Announcement of a UK lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 back in March may have temporarily hit pause on weddings taking place, but it hasn’t hit pause on your relationship… or those big day wishes and aspirations!
Your love for your husband/wife-to-be remains the same – or it may have even risen to new levels in these unprecedented times when those closest to us have become all the more dear! So too, we imagine, you still have that same passion to make your wedding the most A-MA-ZING and truly special day.
And so, though you may have initially been totally floored, stressed out and saddened at the prospect of having to postpone your big day (and quite rightly so!), we’re here to help dust you down, pick you up and get you back track, focusing on your new wedding date to come.
Though far from an ideal scenario, the one gift the pandemic has delivered to those of us who are fortunate to be staying safe at home, is time. For postponed couples, this can be time to stop and think if you have covered all bases for your big day, to weave in some extra special touches and to nail that final wedmin.
We have to say, that having moved past the initial panic of rescheduling their big days, we’ve been blown away by couples’ resilience not to be dragged down by the situation but to rise above it, ensuring that when their new date does come around it will be the most EPIC of celebrations…whether that means hiring that dream wedding band they’d held back on, writing their own vows or even planning a second round on hen and stag dos!
Not forgetting the fresher engaged amongst you *waves* – you too can still keep those planning wheels in motion with suppliers coming up with innovative ways to reach out. Numerous venues are now hosting virtual tours, suppliers are consulting via Skype and some bridal boutiques are even holding digital appointments enabling brides to take those first steps towards finding their dream dress. And, of course, a host of inspiration can always be found online at your very fingertips via wedding blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and the like. We personally have also relaunched our wedding forum to give brides, grooms and suppliers a dedicated space to connect with and discuss, plus we’ve pivoted our position to bring you ‘The Big Sunday From Your Sofa Wedding Show’ each weekend on our Insta Stories where we showcase the very best suppliers in the biz. So, you can assemble your big day dream team without barely lifting a finger.
Meanwhile, for those of you with more imminent weddings on pause, here are our suggested areas in which you can focus your thoughts and invest your energy.
Make it personal
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, incorporating personal touches into your big day is what will set it apart from others, making the celebrations a true reflection of you as a couple and creating one-of-a-kind memories for your guests.
Having the time to plan and craft such additions however would usually be tricky in what was everyday life, but with lockdown putting somewhat of a (colossal) dent in our social calendars, extra hours are suddenly easier to come by in evenings and on weekends (remember them?). And so, before we slip back to that hustle and bustle, use your downtime to inject a little more individuality into the proceedings.
If you are the DIY type then perhaps you could make some extra décor, handcraft your favours…or what about organising photo place names for your guests? Finding an image of each and printing them as Polaroid style snaps with their name on – not only providing a practical name setting but also a special keepsake for your guest and an ice-breaker/talking point for those seated at the table. Time consuming, yes…worth it, double yes!
Alternatively, if words are more your thing, how about drawing up a personal order of service, which could include details of how you met, key dates throughout your relationship (e.g. first date, moving in, engagement etc.) or a ‘who’s who’ of the key wedding party to identify/introduce your parents, siblings, bridesmaids and groomsmen. Another option, should your style of ceremony allow, is to write your own vows, or you could join the increasing number of brides stepping up to the mic and compose a speech to read out on the day. These slower-paced weeks may have given you time to really reflect on your feelings and putting pen to paper can be hugely therapeutic as well as a fabulous way to recognise and thank those that have supported you in your extended engagement.
Finally, if you are worried about your first dance, now is the perfect time to practise…there really is nobody watching! You could simply romantically sway around your kitchen to feel more at ease, or take things up a notch by doing online dance lessons to plan and polish more of a routine – this also provides lockdown fitness you can do as a couple, and, possibly, some comedy material for that bride’s speech too!
To film, or not to film?
Another area we are always keen to address is the documentation of your wedding as it provides those lasting memories once the confetti has landed at your feet.
Undoubtedly you have already chosen and booked your photographer, but now is the time to think beyond still images and consider if moving footage of your day would be the cherry on the cake.
From interviewing our featured ‘real wedding’ couples on the blog, it’s become apparent that the vast majority who booked a videographer are grateful while those that didn’t feel regret.
