When I got engaged back in December, I was invited by one of my friends to this online wedding group, The Wedding Connection.
It is a black hole, people. It’s like Pinterest. Once you start scrolling, it’s hard to get out. There are so many great ideas! And they are given so freely by those who have joined the group, did the planning, got married, and delight in sharing their rewarding expenses, along with regrets. It’s like having 80,000 big sisters who are only here to give you bridal advice.
As a daughter of parents who didn’t have a formal, extravagant wedding, the concerns of the women posting in this group were so foreign to me.
You spent HOW MUCH on a dress you’re going to wear once?
Your one bridesmaid is being hard to handle? Why are you including her?
Centerpieces? Napkin colors?
Zola or The Knot?
Photographers in the Seattle area?
(ohhh Save the Dates…)
. . .
As a 24 year old,
the oldest sibling,
the first of my cousins to marry,
having only attended a handful of weddings myself,
I had no idea what I was doing. Still don’t!
So I read. I looked at their photos of the beautiful white dresses, rings, and decor inspirations, and by then, I was fully immersed in the wedding culture.
My wedding planner app was giving me deadlines for certain tasks, and my fiancé and I had started getting our venues, attire, and vision in order. We were our own wedding planners, and I was determined to make this wedding uniquely meaningful to us. Including things that held deep meaning to our relationship, and ditching old traditions that didn’t seem important.
Then this virus hit. It hit our country hard.
I know you probably hoped that, even in my corner of the internet, that you could escape more talk about what everybody’s already talking about. But here’s the deal…
I have learned something so important from being a part (well, honestly more like creeping in the background) of the group in this one-of-a-kind moment in time. So I will thank them, in the hopes that maybe one of them will receive this.
Dear COVID-19 Brides,
Your hurt is real. Your plans have fallen through, your money washed away, and your vision shattered. Your tears are natural, expected, and encouraged. Turn to your people for comfort because they hear you.
To have had something to look forward to for so long, maybe since you were a young girl, taken from you just stings.
Your families love you, your friends feel for you, and your guests were so eager to celebrate you. That does not change.
Thank you COVID-19 brides. You are teaching us what marriage means.
Marriage is not in the party.
Marriage is not in the food, the drink, or the dancing.
Marriage is a life of love with your favorite person.
With every joyous home wedding,
every beautiful backyard ceremony,
every incredibly intimate gathering,
every post-poned party announcement, full of positivity,
you show us that we have the opportunity to refocus.
With every DIY,
every casual ivory dress,
every loving, living room cake-cutting
every enthusiastic kitchen toast,
we feel the urgency to pursue what really matters.
A lifetime of memories.
A sacrificial love.
An enduring partnership.
In sickness, and in health.
In seeking what matters, the details are free to become just details.
Thank you, COVID-19 brides. For putting your love above your plans. The world needs more people like that.