Looking back to when we all chinked glasses on New Year’s Eve and thought about everything 2020 had to to offer, none of us could have predicted the chaos, sorrow, disappointment and anger that was to come in the following months. If you’re part of a couple who flung their arms open and welcomed 2020 as your special year, the one where you got to make THAT special promise to your other half, celebrate your love story and dance ’til dawn as part of a newly married couple, I can’t even begin to imagine how desperate you must feel. With cancellations, weekly changes to regulations and continued uncertainty stretching into 2021, you’d be forgiven for experiencing total melt-down about what to do now – but you do have options! And some of them might make it even more special than you could ever have hoped for!
CANCEL EVERYTHING & START AGAIN
Ambiguity, uncertainty and change can all heap added pressure on to organising what can be a hugely stressful event even at the most calm of times. So if you know that you’ll suffer from increased anxiety and sleepless nights if all your plans changed at the last minute – why put yourself through that? If you’re under no time pressure to get married, why rush it? This is your big day, one that you want to enjoy the planning of as much as the actual day itself. If trying on bridal gowns in a mask, and limiting your 20 guests to a quick swig of champers in the churchyard isn’t what you want – then don’t do it. I’m hearing of so many couples who are feeling pressure to do something, trying to constantly juggle keeping everyone else happy, whilst reacting to an almost daily onslaught of changes. It’s a big call but if you know in your (Rebel) Heart that this isn’t what you want, take a deep breath and say no. When the world feels calmer (which it will some day) then is the time to re-engage with a process that you can enjoy with confidence, certainty and pleasure.
DO THE LEGALS, DELAY THE BASH
There is a big difference in my head between a wedding and a marriage, in much the same way as registering a death and holding a funeral. Getting married is a recognised process informing a significant legal change to a person’s status. A wedding is the ritual and custom we embrace to celebrate that change and well, let’s be honest have a great big party (if that’s what you want). If 2020 was the year you just HAD to get married for whatever reason, there are still ways you can do that – such as in a church or registry office. Services are likely to be short and sweet and light on content, but if legal’s what you want then legal will be what you get. Then you can save everything else that you’ve ever dreamed about for your wedding for a big bash in 2021 or beyond. As a celebrant, we can write your wedding ceremony so that you make a meaningful and passionate promise to your other half and your guests will feel warm and fuzzy in the embrace of your love story. It’ll be personal, unique and totally focused on what matters to you both, held wherever, whenever and however YOU want. Then you can enjoy the open top Cadillac procession, the photo booths, the grazing tables, the live llama walks and the karaoke til dawn that you’ve always dreamed of. It will feel every inch a ‘proper’ wedding, made even more special by the fact that you’ve not had the worry and anxiety about what’s going to change next.
MAKE THE PROMISE, DELAY THE LEGALS
If what REALLY matters to you and your other half is making a commitment to each other to be together, then there could be no stopping you in 2020! Rituals rich in emotion and meaning have formed the backbone of couplings for centuries and could be even more relevant in modern times. Take hand-fasting, introduced in medieval times to recognise the pledge TO marry (not the actual marriage itself) where a couples hands were joined together by ornate ribbons to represent the union of themselves and their families. It’s suggested this ritual was to last for a year and a day, when the couple could then decide whether to formalise their marriage or pledge for another year. And it’s not just hand-fasting, from sand ceremonies, to wine box rituals, pirate battle betrothals and tattoo reveals – whatever matters to you to make your commitment, we can create the ceremony for it. So if you’re in the camp of saving everything until your big day but it’s been delayed, why not gather your nearest and dearest in your garden, or favourite park and hold a unique and personal ceremony that pledges your love and commitment to each other which is every bit as special and meaningful as a marriage.
*You would need to follow this up with a short registry office or church service if you wanted a marriage to be legally recognised.
And heard of The Lockdown Baby Phenomenon yet? Yeah we were all a bit bored in lockdown right, so there’s some unexpected (but incredibly loved) babies on the way! So if you’re wanting to make your commitment a bit more public, a bit sooner than expected, a commitment ceremony and thanksgiving for your beautiful new arrival could be the prefect solution until you can plan your big day…with a Baby Naming thrown in for good measure!
If you’re in the position where your wedding plans have been trashed by the cruelty of Covid-19 I can imagine you ranting at the screen now, screaming ”Well it’s so bloody easy for you isn’t it, it’s not your bloody day laying in tatters” and you wouldn’t be wrong. It is undoubtedly easier for me to look objectively and see choice where you see chaos, to see options where you see objections and to calmly reflect on all the possibilities this crazy year could create. If you’re a #CovidCancellationCouple my heart absolutely goes out to you, you have a huge and painful decision to make, for which there is no right or wrong but undoubtedly lots of opinion. But boy, think about the stories you’ll have to tell the grand-kids, they’ll make movies about you guys in years to come and your wedding snaps could end up in the Great Pandemic of 2020 Exhibition. In comparison, the rest of us will never come close to your incredible story, however grand our weddings. So, as always, embrace your fear, take courage from your Rebel Heart and if you’re still scared…give me a call and we’ll get you through this! Happy Wedding Day whatever you choose, you remarkable couples!
If your considering a celebrant wedding or ceremony that’s unique, personalised and has your story at its heart I’d love to help you write it – give me a call on 07891 122542 and let’s start talking!