Here’s What It’s Like to Have to Postpone Your Wedding and Honeymoon Because of Coronavirus
Nearly 800,000 weddings were slated to happen this March, April, May and June in the United States alone. We are just one of them.
My fiancé Kenny and I have always been eternal optimists. Nobody can flex with a changing situation better than we can, and we’re very proud of that. As entrepreneurs, we’re faced with uncertainty and challenge every day. We have lived out of our suitcases for the past three years, constantly changing plans and finding new realms of flexibility and calmness in chaos. We’ve had to drive across the country escaping a catastrophic hurricane when there were no flights out. We’ve been on a flight to Bali while news broke of a volcanic eruption. We’ve been separated from each other during scary earthquakes that took the lives of many Indonesians. We’ve had a few too many health scares, international hospital stays, and injuries. Kenny once even managed to crutch his way halfway across the world.
We’re used to changing circumstances and bumps in the road. So, we, like many of you, hoped that this virus would go away and not change our world that we worked so hard to build. We so badly sought the calm from the chaos. We waited for it, like an earthquake, volcano or a hurricane, to end. And for life to go back to normal. We waited for it, like an injury, to heal. We, like all of you, tried to find an answer, a solution, a PLAN.
But COVID-19 proved determinant in turning all of our worlds, and all of our plans, upside down this week. Not a single one of us has been untouched, or unchallenged, by this virus that has forced us to become flexible, and stay positive, in excruciating circumstances. This illness, started a million miles away from any of us, has now not only changed the world, but has flipped every single one of our personal worlds upside down.
I know that, in the scheme of things, Kenny and I are incredibly lucky. We are engaged, in love, we have each other, we have our health, and we both are used to adapting to constantly changing circumstances. But on the other hand, we aren’t so lucky.
Our wedding date was April 18, 2020.
It feels silly to mourn now, especially when we know that a wedding is the least important thing in the world in these awful times. But, for a couple that loves each other and is ready to get married, this wedding has been the center of our world for the past 13 months of planning and throwing our blood, sweat and (happy) tears into our dream weekend. And I think it’s okay to mourn that.
Everything for our wedding was planned and in place. We had ~200 RSVPs to our destination wedding in Maui, and the loving support and excitement of our family and friends looking forward to a much-needed vacation and celebration. Our eternally-optimistic minds so badly didn’t want to read, or absorb, the news that was building over the past couple months with regards to coronavirus. And who has time to read the news, anyway, when we were so beyond excited to go on vacation with all of our best friends, and to celebrate our love, in a weekend full of nothing but happiness, sunshine, and mai tais.
I had three bridal showers scheduled over the next three weeks. Then our wedding, then our two week dream honeymoon in the Maldives. All I had left to do was pick up my dress and work on seating charts. I was feeling really good… thinking to myself after so many months of painstaking wedding planning and throwing my heart and soul into the ultimate party (and vacation) for my loved ones, “wow, we actually did it, we’re ready”.
So when that sneaky little virus came along and said “NOT SO FAST”, and news got worse and worse by the day, causing Kenny and I to make the tough (but obvious) decision to postpone our wedding and honeymoon to later this Fall, I was beyond devastated. But not just for us.
I was devastated for all the brides, grooms, parents, grandparents, graduates, athletes, birthdays, events, and honeymooning couples that are no doubt going to have to go through what we just went through this week – reshaping their beautifully-orchestrated 2020 visions and plans, and trying to navigate very limited options to postpone their dreams.
It was anything but easy to postpone our wedding. The venue and vendors were already booked up, and getting more booked up by the minute as other weddings made similar decisions to postpone. There were extremely limited options to have the wedding happen at all in 2020, or even 2021. The thing about the wedding planning industry is everything happens on a long, very thought-out timeline. So when all of your work and planning gets thrown in the shredder – it’s hard not to feel completely helplessly devastated. But, after a lot of sleepless nights and emotional days, we did manage to find a date for later this Fall that worked for our venue (and a couple of our most important vendors) and we are in the process of planning our (second) wedding and honeymoon.
We feel optimistic, and so relieved to have a new plan in place. We let our loved ones know as soon as we could that our wedding is happening… just not this April, and that we can’t wait to celebrate with them when the timing is better. Now, we hope that our story can help some other couples in embracing flexibility, and embracing your plan B, and plan C’s as we brace this tidal wave that may be these next few months. Because, seriously, if this virus is doing anything for us – it’s putting everything into perspective. I no longer care about cakes, cutlery and chargers, if the flowers are perfect, or even if it rains on our wedding day. I don’t even care that my fiance’s wedding band is (hilariously) engraved with 4/18/2020, our old wedding date. I just care that I get to marry the love of my life…. eventually.
In sickness, health, global pandemics, and a constant roller coaster of life’s many adventures, challenges, wins, losses, and recoveries, your partner is your everything.
Kenny and I have realized that we can’t control what the future holds for the rest of the world, but as long as we’re together, we know that our world is going to be filled with love, support, excitement, inspiration and that no second of life will ever be boring, and for that we are forever grateful.
I’m a firm believer that life is always full of ups and downs, and trade offs. It’s not a bad thing – through the toughest of circumstances can come the most beautiful things. No pressure, no diamonds. No rainstorm, no rainbow.
It was my mom’s battle with cancer that led me to become a full-time travel blogger. It was also during that same Fall that Kenny and I were brought together (after I friend zoned him for 6 years). It was a boring desk job that even led me to start writing in the first place. I ended up at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because I didn’t get accepted into UCLA – which, as a California girl born and raised, is where I would have gone in a heartbeat. I cried that day. But because of that, I went to UNC where I met the love of my life, and had the best college experience anyone could ever dream of. I can think of countless moments, and wins, in my life that I have to thank to ‘losses’, missed opportunities, unanswered prayers. And I’m sure you guys can too in your own lives.
This is a tough loss for all of us. Mainly because no one knows when it will end, and no one is untouched by this ‘invisible enemy’. But this isn’t the first time we’ve been challenged to be resilient in any of our lives – this is just the first time we are all challenged to be resilient, together.
My thoughts are with all of you as we attempt to navigate this new world. A lot of you have been reaching out wondering my advice on postponing your own weddings and honeymoons this summer, and I hope our story gives you some hope that there is a light at the end of this stressful, unpredictable tunnel. My best advice I can give any couple grappling with these terrible circumstances is to stay flexible, have a plan B, and be prepared to make hard decisions. Stay optimistic, but realistic. If you were planning on honeymooning in Europe or Asia this summer, start brainstorming mini-moon destinations in America, or Caribbean honeymoons, that may be a safer option then. Or consider honeymooning at a later date, even if you do get married this Spring or Summer. And definitely, definitely, get travel insurance.
As for Kenny and I, we’re trying to figure out where we go from here. What is a travel blogger going to do without travel for these next few months? What does a vacation-wear brand do when no one is going on vacation? Where do we even live until we can travel again? We don’t have those answers right now. But I can tell you that no one has ever been successful by being comfortable all the time, and I have zero doubt that Kenny and I will come out of this experience stronger – and with a hell-of-a story to tell our grandkids.
I hope you all keep dreaming. And that you’ll continue to find travel experiences that inspire and enlighten you on Jetset Christina. For whenever this little break from travel is over. We appreciate your support for Jetset Christina and for Kenny Flowers and Watercolors during this tough time more than you could ever know. So I thank you for that.