You did it! You spent countless hours planning, designing, doing research, choosing the right vendors for you, put money down to secure dates, made your invitation list, and so much more. And then Covid-19 comes along and your plans go straight up in flames. Or your wedding is still a little far away but you're still sitting on the edge waiting to see what happens (or doesn't happen) next. And it's looking like large-scale events with more than 100 people may not be allowed for a while too. The stress, anxiety, and anticipation is unimaginable and definitely not something you deserve.
So many couples are stuck thinking "what do we do?" because we haven't seen anything like this in our time and there's no "rulebook" for this kind of situation. So what are your options?
Wait It Out
Some couples are fine with waiting! You can plan your entire wedding a few months, or even a year, down the road. Contact your vendors, see what their policies are, what dates they still have available, and hopefully, they all have something that works for you. Send your guests postcards to save on postage with updated information.
Some Couples are Over It
When you got engaged you were excited and ready to hit the ground running! Over the course of the last year or so you've made countless decisions, seating charts, paid for invitations and postage, bought decorations to match your season. And the family drama. I don't know one couple who by the end of the planning process doesn't have a story about a family member or friend who didn't cause some sort of headache.
Here's Where the Adventure Wedding comes in...
You don't have to wait for months or another year to be married. After all, you don't need a large audience to make it real. The only thing you need to actually get married is you and your fiance saying exchanging vows (and some legal docs of course). But while you can forgo the large ceremony and just do it at JP, it's my personal opinion that you deserve a meaningful, beautiful, and romantic experience for the day you express your love and commit your lives to one another. And after all, marriage is one of life's greatest adventures, so it only seems appropriate to start it with one!
Choose an amazing destination (using our destination guide here!) that excites you and make your wedding and honeymoon one big amazing trip! Or keep it safe and close to home! Whether you know it or not, there are beautiful locations within a couple of hours of your home that would make an amazing location for your ceremony. Picture a beautiful sunrise or sunset ceremony in a field of wildflowers or overlooking the ridge, saying "I do" at the base of a waterfall, or if you share a home together, a romantic candlelit ceremony in your back yard.
The joy of this is that it can be anything you want!
Invite your parents and siblings, bring your children (human or furry), or set up a live broadcast on social media for everyone to see (click here for ways to include your family in your elopement day)! Camp overnight together before or after the ceremony and pop champagne fireside. Bring your ballgown or wear a light and airy dress (I have one on hand that's one-size-fits-all in case you want to borrow it!). And honestly, if you want to keep it a secret and have this moment for yourselves do it. This day is for the two of you. Don't let anyone make it anything more or less than you want it to be.
You can still have a big celebration later!
Send out "We got hitched! Let's Celebrate!" postcards for the event. You can have a vow-renewal or religious ceremony during your big event later down the road too (but I'm still a firm believer that getting married in God's creation is just as meaningful to him as a man-made structure!).
Despite what's happening with this virus, you have options. It's difficult right now to think of a scenario in the near future where it might be safe to have a large-scale event with all of your friends & family without risking guests spreading the virus, but you can still have a dream wedding, even if it's split up into 2 occasions and not the wedding you had initially envisioned! If you don't know where to start, reach out for help! Chances are that you have an amazing support system, and if you feel alone in this, frustrated, and nervous I'm here to be a helping hand, whether you're a client of mine currently or not.
If you think that an adventure wedding might be right for you, your fiancé, and for the safety of your guests, let's talk about making it a day to remember! As an elopement photographer and adventure wedding guide, Wild North Weddings is here to help you with location scouting, timeline building, planning advice, and to help you find the right vendors if necessary. Fill out the contact form below or call 724-858-8995 to discuss questions, address concerns, to see what your wedding day could look like, or to reserve the date!
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Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.