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P.T. Barnum

May 6, 2020

We are all in this together! Planning your wedding during covid 19 – thoughts from real brides…

Stay Home. 
Physical Distance.
Keep In Touch.
Stay Positive.
Be Kind.
Show Grace.
We Are All In This Together. 💞

Recently, I made a collage post for Instagram with 19+ other photographers. I am so thankful for all the amazing people in this photo, and for others not pictured here too that are a part of our community as photographers. I’m not just talking about locally but around the world. There are photographers pictured here from all across Ontario, Alberta, Florida, California, Arizona… if we all support each other, I know we can get through this time together.

Many of us are wedding photographers, and because of covid 19 many of our couples have had to postpone their wedding dates. This has been absolutely heart breaking. Imagine the disappointment, both photographer and client have put their time, effort, finances, and heart into their relationship and we want to do everything we can to support our couples. There will be times that we may not be available to rebook to the couples’ new date provided by their venue. This can be disappointing for many reasons to both the client and to us. This will affect our projected income and likely any possible referrals we may have received after that wedding too, which is really how our businesses thrive.

So how can photographers from all around the world really support each other right now? For me, it is knowing that we are all in the same boat – all of us are doing everything we can to support our crew members (employees or associates), our passengers (our clients) to the best of our abilities right now, and trying our hardest not to sink. We are all in the same storm, but we all manage it differently and may come out of it differently – this is the time to check in and support each other where we can. It helps knowing that everyone is having the same battle right now, none of us are alone. We can reach out to each other, check in and get advice if needed on how to handle certain situations. Not everyone’s answer will look the same and getting other ideas and perspectives can sometimes be really helpful.

Postponing your wedding for us means we are likely filling in a date in 2021 with the deposit that was meant for a date in 2020 – this means one less date available for a new couple that year, and unfortunately less income for our business both this year and next.

Despite all of that, it is heavy on my heart thinking about all the couples trying to plan a wedding during a pandemic! It must be SO hard to make decisions about how to move forward because whether they keep the date or move it, their day is going to look different then they originally planned or dreamed of.

I have heard and seen some very happy stories of those couples who still choose to get married amid all of this. As photographer, we often still get to be present to document the day for the couple, at an appropriate physical distance of course! While this is of course a joy filled event, it is also a struggle knowing the sadness, stress, and frustration that surrounded their decision-making and I really feel for my couples! I think the most difficult decision for most people is that if they proceed they most likely will not have the guest list they had planned on – most of their family and friends will no longer attend to witness and celebrate their special day with them. Many venues have closed, city halls have closed, and many other services that are not deemed essential at this time and would no longer be able to do their part.

This got me thinking, what can I share in a blog post to help out my current couples or any bride and grooms out there who are just looking for help or something to make them feel a bit better right now! A lot of photographers feel like it is hard to share those happy couple/wedding photos right now, because we worry about how those images may make some of our couples feel during this pandemic. I decided to check in with some brides to get their feedback! Some of these brides did get married already despite the pandemic, and others have made the decision to postpone.

Here is what some real brides had to say – they were kind enough to let me share some of their thoughts and feelings with you all!

How does it make you feel to see wedding posts from your photographer or other people in the wedding industry right now?

“For me, seeing photographers post photos of weddings doesn’t feel that different, even though we’ve had to postpone. If anything, it makes me more excited to make our wedding exactly how we want it now that we have some extra time to plan.”

bride one

“To answer your question, at first I was sad when anything wedding related came on my feed from a vendor. That didn’t last long though because honestly when vendors post photos of weddings I don’t feel a personal attachment. It’s usually not my venue or my season or sometimes even my style! The one time I did feel gutted was a vendor who posted a married couple outside my venue, and it was summer. I cried because “it could have been me”, but aside from that honestly I am not bothered by vendors posting photos. It actually makes me relieved because I don’t want anyone to go out of business.”

bride two

“When my friends post photos of their wedding on their anniversaries though, I feel ugly feelings. I usually feel a bit jealous, and I shouldn’t because people are allowed to be happy! I think it’s just a human response. It has gotten better over the last few weeks but when I first made the decision to postpone seeing my friends happy weddings made me mad at the world. And I used to LOVE other people’s weddings! Like I would creep through albums of strangers online because it made me so happy! I hope I get back there again.”

bride two

I also asked some brides how they came about their decision to postpone, or if they went forward with the wedding – how they made that decision!

