Weddings are stressful! Picking a venue, vendors, flowers, colour schemes, suits, dresses, fittings, and drafting guestlists. Now, add in a global pandemic, and that brings lockdowns, masks, and restrictions that change at the drop of a hat! So, how do you plan and navigate the wedding process in a global pandemic? Well, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you but what I can tell you is this:

Have a Plan A, B, C, or in my case now a D!

Yes, I am a fourth-time rescheduled bride and how I haven’t gone crazy yet is beyond me. What is important to remember is people’s interpretation of a ‘Plan B’ is different from one person to the next. In my case, my Plan A-D has been the exact same – same wedding (and same groom thankfully) just postponed in the future with the hope restrictions have dropped or eased. What if you need to make a Plan B? That is up to YOU. Is your Plan B an intimate wedding or elopement instead of a big wedding? Is it getting married officially and a party later? Is it just postponed to 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years? The wedding is about you and your partner and whatever way you choose to celebrate your day, that is entirely up to you.

I understand making the call to postpone or change your wedding is heartbreaking but unfortunately, there seems to be no nice way to do it and that is a really hard pill to swallow at first. Inform your guests when you can (ours were assuming we postponed and were really nice about it – thanks guys!) and on your actual planned wedding day, have a nice dinner with your partner to celebrate the day still. If I have taken anything away from changing the date so many times – apart from a fancy meal here and there – it is that when the day comes, I will appreciate it SO much more. Your wedding will happen and regardless of date changes or guest lists shortened – you will be married and it WILL be beautiful!

Disconnect and Breathe

I found myself almost borderline obsessed with the Government’s 11 am press conference and for what reason? After my partner and I made the first call to postpone our wedding I was checking the case numbers and restrictions to no end. I had in my head ‘what if we could have got married’ and ‘we shouldn’t have postponed our day’ and in reality, I have no control over the situation but what I can control is just disconnecting the wedding to the pandemic announcements. My work is regulated by the pandemic (I am a teacher) and I have to keep informed of the restrictions but I made the decision to disconnect and disassociate the restrictions to the wedding, particularly because the wedding was then 6 months away and restrictions change so rapidly. It is really hard to keep the wedding world separated from the daily press conferences but if I kept trying to balance the two to predict what restrictions will be in place for the wedding then I would definitely go crazy. Planning a wedding should be fun! Challenging – yes, but for the most part – fun. The ‘fun factor’ will eventually be sucked away if I continue to manifest worries by what is happening when the wedding was so far from the current circumstances, so if you can, slowly disconnect the c-word world to your wedding world, take time to breathe and plan your wedding without the fear of ‘what if’ because you can’t control that. When your wedding is closer obviously you need to take into consideration what might impact your day but don’t let the months prior make you feel like you need to constantly worry. Give yourself time to be excited, maybe you’ll get lucky and your day will go to plan and all those worries, tears and tantrums will be for what? Also, recruit an awesome wedding party squad! Mine rules, and it’s thanks to them I’ve kept my sanity just that little bit more.

Be Sad

Totally contradictory to the above right? What I mean by this is to give yourself time to process. Some people don’t really seem to grasp the idea of how much a postponed wedding can impact your level of happiness or excitement, but give yourself time to deal with the mixed emotions you’ll evidently feel. I found myself subconsciously consumed with the thought ‘it isn’t the end of the world, people are getting really sick’ and yes, this is true but I kept comparing my problems to the extremes to de-validate how I really felt. At the best of times, I am not the most emotional person and this pandemic ride doesn’t seem to have a ‘stop’ button just yet. You have a free pass to feel sad, irrespective of what else is happening in the world but make sure you still try to keep a glimmer of hope and turn that frown eventually upside down! Hey, at the end of the day, you’re getting married, so smile!

Plan that damn wedding!

A wedding is the most important day for two people to come together and celebrate their future and love together. If I can give you one piece of advice, it is this! I can sympathise wholeheartedly with those couples who are affected by COVID-19 but PLEASE continue to plan that damn wedding! You BOTH deserve to have your day, your way! It is so sad to hear people saying the word ‘cancelled,’ not postponed. I am sure life circumstances might change, but still have your wedding in however you choose to have it. Just 5 of you? Amazing! Elopement? Gorgeous! Big wedding? Party time! I just hope you get to have your special day because you deserve it. Your day (and mine) will come eventually and us covid-couples will have this renewed appreciation for our weddings and the people invested in them. Don’t pause your planning because of the pandemic. Take precautions – definitely, be open and flexible to change – of course, but most importantly have faith to continue planning!

Email your vendors and I encourage you to opt for a mid-week wedding to secure all your preferred vendors and in a season that suits you. I am now a Thursday bride and at first, I was really against it. But why? It is just a day and now, it is a 4-day weekend for our guests! (You’re all welcome!)

PSA – I am not a professional planner by any means. Sure you could hire a wedding planner but (un)fortunately I am the planner for my partner and me. I don’t know the specifics of how to plan a wedding and at first, I was just winging it and as it turns out, I did an alright job so far navigating this plan-demic wedding. Do your research, read up on the restrictions and talk with your partner. Get their opinion!

Vendors, Vendors, Vendors!

RIGHT, here is my favourite part! Side note, I initially reached out to Polka Dot Wedding (thanks Dorothy) on Instagram to say thank you (hopefully on a public forum) to a few amazing businesses but it turned into me writing a little blog for other same-boat couples. But here we are, the best bit! Get your pen and paper ready to write down a few of these vendors if you’re in the zone of the Hunter Valley up and beyond to the South Coast. These guys are the best in the biz, trust me I’ve worked through four weddings with them (Ha…Ha… if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry – no seriously, I probably will).

