Love in the Time of Corona
March 23, 2020 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Brides and Grooms getting married in the near future -- how are you handling wedding planning?

My fiancé and I are set to be married on May 24th in a medium-sized American city, and it looks like our wedding will almost undoubtedly not be able to happen on that date. I know that there is no way to predict what is to come and how long social distancing will be in place for, and whether or not a second surge will come in the late fall/early winter, but I'm curious what other brides are doing (or if anyone has advice about what we should plan to do/things we should consider).

Few pieces of context:
*In a perfect world, we would have a small wedding, but we also have lots of people.
*Invited 150 (at least half is family)
*We've paid around 40% of the total cost, most of which we can recover if we cancel due to an Act of God
*Venue, wedding planner, and photographer are relatively flexible -- photographer has no Saturdays in fall available
*My immediate family is out-of-town and would need to fly in, so I don't want to do a small civil ceremony soon and then a party later so I can skip the extra cost for them
posted by orangesky4 to Human Relations (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My cousin was going to get married a week before you - absolutely not happening since like half her family is coming from Asia and half her groom's family is coming from London (yeah, lucky them..) They pulled the plug weeks ago and have rescheduled to the very end of August, and everyone is crossing their fingers. Last I talked to her they had secured the venue and coordinator but everything else is still up in the air. Good luck!
posted by btfreek at 7:13 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

We're scheduled for the last week of August in New Jersey (we live in Massachusetts) and crossing our fingers very hard.

We were supposed to see the florist in late April, and I think we'll probably have to cancel due to social distancing/travel restrictions.

I haven't ordered the invitations yet. We're going to make a final decision to postpone depending on what happens in May/June.

I hate wedding planning and I've sort of given up on it lately since I'm stressed, but I should probably get back to the parts I can definitely knock out. (Can't get suits, rings, or marriage licenses, but can buy wine for the ceremony and cut out envelope liners.)

Our venue lets you reschedule if the venue is closed or if the people getting married are sick (with doctor's notes, I believe), and I need to figure out what the other vendors are willing to do in case we need to move the wedding to summer 2021 (unfortunately fall is either the Jewish holiday season or hurricane season).

I would talk to your vendors sooner rather than later since everyone in the same boat (April-May at least) will have to reschedule and may be fighting over the dates that aren't already taken in summer and fall.
posted by marfa, texas at 7:55 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

My wedding is in early August in California, with most guests needing to fly in, and I have no idea whether it's actually going to happen :/ Our backup plan is to postpone to summer 2021, because our venue is almost entirely outdoors and we're not in a huge rush to get married beyond the deadline of aging grandparents. Undecided on whether we'll do a civil ceremony this year and/or elope on our planned honeymoon (to a national park and our photographer is already booked to come along), if we do postpone.
posted by serelliya at 9:22 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Not to be morbid, but if I were in this situation I would get legally married as soon as possible by whatever means had the least human contact, and sort out the wedding later. Hopefully everyone is young and healthy and will have no problems, but if anything _did_ happen, I'd want my significant other to be my legal next of kin.
posted by LadyOscar at 9:26 PM on March 23 [29 favorites]

Your chances of things proceeding as normal on that date are pretty much nil barring a miracle, and let's face it, no matter how much we're all having a hard time dealing with this, a miracle isn't happening.

Honestly? The realistic chances of it happening any time this year are pretty darn low. Listen to LadyOscar, get married in a civil ceremony ASAP, and reschedule the party for sometime next year.

That's if we're all luckier than we deserve to be, and we aren't dealing with a second or third wave by then.
posted by stormyteal at 10:06 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]

My cousin is due to get married in mid May. She's postponed. I'm sorry.
posted by snickerdoodle at 2:41 AM on March 24

Get married at a courthouse, tell nobody, reschedule the wedding for May 2021.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:42 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]

We were supposed to get married this coming weekend. We postponed (likely to December) just under two weeks ago. The longer you wait to reschedule the harder it will be; we wanted October (hoping to be late enough to be after first wave but before subsequent ones) but our photographer was already booked with other postponements for the whole month.

We already have the license, so if we need to we can do the legal side fairly quickly. Most vendors were pretty reasonable about postponing so this delay will be a small fraction of our total cost. My remaining worry is that our parents are not young, and so the aunts and uncles aren’t either, and I really hope they all make it (both in the sense of still being alive and in the sense of travel being possible for them at that point).

One warning: we did have a straggler guest who somehow hadn’t gotten word about the cancellation; they called just today to send their regrets. So— perhaps be sure to be thorough about informing guests.
posted by nat at 3:48 AM on March 24

My nephew and his fiancée were scheduled to wed mid-May. They are still proceeding with a now very small ceremony and have postponed the large reception to a Sunday in August (hopefully).
posted by sarajane at 3:52 AM on March 24

My cousin was supposed to be getting married in mid-April. She just postponed to Labor Day weekend.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on March 24

One of our daughters is planning to be married in August. She and her fiancée are completing the sacramental preparations as planned and will probably still keep to their original date (many getting-on-with-life dominoes are scheduled contingent on that date). Even in the time of Corona, weddings and funerals are still going on though the pastoral guidance we've heard for now is that only immediate family are to attend.

We'll just hold off on a big party until the all-clear and folks, it's gonna be a corker.
posted by jquinby at 5:30 AM on March 24

In Philly all public Catholic masses are suspended indefinitely. Wedding and funeral masses are permitted with small congregations. I arranged a funeral about a month ago for a much-loved aunt, and we had about 200 attendees. That would not be allowed now - only immediate family.

Keep in mind that lots of marriage license bureaus are closed, too. NYTimes had a feature last Sunday about the last people who squeezed in their weddings before the closure. Of course, this was NYC, where the virus has hit very hard. Your location might be different.
posted by citygirl at 10:28 AM on March 24

For those saying get the legal marriage now - at least where I live in NJ, courts are closed except for emergencies.
posted by amro at 10:31 AM on March 24

We were planning on a late-April wedding. We luckily called mostly everything off before every venue for the weekend (including the National Parks Service) told us we were done. We were going to have a 70-80 size wedding with weekend events et al., but we've decided to go ahead and get married by ourselves and some (probably local) witnesses standing 6 feet apart outside and put it on a livestream for everybody else (including some parents who can't leave their houses due to preexisting conditions). We'll plan a party for next summer or whenever this all goes away.

(here's a constantly updated PDF chart of closed courts)
posted by General Malaise at 4:11 PM on March 24

(turns out I just learned that our license is now in a closed bureau so we're probably not going to be able to do what I just wrote)
posted by General Malaise at 4:31 PM on March 24

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