole thing. Meanwhile, this situation is doing untold damage to their businesses and their families.
We were always aware that this year may not be the smartest time to plan a wedding. And of course, we’re both extremely grateful that both ourselves and all our friends and family are safe and well. There are many people out there who have lost a lot more than their wedding day due to coronavirus. Our hearts go out to them.
We’ve rescheduled our wedding day until next spring. Between now and then, please can everyone keep themselves safe. Wash your hands like billyo and please wear a mask everywhere you go. It would be lovely if we could get transmission rates down. Hopefully, then small businesses can get back to normal and engaged couples all over the country can finally tie the knot.
We can’t wait for all this nonsense to be over, and we can all get back to normal. When we do, maybe we’ll have a massive party with an extended guest list to celebrate our wedding anniversary!
For now, massive hugs to everyone who was planning a wedding in 2020 or was planning to attend a postponed wedding. And a gigantic group hug to anyone who runs a wedding-related business! We sincerely hope you recover from this soon.
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