Weddings Amidst A Global Pandemic

I’m back after a much-needed break for a few months. A lot has changed during this time, including the beginning of a global pandemic! As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, and continues to change, every single industry in unique ways. The wedding industry tops the list. It’s heartbreaking, knowing that couples who have planned their big day for years have had to make abrupt changes to their vision just so they could still get married. While others have made the hard choice to reschedule or cancel altogether. In a way, it’s simplified weddings and forced couples to focus on what matters: the two of them, vows, and those absolutely closest to them. It’s no longer about whether or not your third cousin needs to be invited or if the DJ can amp up a party.

I know, however, that simple doesn’t mean easy. I’ve seen a lot of creative ideas thus far and am looking forward to seeing how more couples navigate this time.

  1. Video streaming services allow for couples to bring their big day live to their loved ones. Consideration: Be thoughtful with the platform that you choose since some require logins that your guests may not have.
  2. Drive-by weddings are the new drive-by birthday parties. Allow guests to drive by when you and your spouse exist the ceremony space. The most creative guests might decorate their cars with balloons or throw rose petals out of the window. Consideration: This will work for some locations and/or sizes of guest lists. If you plan to be married in a tight urban or residential area then it may not work.
  3. If your wedding is further out (6+ months), don’t make any hasty changes. While it’s important to research specific policies to postpone or cancel, things will continue to change. If you move too quickly to make changes then you might need to adapt yet again at a later date. Consideration: Reach out to all of your vendors to find out what their cancellation policies are and specific time frames to keep in mind. Set a reminder on your calendar so you know when these dates are coming up.
  4. Even if you host a small event, you will still need to remain cautious and that might require some additional creativity. Keep an eye on your local news and pay attention to guidelines like these from the CDC on how to safely host an event. Consideration: Try to be flexible with your wedding vision. While having wedding rows that are 6-feet apart or signs on extra hand-sanitizer at the food stations weren’t likely what you first envisioned, it could be worth it if it still allows you to have an in-person event during the age of the coronavirus.
  5. You may have found that wedding planning was already getting really complicated and becoming much bigger than you had hoped. This could be your way of making your day just about you two and the love that you share. Elopement-like weddings are at an all-time high and could be done in exotic or beautiful places within driving distance. As long as you have someone to marry you and an epic photographer, this could end up being something really special. Consideration: Before you go this route, both you and your spouse-to-be need to make a list of the people who you believe HAVE to be at your wedding. This could change whether or not it’s feasible something this small. If it’s important for you to be married, you could also do something super-small now and then re-do your I do’s when things settle down.

I’m sorry for the bride and groom’s who have to quickly change their wedding logistics but have been encouraged by the resilience and openness displayed by many engaged couples during this time. Make the best of it and just know that these will make for great stories in the future! I mean, who else can say that they were married during a global pandemic?

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

How to Mentally Prepare for Marriage

img_7482

I recently posted about the things that I didn’t realize about marriage once I got the ring. There is so much that you don’t know when entering this new season of your life, and that’s part of the fun. If you’re serious with your boyfriend, newly engaged, or newly married, here are some tips to help set you up for success. With anything in life, success is likely going to be a result of your attitude and commitment. Here is how you can mentally prepare to be a lifelong spouse:

Remember that future decisions will need to go from an I to a We. You are now part of a two-piece puzzle and it’s crucial that you keep in mind the other piece. While it might not change specific outcomes, at least you are in it together.

While you are both part of a two-for-one, don’t lose sight of your individual self worth or independence. Becoming a “wife” or a “husband” will be a new label in your identity, but it is not all that you are. Continue with your own self-care and choose to spend time doing the things that feed your soul.

Marriage is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself with your expectations, how you adapt to living with one another, and what the rest of your lives together will look like. You have time to get to know each other and create norms that you’re both comfortable with.

As my sister/Matron of Honor shared in her wedding toast: “Always remember that you’re on the same team.” There will be times that it feels like the world is against you. No matter what, know that you’re backed into a corner with your spouse. They aren’t the ones that are on a different team, they are on your team. Try to show that to one another in your words and actions.

The engagement season is a unique time in your relationship where you can look forward and plan your life together. Once that life begins, do everything you can to ENJOY and be PRESENT. You have chosen one another and that’s the best part.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

Planning a wedding? Is it all worth it?

