Hello friends! I know I’ve been alluding to wedding changes without actually saying anything, so thank you for your patience with me. As I’m sure you can imagine, wedding planning right now is not only emotional but also logistically overwhelming. I just really needed to get everything in order before opening myself up to comments and messages. But now that we have a clear plan, I’m ready to clue you in!
Our 3rd Wedding Postponement + Venue Change
Our Wedding Backstory
In case you’re new, we were supposed to get married on May 24th, 2020. We put our invitations in the mail the week before the world shut down, and shortly after that realized our May wedding wasn’t going to be possible. You can actually read all of my thoughts from that time in this letter to brides affected by COVID-19 that I published on March 20th. Let’s just say this week last year was quite a doozy 😂
We quickly postponed to August 2020 because we had no idea what to expect from this pandemic, but by the time we got to May, we knew that date was a pipe dream, too. So, we decided to push it to June 6, 2021 and hope for the best. I actually think that writing this post (along with the podcast I mention!) is what really helped me come to terms with all of that uncertainty. Because deep down, I never really let myself get excited about June either. By the fall, I even started to flat out say that I didn’t want to talk about it until February or March. That gut feeling just wouldn’t go away and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
One Last Postponement
By the time February rolled around, the indoor capacity limit in Illinois was 25, soon to be 50. Because invitations would need to be sent out soon for a June 6th wedding, we basically had two choices. Cut the list down to 50 or postpone again.
I know that there are a lot of people who would cut it down and be done with it. But we have a 240 person guest list. Of course we can cut it down a little bit, and some people will cut themselves due to COVID concerns… but all the way down to 50? That would be really difficult. I mean, we both come from big families. I literally have 18 first cousins on just one side of my family. Not to mention the fact that tons of our guests have already been vaccinated!
Ultimately, while there are still unknowns, we can SEE the light at the end of the tunnel. If we decide that this next date is our very last date no matter what (which we have!), does it really matter if we wait a few more months to make it officially official? We are already building a life together, we own a home together, we have a dog together. Right now, the longing for the validation of being Mr. and Mrs. just doesn’t outweigh the longing to celebrate with people we love.
Before you send me a DM about how you disagree with me, please consider this. If you are married, or even if you can just envision your future wedding day – imagine never getting that photo of you and your Grandma that you have framed in your house. Imagine not being able to invite your favorite Aunt or Uncle or cousin. Your bridal party – gone. I mean, really think about what it would feel like knowing that it’s probably not safe for your very best friends to leave their children and get on a plane in order to be there. These are the things we have had to consider. I know from the outside, it’s easy to judge. I’ve heard “The marriage is more important than the wedding” more times than I can count. And that is definitely true. But you know what’s also important to a marriage? Their support system!
Change of Venue
Unfortunately postponing meant that we needed to say goodbye to our city wedding. Even before I asked, I knew Cafe Brauer wouldn’t have any available dates for us this year – and to be honest, I think I’d still be nervous about an indoor wedding this summer and fall, too.
Luckily, my parents were very proactive and asked their country club in the suburbs if they had any available dates. Even though I have been trying to avoid getting married there for years 😂 Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful that they did and it will be absolutely beautiful! I have just never felt like a country club/”let’s take pictures of the golf course” type of bride. This made perfect sense to my whole family when we were originally planning the wedding, too. It just doesn’t feel like me. I am a city girl – and you KNOW I love this city.
But if there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that you can’t always get what you want. And trust me, I felt like a spoiled brat feeling even remotely sad about a plan B that so many other couples would be over the moon for. But I’ve learned that you need to feel your feelings in order to let them go. So we both had a good cry, said goodbye to our big wedding weekend in the city that we envisioned and planned, and decided to sign on for August 29th at Biltmore Country Club.
The New Plan
The piece about this new plan that really got me on board: this version will be OUTDOORS! First of all, a tent wedding with string lights? THAT feels more like me! Second, the ability to be outdoors in the suburbs makes a large celebration SO much more realistic than at an indoor venue in the city. We no longer have to worry about air circulation or the ability to spread tables out because we’ll be outside! And third, waiting until the end of August gives everyone much more time to get vaccinated. YAY FOR VACCINES!
Our vendors have also made this really easy on us. Cafe Brauer was a dream and allowed us to cancel without any penalty. We are still figuring things out with our catering company since we can’t use them at the new venue, but I was able to secure the new date with our band, floral/decor, day-of planner, and videographer.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our photographer because she had another wedding that day, which I was really upset about since photos are so important to me. Luckily, I’ve been following Kerri Carlquist over the past year and I’ve really fallen in love with her infectious energy and candid photography style. Her ability to capture how people feel in the moment always draws me in, and I had a strong feeling that she would be able to help this new plan feel like us. I literally teared up on our introductory phone call because instead of feeling sad about nothing working out, she made me excited about our wedding for the first time in a year. It was a really nice feeling.
Luckily, the postponing logistics are pretty much behind us. But because we are changing venues, I am essentially going to be planning a new wedding. Our entire floral/decor contract? Doesn’t work anymore! Catering? Let’s start over! Invitations? Ummmm can we just go digital? 🤪 In all seriousness, I am going to write a post all about how to announce/communicate your wedding postponement once I figure it out. I know I’m not the only one in this situation!
All in all, after a few good cries, we feel like this is the right plan for us. Of course we know that we could still run into road blocks, but we feel confident that we will be vaccinated and able to have an outdoor wedding with a large portion of our guest list at the end of August. And that’s good enough for us right now.
Fellow corona-brides, how are you feeling? What’s your plan right now? I’d love to hear!