when a roadmap forward creates chaos for the wedding industry and the couples that are simply trying to get married
The day after what would have been our 2nd scheduled wedding date, the government announced a “roadmap” showing when restrictions will be lifted at various milestone dates. On the surface this sounds like good news (yay we can start planning again with some form of certainty!) but as it turns out, this threw an unexpected spanner in the works.
The spanner was in fact changing expectations from family, in particular, our parents. Whereas before the roadmap, they were more than happy for us to elope at the first possible opportunity once restrictions lifted for weddings, the roadmap gave them a glimmer of hope that there could be something more akin to a wedding. So with the expectations came a new attitude and new demands.
“No you can’t just do an elopement of 5 people, you’ll be allowed 50 guests soon so wait for the full 50 to be allowed” was the first sign of this new expectation. Couple of days later, once we have a new date set, came the directive that “no, you can’t just do the ceremony and not offer refreshments and at least a sit-down meal. It would be disrespectful to the occasion”.
The problem was, the new rules are not so straight-forward. If you want 50 people at a wedding, everyone had to be fully vaccinated so we needed to ask everyone when they will be fully vaccinated. Then some people are not comfortable with attending an event indoors, so we had to think about an outdoor space. As for food, by the time of our new wedding date, restaurants are only allowed group bookings of 30 which is less than the total number of guests. So what happens to the remaining 20 people? Do they have to eat at a separate restaurant? The logistics of trying to organise this is overwhelmingly complex.
It got to a point when, after researching for hours about planning for a garden ceremony with light refreshments on cute table arrangements, I was told to scrap the entire idea and find a rooftop bar with sit-down meal options instead.
My fiancé asked me “so what are we planning here? How is this different to a wedding reception that we were hoping to plan to celebrate with all our guests next year?” I couldn’t quite find the answer. On top of that, I became annoyed at him for asking questions rather than finding solutions, and he became annoyed at me for always talking about wedding planning which has now become a stressful topic. We were both exhausted from wedding planning, having had 2 postponements across 2 years and now dealing with unexpected pressure from our parents to plan something that we didn’t even want in the first place (honestly we were both just happy with an elopement!) That night, I went to bed wondering whether we would even have a wedding at all in the remaining months of 2021.
So, I ended up putting all planning on pause and asking both of our parents to come to an unanimous agreement on a plan forward. After a few hours, I received a surprising message: “whatever you both choose to do, we will support you. If you want to elope, we will support that. If you want to go ahead with a small 50-persons wedding, we will support that too.”
So here we are now, conceding with planning a 50-people small wedding at a rooftop outdoor dining space. We are still waiting for a venue, it is just over 8 weeks from the new wedding date. This will be our 3rd attempt at planning our wedding.
I am hoping that the next time I write to you all here will be when I share some photos from our wedding. Here’s to 3rd time lucky!