Woodlands Creativephotography queen and all-round good person!

Man, I could write an entire blog on Elisha. She is a photographer and it is almost insulting to just say that is all she is. This woman has been recruited as an unofficial bridesmaid and wedding planner all wrapped up in one cute little camera bag. I can’t express how accommodating Elisha has been throughout this whole experience. I’d be feeling very lost without her. If you’re reading this Elisha, you’re the best and if you’re after a photographer, book her. Like, right now. Like, as in yesterday.

Bonnie Lass Filmsvideographer expert and the kindest and calmest person in the world!

Bonnie! She is so incredibly popular in our region and has hundreds of couples to tend to but guess what? She ALWAYS has time! How is this for a story: Bonnie was having a treat yo’self day getting her hair done and called me JUST BECAUSE! Like c’mon, how beautiful is that? She knew the previous day’s announcement meant our wedding was going to be postponed again. A). She remembered our date and B.) She thought she’d call as a check-in? Do I need to say it? BOOK HER!

Marry Me Sarah Bcheerful celebrant with a heart of gold (and a splash of red and pink!)

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah! This pink and red goddess is so full of positivity and always has time. Thinking of a veil? Send it to her. Thinking of a colour scheme? Ask her. Bored, want a chat? Call her! From our first Zoom with Sarah, she just radiated with smiles and it was contagious! Sarah is down to earth and is the total opposite of a copy-and-paste style ceremony. She literally wrote our ceremony, just for us, with us. She is truly an amazing celebrant and the fact her personality absolutely rules is a bonus. Don’t make me say it again, BOOK HER!

Kantara HouseKarina, venue coordinator expert, and absolute wedding life-saver!

Are you after arguably the nicest white wedding chapel EVER? Are you also after landscaped gardens? How about a vineyard? Accommodation night of and before the wedding? Canapes under a fairy light sail? Hampton’s style white reception area? All in ONE property? Look at Kanatara House! The newly refurbished venue is a mix of sophisticated tropical vibes with a traditional Hamptons crisp-white feel. I can’t wait to have my wedding here and it is a bonus Karina and Cherie will be there to articulate the day. Karina has been a god-send with rearranging our wedding and her calm approach just melts away our worries. So, like, have you booked yet? Cos’ same.

BrewBikeJesse, cocktail king, and just a really cool guy!

Jesse is so cool, I mean how much cooler can you be to make a bicycle into a cocktail bar? What!? Jesse from the beginning was informative and is really easy to work with. He accommodated our very specific timeline as if it was no worries to him at all. Jesse makes delicious cocktails and can customise them to your palette – I am drooling at the thought of our passion fruit margaritas! YUM! You know what I’m going to say… book him!

The Boys StudioMitch and Dean absolute makeup and hair gods.

These two are SO dreamy, it is amazing what they can do with hair and make-up! The Boys are so talented and so down to earth. They have been incredible with rescheduling and no issue is too big for them. I probably have decided I want my hair done in 10 different ways so far, no drama for Mitch – he is on it! As for makeup, Dean is incredibly talented and is perfect for brides, bridesmaids, and guests. Total allrounder! If you want to feel absolutely amazing and have fun in the process, these guys are for you. Book em!

Ervan WooDefinition of a sewing magician!

Not only is Ervan a phenomenal makeup artist but has the most intricate eye for detail when it comes to bridal gown alterations. Have you seen a picture on Pinterest of your dream dress but cannot find it in-store? Ervan creates dreamy one-of-a-kind dresses tailored to you! I am SO excited to wear my special piece beautifully crafted by Ervan! Total bonus, Ervan is a delight to work with and you can see the passion in his eyes when it comes to all things bridal. Needing alterations or wanting a custom dress, look no further, Ervan to the rescue!

Full list of the best in the biz’:

  • The Bodhi Effect (Brooke from Bodhi, BEST SPRAY TANS EVER!!!! Also, Brooke is, in general, a phenomenal beautician, I would not go anywhere else). Side note, Brooke if you’re reading this, my eyebrows and I miss you dearly in lockdown.
  • Honey-Belle Cakery (Chelsea is as sweet as the treats she bakes!)
  • Red Soda Band (Felicity is a pleasure to communicate with and we are absolutely over the moon with Kartik who will sing at our wedding – the voice of an angel! *cue the aisle tears!* ).
  • Hey Sweet Peach (Chloe is amazing at all things custom stationery and signage).
  • Creative Booth (Pennie, absolute gem with a killer photo booth).
  • Everlong Events (Bonnie, beautiful styling, and dry hire pieces).
  • Hair by Anette (Treat yourself, get your hair done by this absolute expert! Also, Anette my hair and I miss you too).

Thank you for reading! I hope this either makes you smile, laugh, cry or look at pandemic weddings in a different light. We’re all in this together – now take a sip of wine, look at your Pinterest wedding board and get back to planning!

To my soon-to-be husband – Michael. My wonderful, patient, and supportive partner – thank you for your positivity and for really being that light in a world of darkness (and viruses). This man is a textbook definition of a good person and I am lucky to get to almost marry you now 4 Times! We will have our day and I know however it happens or whenever it happens, it’ll be perfect because you will be there.

To my bride squad: I have the best group of friends I could ever ask for and unfortunately you can’t hire them, although maybe it is a business venture they should consider because they’d be amazing at it! Thanks to these guys and gals, I’ve kept sane. For now.

All images by Woodlands Creative