Weddings in the Time of Covid

I am happy to have a break from writing Pocono Wedding Talk – the COVID information that is provided by the Pocono Record is so much more important, and it seems frivolous to write about weddings, especially since they are mostly cancelled now anyway. But it’s been about a month since I wrote a column and I did think it worthwhile now to update you on what’s going on in the world of weddings through this unusual time in our lives.  And there are many situations to discuss.

First I want to tell you about one of ‘my’ couples – I’ll call them Abbie and Elliot (not their real names – but a real couple I assure you). They were planning to get married in late April – very soon now. I was all set to officiate their smaller gathering, about 35 guests, here in the Poconos. The couple, however, live in California, but their families are from this area so they planned to fly here and make it convenient for the folks. That’s all on hold now. Both work in health care and their own situation is scary enough. They told me moving the wedding a few months ahead won’t work for them because Abbie just found out she’s pregnant and won’t be able to fly. More than ever they want to get married before their baby arrives. To make things more complicated they don’t want to put their aging parents at any risk. Right now they are just letting it all go. I’ve returned their deposit and hope we can have a great wedding and baby welcoming ceremony together next year. Perhaps, they’ll elope in California, that would work for them They really want to make it official.

Large groups won’t work right now.
Ephemera Photographics

If a couple can get a date at their venue that works for most of their vendors, they are quite lucky. Some have to find a new photographer, or DJ, if their new chosen date is a conflict for the vendor. I’m glad to see most are putting their officiant first on that list; my clients are doing that and have told me I’m their first call. After all, you can’t get married without someone to marry you. And coordinating all of those vendors – again – definitely not fun; didn’t you already do this once? 

How far out should you choose a date, if you can get one? No one knows when the stay-home orders will be lifted, and more importantly, when it will actually be safe to gather in larger groups. The safest option is to re-schedule for next year, maybe even for the same month and day, if possible. Many of the weddings I was booked for this spring have rescheduled for this fall. I sure hope things are ok by then. But safety is the most important thing.

Like most small businesses, the shut-down has been very difficult for wedding vendors, most who are self-employed, like DJs, musicians, florists, caterers, wedding planners, dress shops, tux rentals, and officiants like myself. Almost all of us do not hold salaried positions. Our incomes will return when the weddings return, but sadly, some will really struggle through this. 

All wedding vendors are impacted. Here’s photographer Aimee Blasko.

For couples stressed out, please know that it’s ok to be sad. A wedding is something most have looked forward to for a long, long time. Couples I’m speaking with are doing everything they can, with a sense of acceptance and even with grace. They seem to have it in perspective, understanding that they will get married (eventually) and that the health of our families, friends, communities and this world is a bigger issue and the greater good. I haven’t had anyone freaking out, most people do have this in perspective, and that gives me great hope.

find me on facebook – Lois Heckman, Celebrant, and Instagram – Lois Heckman

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