Thoughts on Weddings During Covid 19
Updated: May 19
Written by and Photography: Jenny Shipley
Currently, the wedding community, like most communities right now, is hurting. Weddings are hurting. Personally, most of my wedding and photography jobs in general have all rescheduled to August or later, and at this point, I'm not even sure what August or beyond will look like.
I am pro marriage.
If you are a Bride and a Groom for 2020 and even in to 2021, it is my personal opinion - I don't think you should wait to get married. However, I do understand that you would miss having the traditional feel of a large gathering of friends and family surrounding you. In some cases I think it's fine, and might be necessary, to push your plans on down the road to save your entire dream and entire wedding day plans with all of the guests and vendors you had planned on using. But, if you are crazy about each other and love each other with Christ in the center of your relationship - it's time to think of an alternative way to both preserve the foundation of love that God has given to us in marriage and yet maintain the celebration with loved ones.
We are not stuck. God has made us to be creative. Now is a time to be creative!
Ultimately, my personal opinions aside, this is an extremely tender time for you both and for your family. You will have to make hard and difficult decisions together.
But, it will be Great.
And it will be Memorable.
And it will be Beautiful.
Some options I can offer you:
1). Wait and Watch. If you already have a date on the calendar - Wait and Watch. We are living in a season of life where literally, from day to day, and even hour to hour - things are changing. I would suggest becoming aware of current policies and practices in what I will call the "hot zone" or two months before your wedding date. Start to ask vendors what they are seeing in the community (ie. what are your other clients doing right now?). Wait and Watch can be challenging because it's like the plight of the toilet paper! Once one Bride starts to be on edge and starts to abandon their original date, others being to follow suit. The challenge here is that the Fall of 2020 (and Spring of 2021) is already booked or becoming booked. The fear - then - is that you need to make a switch now in order to reserve an alternative date - if there is anything available! I understand the pressure, but waiting is ok. Wedding vendors are working hard to open up their schedules and are trying to be flexible.
2). Patience and Support. Please be patient with your family. And friends. And wedding vendors. This is crazy! And people have not experienced anything like this for many, many years! We are all trying to navigate these treacherous waters.
3). Create. If you get in to the "hot zone" of about two months before your date and are starting to get a feel that maybe you need to start reevaluating where your plans stand - it's time to be flexible and time to push your creative muscles. I'm sorry if it gets to this point! But, remember:
Love is not cancelled, and God wants you to pursue marriage - it's His special and safe place for intimate love!
Micro weddings and elopements are on the rise! Maybe have an intimate elopement at your home. Maybe elope at your home, but then plan for a large celebration at a later date where you can use all of your vendors and where more of your family can attend. Your venue might currently be able to accommodate a small number of guests for a micro wedding. Move your date, lastly, if it feels like the best option.
I have been starting to see current, local weddings pop up from the pages of fellow photographers - and, I've sincerely loved seeing how each wedding has worked hard to cope in their own unique ways. Your wedding day will be beautiful and full of love!
From my own experience, I have helped with folks that got married abroad and then had a large, formal celebration here in the US. Most recently (back in January 2020), I helped as a second photographer for a couple where the bride was from South Africa and they got married in South Africa. However, they came here to have a large, formal celebration with their Kansas City friends and family. I'm being completely honest - it was beautiful. And honestly - their celebration had such a relaxing feel to it! They came dressed like they were on their wedding day, everyone was still formal. They planned unique details. They had their full bridal party. They had first dances. Everything felt like it would on any wedding day that I have helped with - with the exception that it was more relaxed! AND - there was no ceremony. The couple simply chose to show a slideshow with photos from their ceremony before the first dances. (Photos from their day are following). The most famous and recent example of this that I can think of is Justin Bieber and his wife. They were eloped at a court house, but then had large, formal celebrations with all of their friends and family at a later date!
Although your current plans, including the plans you have been dreaming up, are already creative (and it's hard to fathom changing anything!) - I give these examples to say...
I am continually impressed with each individual wedding I have been blessed to serve. They are all different and - they all end with a newly, married couple that is full of love!
If you are a 2020 or 2021 bride looking for a photographer - Please feel free to reach out to me here on this attatched link! I'm ready and willing to be as flexible as I can be during this time.