Since my fiancé and I got engaged in July 2019, I’ve been on cloud nine. By the end of September, we’d set a date (June 13, 2020), picked a venue, bought a wedding dress, and hosted an engagement party. Fast-forward to March 2020 and our world — like many others — have been flipped upside down. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, our wedding has been postponed; I've already canceled my bridal shower and canceled our Italy honeymoon.
It all happened so fast. Just last month, my parents, my maid of honor, and two of my closest family friends flew down to Boca Raton, Florida — my fiancé's hometown — where my future mother-in-law threw me an intimate and incredible engagement party. It was filled with tons of love, laughter, and, of course, tons of bridal-themed treats and endless mimosas. A few days after we returned home to New York, my fiancé and I ordered our wedding bands. And the next week, my mom received a call from my bridal shower venue. The shower was supposed to be on March 22, but the venue canceled on us in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Needless to say, I was gutted. But I figured we’d reschedule the shower and move on with the wedding and honeymoon accordingly. I even called my travel agent to check in, and she said she didn't expect any issues with our upcoming Italy honeymoon! My fiancé and I talked about it for a week, and ultimately decided that given the outbreak in Italy it was better to reschedule the trip so we can fully enjoy it at a later date. Fortunately, we had purchased Cancel For Any Reason insurance, so we will receive a full refund.
The same week we canceled our honeymoon, we called the temple we're getting married in and were offered two back-up dates: one for this coming August — which still may not be far enough out — and one for May 2021. We settled on these two dates because I wanted a Saturday night wedding and hoped for warm weather; aside from the August date, there were no Saturday nights available until February 2021 — and at that point, I felt it was worth it to wait another 12 weeks until May to have better weather. While it's stressful that there's no confirmed date when it'll be OK to stop social distancing, I'm relieved to have two back-up dates scheduled.
Since we had put a deposit down with the temple for our original date already, we did not have to make another deposit. Fortunately, my caterer, florist, band, and photographer are not charging me to rebook, either. In my experience, my vendors have been extremely accommodating and understanding of the situation.
However, ever since my bridal shower was canceled, my life has been an emotional roller coaster. The thought of having to wait another 14 months to say “I do” in front of all of our family and friends is heartbreaking to me. Even writing these words, my stomach starts to churn. My fiancé has been handling this situation pretty well; instead of being upset, he simply views the postponement as an "annoyance." Meanwhile, I've been crying into a bowl of ice cream (and a tall glass of white wine) for the past eight days. While I realize that my marriage is way more important than the wedding itself, I’ve always dreamed of getting married in front of my nearest and dearest — so the sooner I can make that happen, the better I’ll feel.
This experience has been unnerving for me, but I know I'm privileged. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a loving support system of family and friends. My heart truly breaks for those who have lost their jobs. But I'm also sad for myself and for fellow brides who have been forced to push their plans back.
Instead of typing this essay right now, I should be celebrating my bridal shower. I was supposed to be hugging my friends, sipping Champagne, and taking endless pics for the ‘gram. Obviously, this is not the case. Instead, like everyone else, I’ve been (pretty much) inside my home all day — my fiancé and I are both working remotely now — with the exception of my daily walk around the neighborhood.
The idea of “letting go” of my original date and vision is, in a way, like a loss. My sadness comes and goes in waves. After a much-needed, tear-filled therapy session (over the phone, of course), my therapist assured me that what I’m experiencing is grief. She said that while nobody I know has died, I'm essentially in mourning. She also encouraged me to view this situation as a two-sided coin: On one side, the situation is devastating. There’s no doubt about that. It's OK to hold space for that sadness. But on the other side of the coin, there’s endless opportunity. Even if my wedding isn’t until 2021, I’ll still get married and have the day I’ve always dreamed of. I don’t know when (or where) I’ll have my honeymoon, but it’ll happen eventually. So will my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding. These milestones will still happen, and they'll be beautiful.
The situation is out of my control, but I can continue to practice gratitude and acknowledge my sadness. Plans change all the time — that's a typical part of life. I appreciate all the support I've received from family and friends, and I take comfort in the knowledge that I'm not alone. Countless other brides across the nation and around the world are experiencing the same hardship. We'll all have our big day — eventually.