Wedding days are special. Two people in love, exchanging vows and committing to be by each other’s side for the rest of their lives. It is so romantic. When everything goes to plan, the wedding day is perfect.
But sometimes things don’t go to plan. Who could have predicted the impact of the current global pandemic? The health crisis aside, border closures, social distancing rules, places of worship being closed and bans on mass gatherings and functions, have thrown many wedding plans into turmoil.
Ashleigh and Dale’s Story
Finding a date that fitted with a busy farming life was a challenge for Ashleigh and Dale. They decided April would work best for their dream wedding, before seeding started. Whilst the date didn’t have any particular significance, the venue did. They planned to marry at Merv Cowan Reserve, the same place where Ashleigh’s parents had said “I do” many years earlier.
“I can only hope my marriage is as amazing as theirs!” said the bride-to-be.
As events unfolded and new laws came into effect, Ashleigh and Dale’s plans changed from the large gathering with all their family and friends, to a smaller get together in her parents’ backyard. Then, like so many other couples, they decided the best course of action was to postpone the wedding until they could have the celebration they truly wanted. With so many family members living interstate, including Ashleigh’s much-loved grandparents, they now look forward to everyone being able to share their special day when the world is a safer place.
“As much as I want to be Mrs Waite, I am prepared to wait (no pun intended). I don’t want to put anyone’s health at risk,” said Ashleigh.
Lucy and Nick’s story
Lucy and Nick were also getting married in April. Lucy’s parents and close family were flying in from the UK to join them to celebrate. The couple decided to cancel their wedding five weeks out, the day before the Western Australian borders were closed. The next morning Lucy said to Nick, “let’s elope!”
They spoke to both sets of parents who were fine with the idea, and less than a week later were married in the Perth Hills with their witnesses, a photographer (Ingrid Kjelling) and of course, their celebrant.
“The most important thing to us, is that we got married,” said Lucy. “It was magical and spontaneous”.
The day was full of surprises. The wedding cake was a gift (thank you Jenne from Posh Little Cakes) so neither the bride nor groom knew what lay beneath the frosting. By all accounts, it was delicious.
When they told the hundred or so wedding guests that they had taken the plunge without them, they were all delighted for the happy couple. They will have a big party down the track with all their friends.
“Being in lockdown, we’ve spent the last few weeks having virtual catch-ups with family and friends. We’ve been sharing our video and reliving the day, over and over again. It has been wonderful.”
2020 will be a memorable year for so many reasons. Some will remember it as the year they got married. Many more will remember it as the year they planned to get married. 2021 looks like being a bumper year for the wedding industry. There is so much excitement in the planning phase, so if you’re planning to get married, ensure you enjoy the journey as well as “the destination” (and of course the journey beyond the wedding ceremony).
We hope that we don’t see another year like this one. Despite the sorrow and heartbreak, many people around the world have had a chance to stop and focus on what is really important in life – health, family and love.