I don’t know who out there reading this blog needs to hear this but I do know our website has a large demographic of people my age (29) and lots of people are engaged and getting married so I thought I’d take the time to give some insight into what we went through and how to handle it.
I got engaged about a year and a half ago to my lovely fiancè in Barcelona, Spain (with Dean there) we were there covering the European Poker Tour and when the opportunity came up to go to Spain I knew it was the right time to propose.
Dean helped me facilitate and we got Lindsay on the trip and I ended up proposing in the underwear in our hotel room.(romantic I know) However, I know my fiance and she would have killed me if I didn’t it in public. Little did I know the next year and a half would be the most stressful year and half our lives.
It was February and we were cruising planning our wedding. We had an amazing venue in the Distillery District, our list tentatively set (we are Italian and Greek so the list was hovering in the high 100s early 200s), and we’re slowly starting to look into vendors. I thought to myself, I don’t understand why people think this is so stressful it’s easy.
As everyone else did we went into a full-scale lockdown, but Lindsay and I weren’t worried because ‘of course’ things would be cleared up by January. We had numerous friends have their weddings canceled and postponed and still we were confident that we would be ok in January.
Due to the severe restrictions in Toronto at that time we had to move our venue to outside of the GTA to the Elora Mill to have any chance of having anything. The Distillery District had a sizeable deposit from us that in our contract was non-refundable. We had to scramble to have a 10 person dinner at the venue outdoors in November to recoup 75% of that deposit.
As the beginning of December began and nothing had changed we knew that something was going to give. The restrictions got pulled back to 50 indoors which we knew we couldn’t accommodate so we decided to do two sittings on two separate days of 50 people. Which we were happy with. We thought the changes were finally done and we could start getting excited.
As the numbers got worse and the restrictions tightened up to a stay-at-home order we got the news that a wedding and reception was not going to be possible. A crushing blow but we understood because we both knew how dangerous it was to host an event and had to move forward. The one good bounce we got was that we could have 10 people in a church and officially get married. Luckily our church could live stream the event and we shared the link with all of our friends and family to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.
Here is the important part kids. Lindsay and I decided that we just wanted to be married and that the most important part of the whole event was the union. It had been a year and a half-engaged and we had both been put through the ringer. We needed to be married.
We went ahead with the 10 person church ceremony this past Saturday and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day. It was relaxed, stress free and not an all day event. We were married and that was the most important part. We will do a reception with all of our friends and family when we can do so safely.
We couldn’t go anywhere on our honeymoon so we came home to a catered meal and a Leaf game. (I think we are the only people in the history of weddings to get married and make it back to catch the game). The relief we both feel is a feeling I can’t describe. We can start planning our life and don’t have the dark cloud of COVID hanging over our heads every single day.
I’ve come up with a few tips on those trying to getting married in the coming year and tips for people around those getting married.
1. Remember it is the union that matters.
2. You can celebrate when it’s safe to do so.
3. You need to be flexible and adapt to the new way of the world. If you are waiting to do a 200 person wedding with dancing and no masks, think again. Adapt or die as Billy Bean says in Moneyball.
4. If you are the support system for people getting married try to avoid updating them with COVID restrictions and asking them what the plan is. It is hard enough to do this without the outsiders adding their opinion. We were lucky enough our support system was top notch and made it stress-free.
5. People will have their opinions and they may be negative but remember it’s about the two of you and no one else.
6. Drink lots of wine.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, and the most important part we didn’t let COVID define us. Love was not cancelled. Covid did not win. We won, and that’s the real victory.