Disappointment. Deflation of excitement that’s been building for years. Anger at this virus that’s ripping through our world, spreading fear and panic. A raging sense of unfairness that at a time of unrelenting bad news, we’re being denied the chance to celebrate love. And yes, guilt, that while people are losing their lives, loved ones and livelihoods, I’m feeling so devastated that my fiancé Laurence and I won’t now be able to get married as we planned on 25 April.
Along with everyone else in the world, the past week has brought an onslaught of emotions. There’s fear for the safety of the people I love, and worry as I see friends lose work and local businesses struggle. But given that until a few days ago I thought I was six weeks away from my wedding, there are a few more in the mix for me too.
It’s funny how attached you can get to a date. It might sound silly, but I am heartbroken to be losing it, having spent so much time and energy dreaming and planning towards it, ever since our engagement.
Laurence proposed in October 2018, on a holiday to the States for a friend’s wedding. It was the last day of the 10-day trip (turned out he’d planned two other opportunities, both of which were rained off). We’d gotten up early in our B&B in a little coastal town in Maine for a final walk on the beach before hopping in the car back to Boston and the flight home.
I’d rolled straight out of bed, put on yesterday’s clothes, had no makeup on and was wearing an *actual* baseball hat. Anyone who knows me will know that this would not be my ideal wardrobe choice for a proposal. But when he got down on one knee on the beach that cloudy, windy morning, I forgot about the outfit (although I do remember being relieved I’d just had a mani).
In those initial moments of sheer elation, we made the first of a zillion more decisions to come: one, that we’d get married in my native Ireland, and two, that it would be in April. My birthday is in April, and I’ve always loved the sense of optimism springtime brings. There are flowers in bloom, leaves on the trees, the sun sets that crucial few hours into the evening, and there’s slightly more chance of blue skies – even in Ireland.
Save the date
Hence the date: 25 April. Two weeks after Easter, six days after my birthday, followed by a honeymoon on the west coast of Ireland that would stretch into the first days of May, back to our lives in London in time for bank holidays, barbecues and all the best bits of summer – our first as husband and wife.
As the months went by and we booked the venue and suppliers, we started building a picture of our day, counting down to 25 April. We’ve spent hours talking about all aspects of the wedding, and having booked our countryside venue in dreary January 2019, even flew over to visit again that April to see it in all its springtime glory. We’d imagine our future – celebrating our anniversary each year on the cusp of summer, joking with friends that by the time their weddings came around this June and September, we’d be an old married couple.
Finally, 2020 came, along with lots of milestones – our tasting, my final dress fitting and hen do, his stag party – our buzzing excitement, and that of our friends and families, building with each one.