“Our decision to postpone was made because we felt that it was better safe than sorry. We want all of our guests to feel safe and excited to be at our wedding and we weren’t sure that things would be okay by July. There are also still some aspects of the wedding that we have to organize and we weren’t sure that we would be able to get those done by July with everything that’s going on as well. For us, we felt better postponing. Also, thankfully all of our vendors were able to move to our new date next year so that was a huge relief as well.”

bride one

“We ultimately made the decision to postpone because we had concerns about whether we could realistically have our June wedding the way we planned. We have planned this for a long time and for us we felt safer postponing and having the wedding of our dreams next year, and we made the jump while our venue still had dates available. We also do not have a marriage license and though our officiant offered to marry us if we could get one, it just does not appeal to us as it’s just not how we wanted to do it.”

bride two

Why did you decide to move forward with the wedding “as planned?”

“We loved each other, and we had made the decision to be together for the rest of our lives. We didn’t want to wait any longer for that to start! How we got married was not what we planned or dreamed, but at the end of the day we were husband & wife, and that was the goal.

bride three

“I’m not going to lie the decision was really hard. I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl saving all sorts of pictures on Pinterest till I was engaged. Never in a million years did I think something like this would happen. Everything was cancelling and I was really stressed. Although this was super hard I remembered I’m marrying my best friend. I’ve been praying and dying to marry the man of my dreams that all the preparations didn’t matter anymore. I decided to proceed because besides my dream wedding I dreamt about marrying my husband more.”

bride – Mackwiz Breukelman

I also asked the brides who got married how they feel about their decisons and everything now that it is all said and done:

“How we feel about it now? We’re so happy to be married. I couldn’t tell you who was in the church during our ceremony – many less people than we’d planned for and missing many key people (siblings, flower girl, nieces & nephews, friends), but when we said our “I Do’s” it was just us standing before God making our vows. We hope to have a celebration later, put our wedding outfits back on and get some pictures with family that we missed out on and have some drinks with friends too!”

bride three

“I’m seriously so happy we decided to proceed with the wedding. Being married to my best friend has been the best thing ever. Also all the stress and worrying is gone. We get to relax together, decorate the house, spend some time together and it’s amazing!”

bride – Mackwiz Breukelman

And finally I asked them for some advice for couples who are currently trying to make their decisions about how to proceed:

“To other couples struggling at this time I would say.. let yourself feel it. It is emotional, and it does not stop the day you get married. When my sisters or best friends mention their unbelief at not being at my wedding it still brings tears to my eyes, and the fact that none of my nieces & nephews were there just baffles my mind! Don’t suppress that, share it with your partner. Let it bring you closer – and focus on the good parts! Love will flow in! 😊”

bride three

“My advice to all the brides going through this is I know this is easier said than done but stay positive. Make the best out of the day because that’s what we did and I’m so happy! It was still the happiest day of my life. We still proceeded with makeup, dressing up, and taking pictures! Don’t stop the wedding because of this! Make the best out of this to show others that they can do it too. This is a story we will tell our kids and after the wedding it won’t matter. All the stress will be gone and you will be happily married to your best friend. Dan and I are still going to have a celebration with all those that couldn’t make it later on so we still have something else to look forward too together as a MARRIED couple! ” 🥰

bride – Mackwiz Breukelman

I really don’t think I can say it any better then these lovely brides did and I am so grateful they were willing to share their hearts with us! The thing is, I am quite sure that we all know someone who knows someone that is supposed to be getting married – and is going through these decisions so if you feel that this is a help then please share these words with them!

If you are a current couple trying to plan a wedding during a pandemic – I feel for you, we all feel for you!! Trying to make the decisions on how to proceed can’t be easy and I am sure is adding stress you didn’t expect to have – as if planning a wedding isn’t hard enough at times! Know that whatever decision you make – it is YOUR decision to make, it is YOUR special day, it is YOUR marriage – and ultimately you need to do what is best for the two of you! Your family and friends should support you no matter what you decide to do!