Marriage in a Time of a Pandemic

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

We are getting married! I mean, in the legal “on paper” sense, yes. We are getting legally wed. It’s hard to be as excited about it, though.


When we got engaged in March of 2019, it was our eighth anniversary. Ben knew that I had wanted to get married for some time, and he knew it would be the easiest question he’d ever ask. We assumed a long engagement and then we would get married on our 10th anniversary.


 


When March of 2020 rolled around, we had all the big stuff checked off our list: Venue, Photographer, DJ, Wedding planner. We were super happy with what we had planned, and how it was going to look. We booked our photographer for our engagement photoshoot on our 9th anniversary, which was the first day of the COVID-19 California stay-at-home order. Folks weren’t even wearing masks yet. We joked with our photographer about distancing ourselves but still took the situation seriously. We were all about “flattening the curve” so that we could get back into the world!


Little did anyone know about the year that was ahead of us. We watched the world crumble, and we kept thinking about the impact on our wedding. We checked in with our venue, and our vendors periodically, but they didn’t have a crystal ball either. Everyone was just waiting. Toward the beginning of autumn 2020, I had a feeling things were not going to get better, especially now that the holidays were coming up. People would engage in risky behaviors in the name of tradition. So, Ben and I had a tough conversation. We knew that most of our contracts that we had signed had 90-day clauses from the event date. Deposits would be due, meetings would need to start happening, and decisions would need to be made. We would need to postpone our wedding.


We talked to our families, and we posed the question: “If we postponed the wedding for a year, what would it affect?”. Luckily we got all positive, supportive answers. We felt that everyone was on our side and knew that things were tough for everyone. We reached out to our vendors, all the most important contracts first, and then moving on to the next important. I cannot express how lucky we were that all of the vendors that we booked were available for the date we chose.

The last thing we needed to decide was, what to do with our original date? Should we celebrate it like any other year, or should we celebrate it a little bigger because it is our tenth anniversary but not too big because the wedding is one year away, and also there is still a pandemic? It was a long conversation, but we decided that we did not want to give up getting married on our tenth anniversary. It was too special. Ben did all the research on getting our marriage license. He called around and monitored websites to make sure we got the date we needed.


It will be small, in the courtyard of an administration building, by a freeway, while wearing suits that don’t quite fit anymore. Only a handful of our loved ones will be there in person, while another handful will watch via zoom. It will be intimate and it will be special, but we both will know this is not what we truly wanted.


While we mourn the large celebration that should have been, we hold on to the intimacy that we will always remember, and those close to us that will never let us forget that it is more than just a means to an end.


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