How not to cancel your wedding year (and keep smiling)

How not to cancel your wedding year (and keep smiling)

Another Sunday. Another day in lockdown. I guess we can agree, that this new world we have now found ourselves in is beyond what we would have expected even 6 months ago. 

Before I unpack my little positivity bag, I wanted to stress how much I feel for everyone in these times who are affected by this crisis not only in terms of health but also emotionally and financially.

Lots of love and big virtual hugs!!! 

Many have had to postpone their dream wedding that would have taken place this year. Of course, a lot of disappointment comes with this for many couples, a lot of stress, rethinking, and re-organising. I feel for you. This is not what you have expected the best year of your life to be. This year’s wedding season would usually already be in full swing and it is very weird to imagine that currently there are no big weddings happening all over the UK. Surreal!

However, whilst we all have to adapt to this new reality, there are always little rays of sunshine to be found, little rituals and ideas that make us smile and thoughts that help us put everything into perspective. 

Over the course of lockdown, I have seen super sweet things happening and I just wanted to share with you a few thoughts on weddings, ceremonies, and alternatives that might inspire you.

Run away!

One amazing alternative to a big wedding is to elope. Whether you decide to tell your loved ones or decide to just “run away” and do it, it’s a great and very intimate way to make your day truly about just the two of you. When we got engaged we initially thought about a big wedding as we are both very sociable and our family and friends mean a lot to us. However, this was still ‘our’ day, and whilst we were thinking through it, it just felt right to elope. So we decided to drive up to the beautiful picturesque Isle of Skye in Scotland to get married on our own.

We didn’t make that decision lightly, and I understand this isn’t for everyone, but for us personally, it was the perfect way to tie the knot. Apart from making sure, you have the right people to capture your day in photos and/or film and a celebrant who is fully invested in planning out your perfect ceremony there is really not too much else to plan and worry about. If you decide to go for a humanist ceremony, you can entirely personalise it and even incorporate elements that remind you of e.g. family members. 

On the morning of our wedding day, I read a letter that my mum wrote for me that I took with me. With that, I felt like she was part of the day. After our wedding trip, we organised a family wedding gathering with our immediate family in Cologne, Germany, where I am from, for both our families to come together celebrate with us. We showed the film I created over the week of our wedding trip (incl. our ceremony) and a few of us did some speeches (á là wedding). And because we love our friends, we organised a big party in our local village hall with a ceilidh and self-service charity bar. So technically this ended up being three ‘weddings’, but the day itself was just for us. If you don’t want to get married completely on your own, you could make it small with your closest circle of 10 people which will most likely be permitted much earlier than a 100 guests wedding party. Most of you are currently not only disappointed having to postpone the wedding as such but also the fact that you just want to “do it” and get married. 

So why not marry small and party big? 🙂

Spice it up with a different Season(ing)! 

With all the postponements of weddings that are happening this year, it can be a challenge to get everything and everyone aligned to move your wedding date out exactly for one year later. This might be the case particularly if you were planning to get married in the busy summer season.  

If you cannot find any dates in summer 2021 and do not want to wait another year, I can recommend considering a date in late autumn, winter, or even early spring. Whilst we all have our favourite season, there is something so beautiful about winter – it’s cosy and romantic and there are so many ways to make a winter wedding a total winter dream. Have a look on Pinterest and I’m sure you’ll find it hard to get off it. 🙂 I have shot many weddings in autumn, a time of the year that has the best light. And how beautiful are all those red, orange leaves around? So special! 

And last but not least choosing a date just on the perfect transition between winter and spring, where the first leaves of flowers push away the morning frost could be the best time for you. This time of the year just provides an atmosphere that for me reflects so much the feeling of new beginnings, a fresh start and a new chapter. 

I shot weddings during storm Callum in autumn 2018 or on dates that not many people would consider getting married like i.e. the 28th of December. I have also captured how beautiful a late frosty, early Spring-April wedding can be. Stay open, stay positive, and stay inspired. 

Honour your initial wedding day

I saw the most beautiful thing on Instagram a few weeks ago. One of my future couples, Gwen and Bow who were supposed to get married this May, decided to not let Covid-19 ruin their initially planned wedding day. Whilst they postponed their official wedding to next year, they still came up with a wonderful way to honour the day they were supposed to get married.

So instead of sitting at home and being upset, they created their own personal wedding day including rings and vows, just not including the legal part. Gwen decided to wear her mum’s wedding dress, Bow tested his suit for next year and they walked into their local forest to read personal messages to each other that they have written for this special ceremony. Their own camera and a well-positioned tripod did the job to capture these moments, that they wanted to spend completely on their own. Only their dog was allowed to join. 🙂

How beautiful is this idea? Inspired? 

Make the best of adversity. Create your own love story around what the coronavirus crisis has done to your wedding plans. Don’t stop smiling and you will see that one day you will have a great story to tell your grandchildren. There is beauty in everything. 

Make it virtual. 

No, not your wedding. Even though that’s not a bad idea either. Who makes the rules? 🙂

I’m talking about your hen and stag (and everything in between) do’s. Whilst you could still have a live, face-to-face postponed one, why not do another one virtually. If you are the person in charge of organising it you will definitely make your friend or family member very happy with a big virtual surprise that can be filled with games, quizzes, giggles, and bubbly. Lift each other up and again make the best of the situation. Laughing is healthy and we need to help each other more than ever to do that more often.

The list could go on, but hopefully, these little thoughts and ideas have helped to not cancel 2020 and to not see the current crisis as the worst spell there is. 

At the end of the day, you two and your loved ones celebrating your love is what makes your day the most beautiful day despite the time, the weather, and the season. Try to find beauty in alternative ways of tying the knot – ‘different’ ways, ways that mean something to you, that reflect your love and life without sticking to the ‘norms’ (what is that anyway?) and break traditions if you want to. Also, you will have more time and perhaps more funds to go for the things for the wedding day that you initially had to say ‘no’ to. 

Use this time to reevaluate what’s truly important to you and go for exactly that. There is no right or wrong in doing things that make you happy. 

The Journal