My fiancee proposed to me on Valentines Day 2020, a day that was so special and I will never ever forget it. We are childhood sweethearts and have been together for a long time so I am blessed to have him both as my best friend and future husband.
We started planning straight away and by the next month on Friday 20th March, we booked our wedding date which was to be Saturday 17th April 2021. We were absolutely over the moon, we could not stop looking at each other smiling and spent the next few hours listening to different love songs and wondering what we will choose for our first dance.
As we now know, a few days later on Monday 23rd March, Boris Johnson announced we were going into lockdown and our lives were on hold.
Naively, like most people I believed the pandemic would last for a couple of months at the most. We were scared but also (without disrespecting those who have been affected,) it was quite nice for us both to work from home and spend so much time together when usually my fiancee commutes far and is gone 12 hours of the day.
My heart went out to all the people sharing their stories of cancelled weddings. But still, I didn't think it was going to affect us.
We are now almost a year on and the pandemic is as bad as ever.
A few months ago, when it was announced restrictions would be in place until March 2021, we decided with a heavy heart to move our date to September 2021. Although this was a difficult decision, once we had made it, we actually felt relieved that we could relax and start planning again.
However, a few more months have passed and even though the approved vaccines give light at the end of the tunnel. Yet, for those of us planning for our weddings, we still need to know how long the tunnel is before we feel any sense of relief.
We still don't know for certain if we can go ahead with our date, so although we want to be excited and count down the days, it feels naive to do that after everything that has happened.
It feels like a grey cloud looming over us. Somedays we are all excited and positive that we will be able to celebrate traditionally with all our family and friends. Then, other days there is talk of 'what ifs', would we move our date again or go ahead with restrictions?
There is so much uncertainty for everyone and sometimes I wonder how different wedding planning would have been if I didn't need to manage my expectations and almost stop myself from getting too excited.
I have still done some planning but with caution.
Some of the things I have done already include:
Setting the date, booking the venue, cars, photographer, hairdresser & flowers
I've bought my wedding dress and had my first fitting (although it is about 3 sizes too big, eek!)
I have appointed my bridesmaids.
Writing out a guest list.
Other things I haven't done and don't want to do until I have more certainty include:
Food tasting session
Meetings with photographers, florists, wedding cars etc.
Sending out invites (we didn't do save the dates, just texts to keep guest updated on changing dates!)
Planning our honeymoon, hen & stag dos.
Honestly the list goes on, so much feels on hold until I have some reassurance that this year will be different.
Overall, planning a wedding in a pandemic is an emotional rollercoaster. We still have the excitement and giddy feeling, it is just combined with an underlying worry that all our plans could be cancelled.
In the grand scheme of things, we know how lucky we are still both working and being in good health. That really is all that matters and on bad days we remind ourselves of that. That being said, sometimes you can only rationalise your own life and right now, all I want is to know that our wedding day can go ahead as planned.
What I'd pay for a certain 'end of pandemic' date! I think that is the main worry, we just have no idea when it will be all over.
To all the brides out there trying to plan, you are not alone. We are all in this together and eventually, we will be married and it will all have been worth it. Plus, it is going to be a great story to tell to our grandchildren!