When I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, I kept asking myself “Is it all worth it?”, and I hear other brides ask the same thing, too.
Is it worth it to spend hours contemplating between two shades of one color, when they look the same to most other people? Is it worth it to invest in a dress that you will likely only wear once? Is it worth it to pay for food and drink for 100+ people? Is it worth it to put so much time into the DIY elements that might only be recognized by a few guests? (And the list goes on…)
Here’s the deal. Second guessing (everything) will be part of the planning process. But the answer is “yes” as long as it truly meets this criteria:

    You aren’t just doing something a certain way because ‘that’s how everyone else does it’ or ‘Grandma would be more comfortable if it’s more formal…’ Instead, you’re making decisions that are true to who you are to make YOUR day special.
    You aren’t over-extending yourselves either mentally, physically, or financially just to put up a front for your guests. You don’t throw a wedding party to please people or make them think something you’re not, you throw a wedding party to celebrate a forever-union. Honestly, the wedding invitation that comes in a velvet monogrammed box just might not be worth it, unless you’re going that route because it MEANS something to you and your future spouse.
    You aren’t making spinning your wheels and spending unnecessary energy on the drama. If there’s one way that you can actually enjoy the planning process a little more, it’s to not get wrapped up in the things that will not bring value to your big day. Like really, who cares if your mom’s friend from high school is mad they didn’t get invited. And who cares if Aunt Ruth thinks it’s inappropriate to have someone give you lingerie at your bridal shower. Dust it off, because that’s NOT worth it, and you’ll need that space in your mind and heart to focus on what is. (This isn’t meant to sound harsh, but these are the details that are not worth it because they won’t matter after your big day.)

Be intentional and challenge why you are making each decision throughout the planning process. Because then once you make those decisions, you can rest assured that your big day will represent who you are and turn out exactly they way it’s supposed to. I promise you, it’s worth it.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

How to be a Gracious Wedding Guest

June is here: the most popular wedding month of the year! Whether or not you’re getting married this summer, you are probably invited to a wedding or two (or five!) Since every wedding varies based on the couples’ culture and personal preferences, it’s sometimes hard to know how to behave once the big day arrives.

  • When you get the invite, it will likely give you an idea of the format and theme. Take clues from this on how formal it might be and if there is a specific insight you can glean from the upcoming day.
  • You better RSVP!!! And don’t do it last minute. This is so important.
  • Try not to reach out directly to the couple with questions! You can always reach out to an immediate family member or someone in their bridal party. Instead, reach out to the couple with a word of encouragement before the big day. They are likely stressed and have a lot going on. If possible, offer help or take them out to get their mind off of everything going on.
  • Be on time! While most ceremonies never start on time, don’t assume that. Plan your day so you can have a buffer so you’re there before it starts.
  • The bride won’t get tired of hearing how beautiful she is, so make sure to compliment her if you do get to speak! Also, let the groom know how handsome he looks.
  • Take notice of the smaller details because either she or he put thought and effort into putting that entire experience together. Save those things in the back of your mind to tell the couple after the big day. Once things are all over with, they might question all of the effort, so it will be nice for them to hear a kind word of notice and appreciation.

Hope this helps! Enjoy wedding season, I know I will!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

Helpful Wedding Planning Resources

cropped-7-18-2017-5-30-31-pm3.jpg
When I was planning my wedding, I found a ton of great  resources that helped alleviate some of the wedding planning woes. Here are a few that I’d like to highlight to help you on your journey:

  1. Grab a girlfriend and attend a bridal expo. Depending on where you live, bridal shows might be few and far between, so this is something that I’d recommend researching soon after your engagement. Most only cost a few dollars for an entrance fee, and you’ll likely find valuable connections and wedding tips. Not to mention, you’ll get swag and it will really help you get in the mood! Here’s a website to start, but a simple google search will find all of the options near you.
  2. Visit Etsy— it is literally a gold mine for unique wedding decor touches. Etsy is an online marketplace where small businesses and local artisans can sell products. I had actually never used it before my wedding and I am so glad that I found it when I did. You can order anything from a custom sign, in the exact color that you need, to a fun garter. If you download the app on your phone, don’t say I didn’t warn you! (You can spend HOURS just looking up search terms like “shabby chic wedding!”)
  3. Speaking of apps…I LOVE this list from Mashable with the “7 apps you need to de-stress your wedding planning“!
  4. Find local wedding vendors via The Knot A collection of businesses from venues to DJs that can put you in touch with some trustworthy recommendations in the area of your choice. Take some time to really research your vendors so you find the right fit. (Or…just do a destination wedding!)
  5. And don’t forget about the people right in your sphere of influence! Talk to your married family and friends (especially local newlyweds) and keep an eye out for wedding vendors or bridal stores near you that you might not have visited before. There is no downside to going in to say hello!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More