Amen. And for now, a great way to celebrate that love is to mark your original date, making sure it’s still a special, memorable time for both of you. Wedding planner and illustrator Andri Benson agrees. “We all need as much positivity as we can get right now. I see celebrating your original date as a great way to make you feel more positive about the situation rather than wallowing in the sadness of ‘this should’ve been our wedding day’. It’s worth remembering that not only will you be celebrating the day, but it can also be a great way to get excited about the new date in the future.”
Right now, life as we knew it is on hold. From the daily commute and trips to the pub, right up to big life events like birthday parties, hen dos and weddings, everything’s being cancelled, pushed back or going virtual. If you’ve had to postpone your wedding due to the pandemic, you’ll be busy figuring out what to do next, but also dealing with the stress – and heartache – of losing your special date.
Yes, there are a lot of scary things happening in the world right now, but it is OK to still feel sad that you’re not getting to enjoy your big day when you had envisioned it. Wedding planner Louise Perry advises couples going through the pain of rescheduling to: “look to the positives and don’t feel guilty if you feel down about it all. This was probably something you have been planning for months, maybe years, and it’s not going to happen – at least, not right now. Look ahead to the time when it will happen. The most important thing not to lose focus on is that you will get married and you can’t cancel love.”
After all, the most important thing is to not get so caught up in the stress and worry that you forget why you were even getting married in the first place. So get planning, get excited and prepare to have your most fun – and romantic – day of lockdown yet. Here, chat to the wedding experts to find ideas for quarantine-friendly ways to mark your would-be wedding day.
1. Say yes to dressing up
While you may not want to go full Monica in Friends (although if you do decide to bring out your wedding dress for the day it could make a very nice change from joggers), this is the time to get properly dressed up. You could wear white, wear your favourite dress, treat yourself to something new – whatever makes you feel great. Andri suggests: “Have a pamper morning where you both get yourselves ready, and why not call up your bridal party on FaceTime/Zoom so they can join in too? Take it a step further and get ready in separate rooms (space permitting) and then set up a camera to film yourselves doing a big reveal like ‘a first look’.”
2. Share the love
Yes, unless you plan to completely block the world out, recreating a little of the spirit of your wedding does involve Zoom. Although this time, it will be a lot more fun than your daily work team check-ins. You could even have a mini ceremony, suggests Andri: ”Invite all your friends and family for a big Zoom call and have a mini commitment ceremony, sharing your hopes and dreams for the future and excitement for the big day when it does come. There are independent wedding celebrants who are offering to host virtual ceremonies too. Involve your Zoom guests too – have speeches and everyone can toast to the future happy couple!”
3. Get the party started
Now it’s time to add in food, drinks or maybe even games. “Get your party attendees to share their favourite stories of you as a couple,” says wedding expert Andrea Willoughby. “This can be a great way to reminisce over your relationship while getting merry with some of the dearest people in your life. You could even play wedding-related drinking games, such as Mr and Mrs, wherein guests could bet on who will get each answer right and, if they guess incorrectly, they have to drink.”
4. Pop open some bubbles
Speaking of drinks, bubbles are the obvious choice. But Heyyholly events planner Holly Patrick suggests going the extra mile by pre-ordering a bottle of champagne with a personalised label to include your original wedding date or married-names-to be. Pop it open on the day, and then once it’s finished, “keep the bottle as a keepsake add a candle into the bottle for future romantic candlelit dinners for two.” Awww.
5. Have a wedding feast
Most importantly, make sure you eat like royalty today. Holly suggests: “Pre-order from many of the amazing food delivery companies a wedding ‘breakfast’ for you and your partner to enjoy together and why not treat yourself to either another home delivery in the evening for your ‘wedding meal’?”
“Enjoy it over candlelight and a bottle of your favourite bubbles,” adds Andri. “Bonus points if you can match the food to what you were supposed to be having at your wedding.”
6. Save the first dance
Music has the ability to transport us – even helping you to imagine you’re at your beautiful wedding reception instead of stuck in your kitchen in lockdown. “Create a playlist of all the songs you were going to have at your wedding reception and have them playing throughout the day at home,” suggests Holly. “Grab your partner as the mood takes you and dance around, have fun, take photos on your phone and send to friends and family. Save your first dance song for later on in the evening and why not light some candles at home, embrace your partner, connect and enjoy your first dance together.”
7. Get poetic
Just because you’re not saying your actual vows today, doesn’t mean you can’t pen some romantic words for your partner. “Write them a romantic love note or poem the night before and leave in a special place for them to find in the morning,” says Holly. “It’s something to add to the memory box and look back on in years to come.”
8. Picture your big day
Feeling the urge to reminisce? Andrea recommends dusting off the albums. “Take a trip down memory lane together and look at a timeline of photos from your relationship. You will spend hours talking about how it all begun and it will give you time to muse over how far you’ve come as a couple.”
Or why not go a step further and create a new image in honour of the day. “Commission an illustrator to draw yourselves in your wedding outfits, your bouquet or wedding venue,” suggests Andri. “Your dream day will become a reality, it just might take a bit longer for you to get there.”
9. Enjoy your wedding night
Good news! Arguably the most fun part of your wedding day isn’t affected by Coronavirus in the slightest. “Nothing needs to be virtual in the bedroom,” says Andrea. “Act as if you had just experienced your wedding and enjoy each other’s company as a newly married couple. Pop some champagne, get out the chocolate covered strawberries and get down to business!”