A Letter To All The 2020 Brides,
First, I am so deeply sorry your wedding was canceled! I can’t imagine the amount of stress and sadness you’ve been experiencing in the past few months. The sudden change of plans and uncertainty of what you should do has to be overwhelmingly difficult. As hard as it is, I’m always about finding the silver lining in circumstances like these and hope this letter can help you through this!
For you, the disaster is happening before your big day, but for Shawn and I, it happened after. As some of you already know, 5.21.16 was our wedding day and unfortunately the last day we saw my father-in-law. He was in an accident a few short months later which left us absolutely devastated!
With this, we have a different perspective of our wedding day. “What more could we have done to cherish the memories with our loved ones who were still alive and well?” Over the past few years, we’ve reflected a lot and have rounded up “not so typical or traditional” things we wished we had done and things we are so glad we did!
Family, friends and your relationships are everything! With Covid-19 really shaking things into perspective for many of us, my hope is that you can find peace in giving up your special date and ongoing list of plans and focus more on holding your loved ones a little tighter!
Here’s a list that includes a total of six unique things we wish we had done and things we are so glad we did! Hopefully this unexpected extra time to plan allows you to add a few of these unique ideas to your big day and make it extra special.
Three Things We Wished We Would Have Included On Our Wedding Day:
1) Forgo the sweetheart table and head table… Be different and eat dinner with your family!
But what about those beautiful “head table” pictures you wanted? Who cares! You’re never going to frame a photo of you eating anyway! Your day is going to be packed with every minute planned. You spend all morning with your bridal party getting ready, all night with your husband, but looking back we didn’t have much conversation with our parents and siblings other than during photos and staged moments like the father-daughter dance.
Shawn and I did a “sweetheart table” just the two of us. Thinking it would make it easier for our guests to come up and chat with us. It ended up being a really quiet 30 minutes for us where we barely ate because a room of 275 eyes were on us! I’m grateful we had a few moments to ourselves but I wish we would have just done a big round table and sat next to our Moms, Dads and siblings. The rest of the night was so busy, we barely got to spend any quality time with them!
2) No flower girls? Have your Grandmas be your flower girls!
One of my friends suggested I do this. She saw it at another wedding and thought it was such a cute idea and looking back I really wish I had! We don’t have any little ones in our family so this would have been a sweet touch to our ceremony and great way to include our Grandmas who were still living.
Amidst all the crazy wedding plans, I saw it as just one more thing I had to add to my to-do list. I selfishly didn’t want to add one more thing on that list but boy… it would have been sweet 🙂 Just something to consider especially if you’re close with your Grandmas and they are still around to see you get married!
3) Let yourself feel!!!
Ok this is a hard one to explain. But as a girl who grew up dancing and always performing, my wedding kinda felt like a dance recital. Everyone is seated, waiting, and watching you! “You’re on stage, smile big for the crowd, and keep your head up is all I could think!” I wouldn’t even let myself cry that day because I was too worried to feel too much in front of all these people! Looking back, I should have let the flood gates break! Yes, people probably would have been “wowed” by my crying skills (I’m one of those ladies who can’t seem to catch her breath when she cries) but who cares! Let yourself feel all the emotions on your day to their fullest and don’t hold back!!!
Three Things We Are So Glad We Did At Our Wedding:
1) A first look, with private vows & parents watching from afar.
This is one of those preferences that’s going to be unique for each couple but I’m so glad we did this! Shawn and I are very private with our feelings and I’m kinda shy 🙂 We originally decided to do a first look because we knew this would give us a longer time window to get photos taken. As a result, it ended up allowing us to release a lot of built up anxiety that comes on your wedding day and feel more at ease during the ceremony.
In addition, we decided to read personalized vows/letters to each other during this time and have our parents watch from afar so they could be apart of the moment without listening in too closely.
This was one of my favorite moments of the day that we were able to capture in photos and video and that I’ll cherish forever and ever!
2) Write short, sweet, & personalized thank you cards to each guest and place on their dinner plate.
With our large wedding guest count of 275+, I knew we wouldn’t be able to spend quality time or even have quality conversations with each and every person. Shawn and I both agreed, it was most important to stick together as a couple the entire night and not look back saying “I wish we actually spent time together as a couple on our wedding day!” Something we heard many friends say.
With this, we decided to write short personalized thank yous to each guest which were placed on their dinner plate for them to read. I know it sounds like alot of work with all the thank you cards that already come with a wedding however a few short sentences on a small note card made all the different to our guests! It made people feel recognized and know that their presence was cherished even if we couldn’t chat with them for long! Four years later, I still have great aunts and uncles mention how sweet they thought it was. It really made them feel appreciated and special!
3) Make the last dance of the night just you two, husband and wife… no other people around. Just the bride and groom!
As all of our guests got ready for our send off, Shawn and I shared the last dance alone, just us two. Honestly it was one of the most special moments of the night because no one was watching (other than our sweet DJ & Photographer). It felt like we could finally let go and just hug each other like we would at home. It gave us the “Wow we are married!” fairytale feeling! It was the perfect way to end the night and soak in the last few moments of our special day together.
Well… that’s all I have! I really hope one of these ideas gets you back into the wedding planning mood and out of this terrible quarantine funk! Even if you don’t use any of these ideas, my hope is that you are comforted in knowing that your wedding will be special no matter what world disaster happens as long as you’re able to look past the “party” and cherish the small sweet moments with your loved ones!