Shan's Thought Process On COVID Wedding Planning

Headlines. I hate headlines. You would think that working in media, I would love them. No. Even as a radio personality, I hate headlines. I especially despise them as a 2020 bride.

I have never been one to “dream” about my wedding. In fact, I actually suggested entertaining the thought of eloping when my fiancé and I were first got engaged. However, we decided that the best way for us to celebrate was to celebrate with our friends and family. This led to the whole ordeal…planning something that I’m not even sure was “me.” Not to mention, home girl works in events - so planning it all just seemed like a lot.

I’m not saying this to be bitter, and I’m not saying it to tell you that I haven’t enjoyed the planning process. Overall, I have. I couldn’t wait to celebrate a new milestone in life with friends and family – even if that meant fussing over what type of flower I was supposed to pick out (which…I haven’t the slightest clue about anything flower-related) or which shade of navy we would go with. It all seemed silly to me, but I was still enjoying the decision we made.

Once COVID hit, Adam (my fiancé) and I decided to wait things out to make a decision. After all, everything started to develop in the US at the end of March and our wedding was in August. While we knew back then that we could be dealing with this pandemic for a year or longer, it also could’ve been over within a few weeks or months. Or, it could’ve at least been under control.

As things started to progress, and we realized that we were dealing with a long-term situation, we decided to cut our original guest count from about 300 people to 50-60 attendees – all of whom are in the bridal party or immediate family. This was probably the toughest decision for me. I was already having a hard enough time trying to decide how many bridesmaids to have because I have been extremely fortunate in the friendship realm of things. Am I popular? No. But, I’ll tell you what I told my mom last night: while most people have friends for sections of their lives (ie – high school friends, college friends, work friends, etc…) and grow apart, I have stayed close with all of mine through the years. There are only a select few I’ve “grown apart” from – and that’s just because of life – not because of a falling out or disagreement. The same goes for Adam and his friends. He has friend groups – not necessarily friends. He forms a bond with eight people at a time instead of one person at a time. Hence, making that initial “cut” was gut-wrenching - especially since that meant people who are like family to me, people who play a big role in my life - such as Scott & Ridder - will no longer be there.

Now, here we are. A week before the wedding, and Wisconsin cases are surging while other states watch closely to decide if they list our home state as a “quarantine” state.

I’ve never gotten emotional through this planning process in the sense of, “Oh, my gosh! Only six months until our wedding!!” I’m not the lovey-dovey type, and I’m also a fairly reserved person that needs to talk things through when it comes to decision-making (after all, what do you think I’m doing right now?). I don’t think I’ll constantly tear up during our ceremony or swoon over all of the décor – it’s just not the way I’m built. And there’s nothing wrong with that and vice versa.

However, I have gotten emotional within the past month in terms of, “Am I putting these 60 people at risk? Are we really doing everything we can? Should we just cancel the wedding? Should we postpone? Should we cut the guest list more?” As a person who wakes up at 3AM on a regular basis, I’m getting even less sleep now dreading what the next week brings.

You read it. Dreading. Is that the way you want to remember your day? Absolutely not. At the same time, Adam and I are in a situation where we can’t really postpone our wedding because we wouldn’t have a definite date. In which case – we would probably have to end up postponing until 2022.

If you’ve made it this far, here’s where it comes back to headlines: if you’re sending them to a bride – you’re only making her stress out more. She already knows the situation at hand, and she’s already monitoring it.

Think about what’s supposedly one of the biggest days in your life and having nothing but opinions that are being thrown at you, and you’re completely standing neutral. The only reason you’re neutral is because you understand the risk, but you don’t want to stop living your life – even if you have to make safe adjustments. You stand neutral because at this point, it’s just a bunch of white noise surrounding you, and you feel like a weeble wobble standing still because even if you’re punched one way, you’re punched the other way.

None of us know what this is. We all know it’s serious (or at least somewhat to some people).

I guess, writing this is my way of coping and telling the other brides to do what your gut tells you – if your gut can ever decide. If you’re a guest at a wedding, and you’re uncomfortable attending – don’t go. Obviously, if you’re sick, don’t go, but even if you’re not, and you’re just uncomfortable – don’t go. Of course, the couple will be upset or disappointed that you won’t be there, but they’ll understand. You’re doing them a favor in the long run because you’re not stressing them out about how worried you are because trust me – they are, too.

This wasn’t meant to be a repeat of the blog that’s been floating around social (click here for that one). It was simply just a mechanism to process my thoughts, and apparently – you were my wall to bounce things off of.

Once again – the reserved girl who has to word vomit and talk through all of her decisions over here.

We’re going to get through this – it’s just a matter of when. So, with that – I leave you with this: “If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind, too.” – Ivan Nuru

And a second one because I’m a quote nerd: “Grow through what you go through.” - Mischaela Elkins

*also, please note that these quotes had like five different authors when I searched them, so I just went with the one referenced most often on credible sites*

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