January 11, 2021

Getting married during a pandemic

The Great House, Wedding

Thank you Sarah for writing today’s guest post about her experience marrying Patrick during the Covid whirlwind. Their day at the Great House in Sonning was the perfect intimate wedding day. Over to Sarah…

covid wedding tips

“When the pandemic hit we thought we had loads of time for things to settle down. That way our wedding could go ahead as planned in October.  That didn’t happen!  Fortunately, we had all the major particles in place – photographer, florist, band…we even had the suit and my dress!  We felt prepared.  What we weren’t prepared for was for things to continue and for restrictions to tighten.    

covid wedding tips

By July, we had to make a decision on whether to continue or not.  It was at that point we chose to get married, no matter what.  We anchored to that date in October and decided to have an intimate wedding.  We spoke with the venue and our suppliers to make the necessary adjustments. We were fortunate enough to have really understanding family and friends who made reducing numbers much easier.  We have a relatively small immediate family so we could get below 30 without too much hassle – we were lucky in that respect.  What did throw a fly in the ointment, however, was the reduction to 15.  That was probably the moment when I felt most despair. We had to drop just 4 which was heartbreaking.  We did it through the kindness of my sister-in-laws and some very open conversations.

covid wedding tips

Of course, we were in a position of having already started our wedding plans before the changes were enforced. So, with all of this current uncertainty, I have been thinking about what advice I would give to those brides thinking about planning their weddings now.

What I will say is that we had the most amazingly, beautiful, magical day together.  We had the best time, maybe even better than we imagined.  We were so relieved it happened and I’m pretty sure you can see that in our faces.   I was the bride that envisaged the big wedding with all the bells and whistles.  We still had some of those but we also got the intimacy of a smaller wedding. We got time and space to be with one another and really experience and enjoy our wedding. Our guests adhered to the new rules around masks, we bubbled and followed the guidelines with the venue and registrars.  We made it happen because we wanted to be married – it sounds cliche but that is the truth.   

covid wedding tips

On some levels, I did feel cheated.  I am a life coach and have done loads of work to be able to self manage. However, even I found it hard to see the silver linings at times. I didn’t get the hen do I had so looked forward to – instead I got 4 virtual ones which were equally hilarious and still fabulous.  Our extended family and friends only got to see pictures and videos of the day via social media etc. but it meant I got to tell the story over and over and send more pictures. 

covid wedding tips

Our wedding is of its time – we have the masks to prove it – and we are so pleased we did go ahead. It was so important to bring some joy and love into the year which had been full of so much heartbreak.

My top tips are 

  1. Discuss and agree together how you want to get married ie now with a smaller group or later when you can have the bigger wedding (or do both if you are lucky enough to be able to afford it) 
  2. Keep communication open between yourself and your guests – transparency is key and it is amazing how understanding people can be even if they are disappointed 
  3. Work up some contingency planning eg guest lists, alternate dates at venue
  4. Work with your suppliers closely – they want to help you as much as possible 
  5. Believe that it will happen and that if the rules change you will work around these 
  6. Find the silver lining as much as you can even on the darkest days 
  7. Really enjoy your day – this is about you both and your love for one another – stay with that.”

Thank you so much Sarah for sharing your experience. Sarah is a life coach and has kindly offered to chat if you need some support. Email Sarah, keane2coach@gmail.com to arrange a for a free introductory conversation. 

Sarah and Patricks wedding team:

Photography: James at www.hannahmcclunephotography.com
Venue: The Great House
Hair & make up: Catherine at A Finishing Touch

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