What. a. year. friends.
Like most people, Ian and I were sure that this year was going to be our year. We both had started new jobs that were great for our careers, moved across the country, planned to get married on what seemed like the perfect date – 10.10.2020 and were making strides in our finances as we (mostly) paid off our debt from college. Like everyone else in the world, our plans for 2020 did not go as planned after a global pandemic changed the world as we all knew it.
In all honesty, I really did not think that COVID-19 would stick around for more than a few months when we first went into quarantine back in March. As months went by, my perspective on the global pandemic began to shift towards uncertainty and our wedding date of 10.10.2020 no longer seemed too far out there for COVID-19 to affect our plans. I watched my former classmates postpone their wedding dates as the summer months ticked by and before I knew it, we were 3 months out from our wedding date and COVID-19 did not seem to be going anywhere. Being the focused planner I am, which is both a strength and weakness of mine, I pushed forward with our planning and reset my expectations for what I originally envisioned for our wedding day. With current restrictions in Illinois, we would need to cut our guest list down from around 100 guests to 50, wear masks in church & in our venue, not touch anyone, and pray to God that no one got sick during our wedding celebration. Despite all of this, I continued forward with our planning.
It wasn’t until Ian and I had travelled to Portland, Oregon, this past July that I began to question our decision to move forward with our wedding date of 10.10.2020. After much thought and deliberation, we took the risk to visit Ian’s parents for his birthday after not having seen them since we moved to Chicago back in November of 2019. We took our precautions before visiting his family and made sure to stay in for the 2 weeks leading up to our flight out and were diligent in washing & sanitizing our hands and the surfaces we touched. I felt like a crazy person wiping down everything we touched in the O’hare airport, however, Ian and I were terrified of getting his parents sick and wanted to take all precautionary measures to prevent us bringing COVID-19 from Chicago to Portland.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to limit our exposure to COVID-19 we discovered that we were exposed to the virus on Ian’s birthday after I had gotten a text message from my sister letting us know that she had just tested positive for COVID-19. We had isolated ourselves for the two weeks leading up to our trip, however, I had let my sister come over for lunch a few days before we left for Portland.
We were horrified. Had we just infected Ian’s entire family? We quickly rushed over to a testing center 30 minutes away and sat in Ian’s little brother’s car waiting to get tested. It was awful. We were both anxious, guilty, afraid, angry, and dying of heat. We were instructed to keep our windows closed and to keep the car off while waiting in line at the drive-thru testing center. It was around 90 degrees outside (so probably 100F in the car) and we were instructed to keep our windows closed. It was horrible! What a way to spend Ian’s birthday!
However, as we sat in that hot car, I began questioning our decision to move forward with our wedding that would be in 3 months. Here we were, terrified that we had just infected Ian’s entire family.. and we were planning on having 50 people from all over the country join us in a closed venue to celebrate our wedding. It felt wrong.
After weeks of Ian and I going back and forth in our decision to postpone or not to postpone, I had called up my closest friends to ask them whether they felt comfortable 1) flying to our wedding 2) attending our wedding. I was so focused on planning that I had forgotten to check in with my bridesmaids to see if they even felt comfortable attending.
It wasn’t until I checked in with my bridesmaids that I had learned that they were indeed not comfortable attending but would make their best efforts to attend simply to not have me be upset with them. I then called up my grandma and found that even she was uncomfortable attending! Duh! It was then that I finally realized how illogical it was to move forward with our original wedding plans. We would be putting not only ourselves at risk, but also our loved ones.
So, long story short, we made the decisions to move our wedding to 10.30.2021 in hopes of having a safer and happier wedding date. In all honesty, it was an extremely difficult decision for us. While it made logical sense to move our wedding, we couldn’t help but feel disappointed and sad to let go of the plans we had spent over a year and a half planning. We wanted to have plenty of time to plan our wedding after getting engaged but didn’t realize that giving ourselves 19 months to plan would actually turn into 31 months.
The next few days after making the decision to postpone were depressing to say the least. I had just received our wedding invitations in the mail that I had ordered a few weeks previously and it felt like getting a stake driven through my heart looking at them and realizing that I had just spent what felt like a fortune on an invitation suite only to not be able to use them. It was awful. I felt pathetic crying over paper… but my goodness that was expensive paper!!
After lots of phone calls & tears I felt pretty hopeless. I had always thought that weddings were a joyful experience full of love – but ours had just felt stressful, depressing, and disappointing, I know this sounds extremely dramatic – and I am not usually one to post about drama on my blog – but I want to share the reality of what wedding plan has been for Ian and I during such a crazy year. Wedding planning is an extremely stressful process (especially if you do all the planning yourself while having a fulltime job). Add a global pandemic on top of it and it becomes a nightmare. Or at least it felt like a nightmare to us.
Not wanting to feel depressed about our wedding plans, we decided to salvage what we could of the remainder of 2020. Ian suggested that we kept our date of 10.10.2020 for our legal marriage and keep the sacramental aspect of our wedding for 2021 and I was so onboard. It wasn’t until I started looking into courthouses that things again felt wrong. I never saw myself running to courthouse to tie the knot & again felt blue thinking about how this wedding did not feel right to me. It wasn’t until I remembered how I had originally wanted to get married on the Oregon Coast that things started to click. My heart lit up as the idea hit me and I just knew that we needed to get married on the Oregon Coast this year. For the first time in a long time, I felt that things felt right.
So, we began planning yet another wedding. I made phone calls to our vendors letting them know that we would be postponing our wedding to 2021 and then got started in planning for our small beach wedding that we would have in 2 short months. Our family, or most of our family, was delighted in our plans to salvage 2020 and make the most of the situation we were in & we were ecstatic to do what felt right to us. I no longer felt wary about our wedding plans but excited and sure that we were making the right decision.
Fast forward two months and here I am sitting in Bend, Oregon on our honeymoon typing up this post after getting married this past weekend. We said our vows on the beach right against the ocean and it was absolutely surreal. While I wish that COVID-19 wasn’t around to ruin our wedding plans for 2020, I am truly happy with how things turned out. I learned during this entire COVID wedding planning process that life is simply what you make of it. Plans change, but it is how you roll with those changes that makes the difference. Ian and I were disappointed by the situation we found ourselves in but decided to make the most of it!
Not to mention, changing our plans allowed for Winston to be a part of our wedding!
I know that this post was incredibly lengthy and not all sunshine and rainbows, but I felt that I needed to share our wedding experience with you all especially since this has been such a big part of my life lately. While things certainly did not go as planned, I think we did a great job turning this year around for ourselves. If anything, I am certain now that Ian and I can get through anything after all of this 😂
To my friends and family reading this, I just want to say thank you for all of the love and support you have shown us. This has been a wild year for all of us, so thank you for always having my back when I have needed you all most ❤
Here is to the next chapter in our lives as Mr & Mrs!