So, with extra time to save and plan, would hiring a professional videographer complete your A-team wedding squad of suppliers, with all the laughter, joy, smiles, tears…and dance moves bundled up into a beautiful and emotive film of your day?
Drink, dine & be merry
The food and drink is often a long deliberated part of the planning as you try to ensure everyone will be satisfied with your quantities and pleased with your choices. By this point in the planning it’s likely that you have made your selections for the wedding breakfast menu, but are there any edible additions or individual twists that would enhance the feasting?
Perhaps you’ve been getting your Mary Berry bake on during lockdown and could make your own cookie, truffle or cupcake favours? Or the social distancing may have led you to experiment with homemade condiments or even homebrew beer, gin or wine, that you could bottle up and gift to guests? The lead time remaining will give you chance to practise and perfect your craft ahead of sharing the fruits of your new talents with your family and friends.
Meanwhile if you’re more of a ‘can’t cook’ than a ‘won’t cook’ but are worried about guests becoming peckish during the ‘in between’ bits of the day, you can always leave it to the professionals address that appetite with the likes of ice cream trikes, cake and coffee vans, sweetie tables and donut filled stands, available to hire.
More of a personal touch – and an adult treat – could be the addition of a ‘Mr & Mrs’ cocktail if you’re known for being fond of a particular tipple, such as a Mojito for her and an Espresso Martini for him? It’s up to you if you want to serve these up as part of your beverage offering at the drinks reception or introduce a post-dinner ‘cocktail hour’, or alternatively, you could enquire with your venue if these drink options could be ordered at the bar by guests in the evening.
Ace the wedmin
Unless you are Rachel Riley, it’s likely that you deem the logistics part of the wedding somewhat of a drag – drawing up the seating plan, organising the timings of the day and delegating jobs – but if you’d not quite got round to these, now is a good time to knuckle down and get what you can out of the way.
Trust us when we say, apart from the uber-organised, most find those weeks and days before the wedding slip away resulting in manic midnight name place card folding and favour packing. So, tackling elements like the on the day stationery, ‘must-have’ shots for the photographer to take and drawing up duties for the groomsmen, will give you time later down the line to relax and enjoy the run up to the wedding, leaving extra time for bubbly, facials and perhaps even a pre-wedding getaway!
Extra special extras
Having endured the heartbreak of putting back your big day, you may be feeling a desire to treat yourselves to something that you know will enhance the wedding and make it all the more memorable.
It could be that you were previously unsure if the budget would stretch but now feel you have the time to save a little extra, or maybe you want to work a surprise into the day as a special thank you to your friends and family that have supported you through this emotional time. Then again, you may just feel that having had to wait that bit longer for your big day that you want it to be the party to end all parties (too right!).
So maybe that cool brass party band waiting outside the church could now be an option, or adding an awesome Ibiza style saxophonist to the evening DJ set? Some extra amazing décor perhaps – such as light-up letters or fabulous neons – to take your setting to next-level impressive. Keen to add another element of ‘capturing the action’, then what about adding a photo booth to the line up? Or for the ultimate end to the night, a sparkler send-off or firework display?
Overseas travel as we know it is currently grounded…but that doesn’t stop us dreaming, right?! Though you can’t book anything just yet, now is the perfect time to research where you might like to go on minimoon and/or honeymoon following your big day.
No end of couples can feel that with the demands of the wedding, they ran out of time to curate their perfect trip while others can simply experience ‘planning fatigue’ preventing them from putting their all into it.
So, if you were planning to delay your honeymoon and haven’t yet come to a decision on the destination then look into options that will suit you as a couple, meet your holiday requirements and be practical for the time of year at which you hopefully plan to travel. Meanwhile, if you know your desired location then research all the amazing things you can do whilst you are there to truly make it a holiday of a lifetime – from activities, attractions and landmarks to the very best eateries and bars.
Finally, when your original wedding date does arrive, don’t dive under the duvet and hide away but mark and celebrate it as a special milestone in your relationship. It can still be a meaningful day and add to the build up and excitement for the bigger (and official) celebrations to come.
So, get dressed up, crack open the Champagne, make a special meal together and set your wedding playlist rolling. Most couples have abstained from going as far as putting on their wedding attire, but instead some have spritzed on the fragrance they had bought for the big day whilst others have even started to wear their wedding rings as of their original date.