to all the couples out there planning weddings in 2020 amidst COVID-19, we have to start this post by sending a little love your way. as if you're not already feeling burned out on making decisions or having opinions on things you don't really care about, cue the biggest curveball in wedding planning history-- social distancing. depending on your 2020 wedding date, you are probably either troubleshooting your plan-B, or crossing your fingers and toes if your wedding is later this fall.
being faced with the possibility of postponing is not one that we are taking lightly as we are walking alongside our clients. for months (+ for some, years), you have been losing sleep + dreaming about this celebration that will be so representative of you as a couple. so it's okay that thinking about any changes to the original plan feels a bit personal. some of you are probably telling yourself that in the grand scheme, other people are having it way worse. this may be true, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a loss. a loss that everyone will handle differently, but that's okay! it's okay to grieve or be sad + to morn the loss.
a lot of couples that have been going through this 'change of plans, troubleshooting plan B, breathe in a paper bag' sort of scenario have been quick to toss out "what if we just elope?". we've received countless phone calls like this, most at odd hours of the night (shameless plug, hire a planner, that's what we're here for). the hardest question usually follows shortly after, "sooo, what do you think?". this is a really delicate topic + one that we think our opinion should be left out of because at the end of the day, we want YOU to feel like you had a celebration you look back on without regret. so below we have jotted down a few things to think about before jumping ship on your original plan. if at the end of this, you still feel like eloping is for you, then party on lovebirds.
1. Decide What Your Priorities are as a Couple
hopefully you have had time as a couple or with a planner to chat about the sweet things that have marked your relationship + the things that have made your story unique. maybe, as a couple, you have consistently loved to host monthly double date dinners at your cozy little place. or maybe, you have found that when you feel the most seen if when you both just hop in the car and talk through the night until you make it to wherever middle of Oregon for a one day adventure. or maybe you both love that your families live right down the street + you know to plan for weekly family dinners. take note of the things that have made your relationship special, look for those consistencies + make decisions accordingly.
maybe for the first couple, you realize that ultimately you want to be surrounded by your closest friends, sharing in a good meal. deciding who that may include will help you decide what your day should look like. for example, if your can't seem to get your closest friends list from 100 to 20, eloping may not be for you and that's OKAY. but maybe there have been a couple steadfast friends in your life + your closest family lives nearby, + you love the idea of being with your people, cooking a meal together, MARRIED, despite of the pandemic happening around you.
maybe if you relate to the second couple, you see that you'd love for that same spontaneity that has been seen throughout your relationship to mark your wedding day. you want to stick to that date, no matter what it'll look like, after all that's the fun part!
or maybe you realize that while family has played such big role in your relationship + while all your family is in town, they are all a little older making them high risk. your family won't have to travel, but after talking to your parents, they have decided that they don't feel comfortable gathering with your grandparents no matter how special you think it could be. you know that without your family present, your vows wouldn't be the same. as much as you thought this idea could work out with everyone being in such close proximity, yield to the warning signs. it's hard enough to mourn the loss of your initial celebration, so we would caution you to get too hopeful + run toward something that ultimately wouldn't be representative of your relationship.
so, pour yourself a healthy pour of your drink of choice + be super honest with each other about what has consistently been important to you both. it's a lot to think about, but at least you have each other.
2. Embrace the Fact that Tradition is out the Window
now for the blessing within the curse. now more than ever, your more traditional family members are showing grace and flexibility, so live into that! whether that means, that all along you wanted to elope + now your family is finally on board or that you didn't really want have a 350 person wedding where your parents invite all of their church friends from your childhood.
this even means that right now you can elope, have a bridal shower and then have a reception next year. you don't have to sacrifice the exciting celebrations that often make this season exciting, you may just have to jumble the order!
the reality is that advisories for gatherings are all up in the air, and ever changing but this really could work in your favor. now that you have your priorities mapped out, get everyone on the same page. we'd bet that family + friends will be a lot more in tune with your needs right now.
3. Don't Make Decisions from a Place of Fear
more than ever, we have seen the wedding community rally around couples, doing everything they can to adjust their schedules + lives to be available. *hats off to all those in the industry hustling for their couples*
this being said, we would hate for you to hesitate on making a back-up plan or moving toward a plan-B because of fear-- fear of losing money, fear of making unnecessary changes, fear of finding a date that works for the entirety of your dream vendor team, etc.
we want to empower you to live into your convictions + make decisions accordingly. you'll be surprised at how your vendor teams responds with support (+ most likely waves cancelation fees) + how relieved you'll feel to make a game plan instead of living through the COVID-19 advisory whiplash.
4. Uncensored Advice from two People who may not Know you, but Care About You
if you are not sold on the idea of an elopement, but you are trying to make it work-- DON'T.
whatever is ringing in your head, listen to it. you only get to do this once.
+ Now, we are excited to share with you, photos of a couple who, embodied the process described above. they mourned, adjusted their plans + opted for a beautiful elopement, with a couple of friends + polaroid cameras.
it turned out to be the sweetest celebration of the love that they have fought for, one that is resilient, consistent and ever growing! their wedding day reflected just that.
if you don't have a planner + are looking to elope, we're your gals-- in a pinch, we'll be your witnesses, toss together a bridal bouquet + pack our camera. it truly is a labor of love.