Since March of 2020 life as we used to know it has completely changed. We went from being able to book flights, go to work, go to church, and spend time with our loved ones to total lockdown in just a few weeks. Then, things started opening a little, then curfews and other lockdowns were introduced… but other aspects of our lives could not be halted. In this short post I want to encourage all you ladies who are planning weddings.
I recognise that the weddings business is shaped in such a way that imagining other ways of celebrating the best day of your life becomes difficult. Ideally, you would meet with your girlfriends and spend hours telling your love story, go shopping with your sisters to find your perfect dress or simply spend time with your fiancé IN PERSON and talk things through. Unfortunately, the pandemic has and will likely influence traditions associated with weddings or mass gatherings.
There is no such thing as ‘uncomplicated’ wedding
First of all, every wedding faces some type of challenge, which seems to be impossible to deal with, but as time goes by you will notice that those problems might not have been as alarming as they seemed.
There is no such thing as easy planning or smooth ceremony. Part of the fun is tackling those problems and coming up with an imperfect solution that works for both you: the bride, and the groom, while taking in consideration all the parties involved. My wedding was not during a pandemic, but I was in England, my then fiancé, now husband was in Canada and we were planning to get married in Belgium.
This experience is the reason I decided to write these few words to encourage you. It was not easy for me either but let me tell you this: do not be anxious about anything, but instead pray about everything! (Phil 4:6-7). I prayed with my fiancé, parents, mentors, girlfriends, and anyone who offered to pray with me. I simply went for it and that helped a great deal. I too, like you are probably experiencing now, did all the above over the phone and emails.
Focus on the marriage
When you are browsing wedding catalogues, searching for colour schemes on Pinterest or saving screenshots of other people’s weddings on Instagram, it is quite easy to get lost in the fantasy of a perfect wedding day. Actually, I am certain you already know this, the wedding day and the marriage are two different things. The wedding day is an exciting time and one of the happiest days of your life, but it is also an event. One event, which requires you to put on a costume, receive guests and then it is over.
The marriage, on the other hand, is a lifelong commitment. In a way, the time you are not spending in unnecessary wedding meetings can be invested elsewhere. You could read more about marriage, have zoom calls with married couples and really prepare yourself for what really matters. Putting in place the right foundations for your marriage is the most important part of planning a wedding but sadly the least taken seriously.
These unusual times also bring financial opportunity for new couples. If your expenses are decreased, it may be a chance to invest toward a mortgage or student fund for your children. Thus, if you look closely, the pandemic brings more than planning challenges, it also brings great opportunity.
Besides, we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good (Rom 8:28). Make peace with this current situation and work with what you have, leave the impossibilities for God to handle.
Overall, prayer and creativity are at the heart of every wedding anyway. The more you invest in preparation, design, software, and more… the better your management of distance and little attendance will be. Make peace with this current situation and work with what you have, leave the impossibilities for God to handle. At the end of it all, what really matters is to get married in a way that honours God and your family.
Dr Josephine Ma