Covid-19 has cleared a lot of calendars. But for couples hoping to tie the knot this year, losing a single day comes at a hefty cost. Never mind legal impediments; marriage has a new worst enemy, and the problem is no longer being interrupted on the aisle, but getting onto it in the first place. According to Bridebook, 64 per cent of weddings in the UK have been impacted by the coronavirus, costing the global industry millions.
Despite clinging onto their date for as long as possible, many have had to delay their dream – a report by Belief wedding creators found that 17.2 per cent of events in the UK have been postponed until 2021. One of the most shocking finds, though, was that 30 per cent have simply shifted their weddings to later in the year. Postponing far enough in advance is crucial for one main reason: your guestlist. Restrictions on gatherings are still tight and it’s hard to say exactly how fast they will be loosened. Even if you can get the numbers in October, it’s not certain when it will be safe for those at risk to attend. Is it really worth getting married without your Gran just to get it done quicker? This is a lifetime commitment and in the long run, extending your engagement another 12 months won’t make a difference. Besides, what is a wedding for if not to celebrate with your loved ones? The event is as much a social occasion as it is a romantic one, and though you might save money from downsizing, it might be outweighed by the stress of rescinding invitations.
What’s even more important is not to cancel entirely. You’ve come this far. Maybe you’ve leafed through every wedding magazine in publication, visited every wedding fair within a 50-mile radius, scoured every wedding shop in the county so that you could finally say yes to the dress. Maybe your Pinterest board is longer than the Great Wall of China, or you’ve spent hours stitching your own gown and glueing your own table decorations. It would be a shame, then, to fall at the final hurdle. Though rescheduling everything may seem like a logistical nightmare – check out this guide if you’re feeling flustered – it can’t be any worse than what’s come before. Besides, what better sign of your devotion is there than the willingness to plan a wedding twice – to the same person, I might add.
Aside from the obvious, maybe the extra year might buy you some time to do a little more saving. Or perhaps you might be able to cut some more financial corners: call in a few more favours from friends for a homemade cake, or get yourself a cheaper weekday deal with the venue. You could even consider scrapping wedding gifts and asking for money for a honeymoon. Once you have rescheduled, it’s possible to purchase digital change the date templates to send out so that you don’t have to pay for printing. There may just be other perks, too. In Australia, Dominoes offered a free pizza party to some of the couples affected by the pandemic, and couples all over the world have been holding virtual parties to mark their original dates – any excuse for a drink. It’s no substitute for the real thing, but the actual ceremony will be so much better for the waiting.
The coronavirus could change weddings for years to come, so it’s worth being flexible. As in marriage, it’s all about patience, commitment and just the right amount of compromise.