Many of you will know me as one of the event planners for optimum weddings, but I am also an optimum bride to be! I was due to get married on 21st June 2020 in Marbella, and needless to say that didn’t happen. In March 2020 we tentatively got a backup date in for September 2020 and then only two weeks later made the decision to postpone until June 2021.
2020 was the forgotten year for weddings, but if you had asked any of us we would have been almost certain that 2021 would bring new hope and weddings would return in all their former glory. Now, I am definitely a planner when it comes to preparing for any and every possibility and so in November 2020 I spoke with Dyana and Jess, and we got a backup date pencilled in for June 2022. We didn’t think we would need it but with 2022 being what is known as a “double wedding year”, I wanted to make sure that we had a date pencilled in with all of our preferred suppliers.
The news of the vaccine rollout starting was definitely a positive end to what can only be described as an awful year! However, in the UK, we started 2021 with the gloomy prospect of a three-month National lockdown. I spoke with my fiancé and we decided that the chances for a “normal” June wedding were looking rather slim. We have elderly relatives and we knew that even once they have been vaccinated, they would likely be uncomfortable flying and being around a large group of people who would likely still be unvaccinated. We have been incredibly cautious since last March and we also were not particularly thrilled with the prospect of jumping around and dancing with over 100 people who are not vaccinated. If the vaccine rollout goes to plan in the UK, then I will likely be vaccinated in July or August and so the same goes for a lot of our guests.
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We decided in the first week of January to postpone to 19th June 2022. Yes, it seems like a lifetime away, but when you have already postponed twice, a third time doesn’t seem so awful. We had plenty of people ask why don’t we just get married here and have a micro wedding, or at the very least have our legal civil ceremony this summer and our religious ceremony next summer? The truth is, a micro wedding was never something which I wanted. I think they can be beautiful and intimate and if that is something that you want, then by all means go ahead. However, I have been dreaming of my wedding day since I was five years old and I danced along the beach in Marbella singing “I am going to get married here one day”. I know that if I compromised I would regret it and would always think what if I had waited, and my motto is never to have “what ifs” in my life. The reason why we decided against having our civil ceremony a year before our religious one, is because we want to have the build-up and excitement of doing it all together. Also, we were worried that if we did them so far apart, then the party might become irrelevant to both us and our guests. Yes, if you have close friends then they should celebrate with you whenever your wedding is, but to fly out for a wedding a year after the actual legal wedding might seem a bit less of a priority to some people.
When we postponed the first time back in March 2020 I was in pieces. I couldn’t believe that despite planning for everything, a virus which none of us saw coming had just snatched my wedding away from me. I went into planner mode and worked with my wonderful team at optimum to get everything in place, but the emotional upset was undeniable. I was incredibly worried that my partner and I would have to go through the same pain all over again when we postponed this month. However, the truth is that we both felt relieved and not that upset. I think we knew that postponing was a possibility and when you have already done it twice, you are pros at it! Honestly, I felt a wave of excitement once we had postponed as I knew that we had made the best decision for us and that this way we CAN and we WILL have our dream wedding.
We have been living together for over a year and so to all extents and purposes we are like a married couple, and therefore it didn’t seem like a big problem to wait another year for the legal certificate. For my fiancé and I, the most important thing was and is to be happy and together, rather than rushing down the aisle. I think every couple is different, but what I would say is that everyone will always have an opinion on what you should do, and whilst they are free to have these opinions, the decision is solely down to you and your partner. Our families play a big part of our weddings and so it is easy to get consumed by their views, but ultimately the wedding is between you and your fiancé and it really is that simple. Yes, in an ordinary world a three-year engagement seems a little excessive, and my best friend reminded me that I always said I wanted no more than a year of being engaged. However, is anything normal right now? 2020 and to some extent the best part of 2021 was and is likely to be the years where the past norms will have gone out of the window. We got through this pandemic by changing our lives and what we knew life to be, so it is not really that surprising that the expectations regarding engagements and weddings will have inevitably changed.
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If you have your wedding planned for 2021, then please don’t give up hope just yet. I do believe that the second half of the year will see a return for weddings, once the majority of the population have been vaccinated. If you have a wedding planned for the first half of this year then it is worth seeing if it is possible to get a backup date in place just in case it is necessary. There are so many weddings which have been moved from 2020 to 2021 and now to 2022 and so the demand for weekend bookings is huge. My advice to any couples who are not sure if they want to postpone or just cancel is to strongly consider postponing one last time. You will likely have waited for so long already that an extra year is not that much more and it will be a brilliant way to hopefully celebrate with your loved ones in the way in which you had always imagined. I don’t think any of us could predict having to reschedule twice or three times, but take it from someone who has, it is the best decision we have made. It has given us something to look forward to at the end of what seems like the longest and darkest tunnel and it has given us a sense of security in knowing that we don’t need to spend the next few months in limbo and worrying. 2021 will be a year of recovery for everyone’s mental health, for businesses, for travel and for weddings and 2022 will hopefully be the year when we are free to live our lives once again.
As wedding planners, we are always here for our clients to help them with anything which they might need. However, I am a bride to be as well as a planner and so I am going through it with you at the same time. I know how much I have valued support from others going through this and so please know that all of the optimum weddings team are here for you, even if it is just a chat that you need. So, brides and grooms to be, stay positive, keep the faith that it will be ok and just make the decision which is right for you and you alone, and whatever that choice is, it will be the right one.