Planning a wedding during plague time


Guest post by Andria Kennedy
Aww, nothing says I love you like these matching plague doctor masks from Etsy seller Higgins Creek

When I first started planning my wedding in 2019, I never imagined I'd be asking vendors about their policy regarding plagues and the end of known civilization; I didn't think I'd have to put on a facemask or gloves just to conduct a simple interview. Someone forgot to mention those possibilities in my trusty wedding planner.

Now as I go through my checklists, I have to wonder if I'm planning a wedding or preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Not wanting to compound my stress (too late), I realized we needed a plan if anyone wanted a chance of coming through this sane (especially me). I rolled up my sleeves, chucked the now-useless planner, and my fiance' and I got to work on wedding planning: plague-style.

First, we realized we needed a Plan B…and a Plan C, D, E, F, all the way through Z, just in case

No way were we taking any chances on a microscopic bug without a brain. We spoke with our parents, looked over the signed contracts we already had (lucky for us we read the fine print in the first place), and we realized we were on the hook for our venue, regardless.

That meant SOMETHING was happening — with or without guests — and we decided it'd be the wedding. We were okay if only family attended the ceremony, and the beach house was big enough to meet social distancing standards. By now, everyone has collections of masks, and if the pictures featured them, so be it.

Briefly, I considered switching up the theme to zombies, but since we'd already purchased snowflakes, comic book Pop! figurines, and unicorns, I decided the original theme would have to stand. Somehow, trying to pull off a happily ever after zombie just didn't fly.

Second, we needed to have firm discussions with everyone from here on out regarding the possibility of additional quarantines

Could we still get our cake? (Cake would be eaten — we knew that wasn't a problem) When was the last possible moment to cancel our rentals? What measures would be taken by staff to sanitize everything? Would our officiant still attend? (Six feet apart wasn't a problem)

We made a list of plague questions, and people laughed with us, but they also provided answers.

This possibility was a new consideration, and while contracts weren't ready to include the apocalypse as part of the boilerplate, wheels were turning.

Third, we turned to small businesses as much as humanly possible

This was just to help them out, but from a practical standpoint. Origami flowers from Etsy made more sense than trying to hassle florists that might not be able to get in stock. My shoes were handmade (Etsy again) versus trying to wait out stores opening.

My dress was already being handmade by a friend, and the internet abounded with fabric options and sellers only too happy to send swatches for us to examine before purchase. I didn't need to hit a bridal store or stand in line with other brides waiting for their gowns and fittings.

Fourth, we adjusted our invitations

While my sister had declared she was getting on a plane even if she was the only one aboard, we knew not everyone would feel comfortable, especially if predictions came to pass. We didn't want anyone pressured or to feel bad for opting to sit things out in favor of their health.

We offered the alternative of watching the ceremony via Zoom. It wasn't going to be a problem to orchestrate – after all, my brother and his family were already going to attend via Zoom since they were stationed in Japan.

We wouldn't alienate anyone on the guest list, and we'd still allow them to participate — just without the cake (we had to draw the line somewhere, and I wasn't shipping cupcakes across the country).

Fifth, I told myself to laugh

Of course, OF COURSE, this was happening. If I hadn't decided to get married this year, everything would have been fine. Just like Los Angeles wouldn't have seen record rainfall ten years ago, except my sister decided to get married. Laughing was way better than crying, and it eased the stress. Besides, we'd already agreed the wedding was going to happen, and my fiance' was still marrying me – COVID-19 quarantine, crazy wedding planning, and all.

Maybe it isn't a "normal" wedding planning process, but the wedding itself was never going to be normal, anyway. With the rest of the world changing its definition of normal, I decided I was okay accepting this adjustment with the rest.

Besides, it is a lot of fun to prop up my chin, look a vendor in the eyes over our masks, and ask, "So, what's your policy for plagues?"

  1. "Plague time" – seriously. Our poor clients that are trying to navigate planning their weddings when things are so…unpredictable. Please know that your vendors are feeling your pain- and we are here to help! ?

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