File this post under "things we never thought we'd have to talk about." The COVID-19 pandemic rages on, and with no clear end in sight, couples are having to make some tough decisions.
We wanted to round up some clear information and advice to help our customers and community through this difficult and confusing time. Reach out if you have any questions about your orders or our process to learn about how we are handling COVID-19 internally.
Featuring the Aurora Ring.
Springtime weddings likely need to be postponed or cancelled
As much as we hate to say it, if you are based in North America or most of Europe, India, or China, your springtime wedding probably should not go forward as planned. If your wedding is scheduled for April, May, or even June 2020, you should consider cancelling or postponing your wedding.
On March 28, 2020, President Trump ordered social distancing measures in place until April 30, 2020, at minimum. If the public can't "flatten the curve," it is likely this order will continue into May 2020. This is a hard decision to make, to cancel or postpone, but remember: if you gather all of your friends and family before COVID-19 is totally under control, you would all be put at risk.
Review the legal deadlines of your marriage
In many states and some countries, it is customary to "give notice" of your intent to marry. In the UK, the government requests 29 days notice; in Alberta, Canada, 14 days are requested before the marriage is to take place. Generally, notice grants a twelve month window for the marriage to take place before a couple must give notice again. Ensure that if you move your wedding out to next year, you'll be within your window of notice, or know that you'll need to give notice again.
Consider the lasting implications of COVID-19
As much as we hate to say it, we may be living with COVID-19 for many months to come. Even if we're allowed to return to work and life resumes some sort of normal rhythm, it's possible large gatherings will still be prohibited, and that we may see rolling or periodic social distancing measures put in place.
As such, we recommend, unfortunately, postponing your wedding until a much later date rather than something within the next several months. Especially for those of us with big families and grandparents, until best practices are developed for hosting large gatherings safely, it's better to err on the side of caution.
Talk legalities with your officiant and witnesses
You may wish to hold your wedding via Zoom or Skype, which couples are already doing. This is an ingenious manner to ensure your wedding carries on as scheduled, with the obvious caveat that your audience is watching from afar, via a reliable internet connection.
However, you'll need to speak with your officiant about the legalities. For example, your witnesses and your officiant likely need to be with you in person. This is almost guaranteed, but it's worth calling your provincial or state authority to double check. Your witnesses will need to sign your marriage license, so they'll need to be there in person. However, these are exceptional circumstances, and new measures may be granted for specifically these occasions. Call your city hall to ask.
Now is the time to elope. If your date is important to you, remember that you can always throw a big reception bash when it is safe. Reconfigure your plans to be all about you two, have your officiant and witnesses stand at a safe distance, and don't let COVID-19 impact your wedding schedule!
See some of our tips on eloping from our sister shop here.
Don't rush, but be prompt
Above all, remember to go easy on yourself. Planning a wedding is an exhausting, tense, high stakes process, and facing down the possibility that all of your work was for naught is so upsetting. Grieve the loss of that work and those wedding day dreams as much as you need to, and give yourself the time you need to process those emotions.
But then, once you're ready, dive back in. Call your vendors, make new arrangements, alert everyone of your cancellation or postponement. The longer you leave it, the more it is likely to cost you. Get stuck in and move on to Your Big Day Round 2: Love in the Time of Coronavirus.
It may not feel like it today, but everything will be alright. You will get married. You will have the wedding of your dreams. It's hard to adjust your expectations, but what matters is that you, your partner, and your family are safe.
Take care, be well, and reach out if you have any questions. We're sorry this pandemic is impacting so many of our wonderful couples. We're on your side, and we're rooting for you.