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A Letter to 2021 Couples

A Letter to 2021 Couples-
From 2020 Brides, Grooms and your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer.

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Enter stage left: Couples that are recently engaged and planning a wedding for 2021.

No one said planning a wedding was easy. Now that we’ve added a global pandemic to the mix, you may be a little anxious, or left thinking “where does this leave us? Is it safe to have my wedding? Is it selfish of me to want this celebration while others may still be suffering? Do I really want to be THAT GUY?! Can we even have our big wedding?”

If this sounds a bit familiar, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay! Your feelings are completely normal and being experienced by thousands of other couples across the country, and I have good news! We are here to help you navigate those feelings, and to help you plan a successful wedding. If there is one thing we have this year that we didn’t have last year it’s- the experience. Your wedding vendors and fellow couples in love have now had an entire year of planning (and replanning) the perfect COVID-Wedding, and we’re here for YOU!

In an ongoing effort to help better serve couples getting married this year, I decided one of the best ways to do that was to share some of that experience. With the help of some of my 2020 brides, we’re going to spill the beans on their pandemic wedding planning experience with hopes that you can stride even more confidently towards your dream wedding day! Read about them below!

If you find this blog helpful or would like to share your experience as a couple or wedding vendor, let me know on social media! I would love to continue to gather resources and share more first hand experiences with pandemic-party-planning.

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Our wedding was literally the day things went south…

Originally Scheduled Wedding Date: March 21, 2020 | Date Married: August 15, 2020

Thy and Alex had to do something that no couple ever wants to deal with… change their date last minute! With a big date jump and ongoing gathering limitations, they successfully hosted their wedding with a smaller guest list in August and lucked out with beautiful weather. Despite the fear of the unknown, Thy and Alex handled every turn with maturity and love, building an even stronger connection to one another in the process.

What was a MAJOR change you had to make to your wedding plans?

About a week before our original wedding date, the CDC announced its recommendation that people not gather in groups larger than 50, and it was clear that count was going to keep getting lower as the health risk rose. We had to change our date by about six months, and we had to cut our guest list down to about a third of our original number. Everyone was really understanding, which helped a lot.

Why did you decide to make the change(s)?

These were not easy decisions, but we didn’t really have a choice. We ended up with another 2020 date (August 15), because that was the only other date left at our venue in 2020, and at that point we were optimistic that things would get better by then. Things got worse over the summer, and then got a little better by our date, before getting worse again in the fall. We ended up having relatively good timing, all things considered.

In hindsight, is there something you would’ve done differently?

Our event was small, nobody got sick, and everything went smoothly. I think that’s all you can really ask for, and at this point we don’t want to second-guess our decisions too much. There’s just a certain point where you have to commit to a plan and try your best to see it through safely.

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We’re still getting married, you’re just not invited

Originally Scheduled Wedding Date: May 22, 2020 | Date Married: May 22, 2020

Kara and Shalisa originally planned to have a fairly large wedding (with a rainbow jello shot tower and all), but due to the ever changing gathering restrictions, they decided to significantly cut their guest list, from over 100 to 0! The only people on sight the day of the wedding were the couple, venue coordinator, officiant, photographer (myself), MUA and a friend to manage the Zoom broadcast. And in case anyone was wondering… there were still jello shots.

“We still did an entrance, ceremony, first dance, and cake cutting with our guests watching virtually, and then had plenty of time for couples photos. We stopped by my new in-laws on the way home, ordered take out and enjoyed the rest of the evening as newlyweds with our dogs in our own home.”

Why did you decide to make the change(s)?

We were ready to get married and knew we wanted to start growing our family soon after [Baby Laurence is due any day now]. We thought about pushing our wedding back until the fall, but there was still so much unknown. For us, the most important thing was us getting married and it didn’t matter how it happened.

In hindsight, is there something you would’ve done differently?

Not at all, it actually worked out better! Less stressful, saved A LOT of money, and still had an amazing time. We were a little bummed about missing the big party, but are optimistic that there will be a time to party again safely.

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“We anxiously waited, not knowing if we could have the wedding” 

Originally Scheduled Wedding Date: July 4, 2020 | Date Married: July 4, 2020

We had to postpone Katie and Steve’s engagement session until just a few weeks prior to their actual wedding due to the safety risk. We discussed their wedding plans a lot during the session, and I assured them that I would be there for any decision they decided to make.Thankfully, county restrictions and a large outdoor venue worked in their favor! Despite it being over 100º, their outdoor wedding was one of the most beautiful we attended in 2020.

What was a MAJOR change you had to make to your wedding plans?

We had our guest list dwindled down significantly. There were quite a few people close to us that ended up not making it which was heartbreaking. However we wanted everyone to be safe and keep their loved ones safe as well.

Why did you decide to make the change(s)?

Luckily all our vendors were awesome, including Rachel :), so they basically left it up to us on what to do. We chose to proceed with a lot of social distancing, masks, and tried to have all the big parts of the reception at the beginning incase people preferred to leave after dinner. We were lucky to be having an outdoor wedding with tons of space to spread people out or we would have had to cancel.

In hindsight, is there something you would’ve done differently?

Stressed a lot less about minor details that no one notices.

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