a bride’s perspective
I am writing this in the middle of July in 2020. My bridal store called me today and excitedly left a voicemail saying that my beautiful wedding gown had finally arrived after 5 months in the making.
I didn’t call back. In fact, as I thought about heading into the store to collect my wedding gown post lockdown, I felt a sense of dread in thinking about the uncertainty surrounding the future of all weddings in the COVID-19 environment.
My fiance and I had already made the decision to postpone our September wedding reception back in May, when restrictions were starting to ease and things were looking to be heading back to normal…well whatever “normal” was going to look like post-COVID. Realising that it may not be safe to attempt to plan an indoor gathering of 160 people in the year of COVID, we made the difficult yet practical decision to postpone our wedding reception until 2021. Friends and family were supportive, and many agreed with how sensible the decision was.
In June, with restrictions easing even more and restaurants and gyms starting to open up again, we decided to start planning a small ceremony so that we could still get married in September. Then just as things were starting to look up, so did a new wave of COVID-19 cases. All of a sudden, the entire city was plunged back into lockdown again for 6 whole weeks.
Defeated. Deflated. Disappointed. These were some of the words my Instagram network used to describe how they were feeling with the introduction of Lockdown 2.0. None of us had fathomed that we would be back in lockdown again so soon. It was as though Spring was in the air, and flowers had started to blossom, only for a blistering cold front to blow through, destroy all the flowers and remind us that make no mistake, we are still very much deep in the middle of Winter.
So here we are, 2 of 6 weeks into Lockdown 2.0. The cases are still rising, and there is just as much uncertainty about the future as we have ever tried to cope with (well, to date anyway). Weddings are back to 5 people only, and our venue, a global hotel chain, has still yet to decide whether they want to re-open this year.
There is no book to tell me what will happen next, no syllabus to help me find a way forward. Whilst my legal training has taught me to read widely and consider various points of view in order to map out my own way forward, the situation that we find ourselves in now across the globe is, as they say, “unprecedented”. So much so that we cannot help keep using that word even though it does not help us feel any better. Like many brides out there trying to plan a wedding during a Pandemic, I feel that I am simply blindly hoping that we will make it through Lockdown 2.0 by the end of 6 weeks, and have restrictions ease again to allow for a small wedding ceremony.
I wanted to write today to capture this feeling. This sense of trying to find hope when we simply cannot see what the future holds. Collectively we will survive through this, as the statistics show that majority of people do recover from the virus, and history has shown us that previous Pandemics do stop eventually. But right now we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, so we may as well be planning a wedding in absolute darkness.
Some of my friends have commented on how calm I seem in the midst of remaining flexible with our wedding plans. Maybe one day I will look back and fully realise how tumultuous this time was for us all, and especially for brides. But for now, all I can do is stay calm, stay hopeful and keep planning.