How to re-think your wedding in a Covid world
The world is a wee bit different now. The spicy cough has caused some serious carnage not only to businesses, families, people's mental health, but our way of life in general.
The coronacoaster is real and as a Sydney marriage celebrant and MC, right now it feels like riding the Big Dipper without a seat belt.
Wedding vendors have been hit hard and our couples have been copping gut punch after gut punch, as they try to navigate their umpteenth postponement, their venues newly tightened Ts&Cs and the general feeling of sadness at the fact it is currently illegal in NSW to make a person your legal spouse.
But this is where we find ourselves.
Unfortunately there ain't no crystal ball, but there are some pretty clear indications that weddings as we used to know them, are a way off and events in general simply have to look a little different if they are to proceed in a Covid world.
So what does this mean if you are starting to plan your wedding or if it's scheduled in the near future?
You may want to start thinking about it differently. You may have to.
You may want to consider what is really important to you within this whole process and remind yourselves of the end goal, to be married to the one you love.
I'm not writing on this topic to create panic or talk you out of having a wedding. I love weddings and it is my livelihood!
I am writing this because once you let go of some of those pre-conceived notions of what a wedding should be, you actually give yourself the opportunity to create something absolutely magical.
When you ditch the big wedding plans or the ideas of what that should be, the sky is the absolute limit in a sense. You can be so much more creative and the possibilities can be endless. You're not locked in to huge payment plans for sit down dinners with potentially no dancing, you can spend quality time with the people in the world who truly are your non negotiables, and you can put your focus into the things you can control, reducing a hell of a lot of stress in the long run.
And if the big traditional wedding dream is one you cannot let go of, that is fine. No one can take that from you. But to protect yourself as you embark on those plans, try to keep an open mind, understand that an element of flexibility will likely be required in the months ahead, and always check the Ts& Cs before signing the dotted line.
So what are some Covid world wedding alternatives ?
Some of the best weddings I have been a part of over the past year have been those that were affected by the Rona and the restrictions that came with it.
These nuptials were some of the most meaningful, intimate, love filled and emotional celebrations of marriage and they are experiences I'll never forget.
Weddings are my world, but in truth, marriage is where the real magic is at and these couples pivoted and planned in a way that focussed on exactly that.
Now here's an idea!! Just elope. Just you, your celebrant and your two witnesses.
Elopements are the bees knees in so many ways. They are private and so personal and completely focus on you and the honey you want to hang with forever.
Minimal fuss and maximum feels, epic locations and endless possibilities, elopements truly allow you to think as big and adventurous as you want, or as laid back and simple.
In this current climate, I have couples lining up to elope post lockdown, as they are busting to be married and eloping is going to give them the best chance to do it completely on their terms.
Sunrise, sunset, hike to a waterfall, sit on the edge of a cliff top, push out on a paddle board or hit your local park. There are so many amazing options when it comes to eloping.
If you want to know more about why I love making marriages in this way, jump on my blog post- 5 Reasons You Should Just Elope.
Scale it right back and go for a miniture version of the big shebang.
A mini wedding in no way means you have to let go of all the incredible things that come with a wedding. You can still have the incredible outfits, the epic styling, jaw dropping location and all the bling and bubbles you can carry. Just have less people.
Mini weddings were trending even before Covid hit. That's because they make sense. They are intimate, affordable, emotion fuelled, controllable and can be completely unique.
Take Morgan and Luke's for example, which you can see in all these stunning pics by Petter Karlstrom.
Their plans changed a number of times through the months of pandemic planning, and what they landed on was one of the best damn days I have ever witnessed.
25 peeps, a Thursday, a beautiful air bnb, a perfectly styled ceremony with all the feels, a stunning wedding party and the biggest bottle of Verve you've ever seen.
Luke's family were all in the UK so we live streamed the day and I read some words from his mum, which had everyone in tears.
After their ceremony at one of my faves, Wiltshire Park in Palm Beach, they took a black cab to their chartered boat where they sailed off into the sunset and had the most amazingly wild party with all of their faves. They danced, they drank and some even took a little dip before the night's end. Epic!
The whole way through they were so focussed on the end game and to be married was what was most important to them.
A wedding does not have to be at a big venue with a three course sit down meal.
It's a celebration of the fact you want to want to spend forever together and there are so many unique ways you can toast that moment in time.
Nups on the Rocks
This is how I reference my legals only/ registry ceremony package and it's also a way you can do the deed with minimal risk of your plans being shafted.
A super simple registry style ceremony at a cafe, a bar or in my sunny back yard, can also be a beautifully intimate moment in time. Sign the dotted line, bag yourself a spouse, pour yourself a champagne and watch the sunset with your love. There will always be time to celebrate with your people at a later stage if you want that.
Delta is a dick and it won't quit
I understand a lot of couples are stuck right now, sitting on their hands feeling powerless and my heart breaks for you truly.
Your plans and postponements are up in the air and there are many things out of your control at present.
Don't give up!! You may need to reduce your numbers and so be it. People will understand and as long as you can have your non negotiable crew present, you will still have the most amazing time. Sit down together and nut out what really are your must haves and have nots and this will help you put some alternative scenarios in place if needed and navigate your way forward.
Are you willing to push ahead without dancing, guests in masks, without interstate guests present for example? Whatever is important to you is completely valid so set your own non negotiables and take control.
You may be forced to move your wedding to a weekday and as much as this may not have been what you imagined, once the day finally rolls around, I guarantee you won't even notice what day of the week it is. Trust me, champagne tastes even better on a Thursday!
You may not want to wait, get married as soon as it's legal and postpone your party to a later date. Also a fab idea.
This is your choose your own adventure moment and whatever way you get there, marriage is the greatest destination. So go forth lovers, mask up, be kind and be marvellously married.
The amazing team that worked on this epic day:
Celebrant- Me! Amy Watson- Marriage Maker
Photographer- Petter Karlstrom
Videographer- Tom Coburn
Styling & Florals- Styled By Her
Boat Charter- Zephyr Charters
Bridal Gown- Chosen By Kyha