Weddings

Stages of a Corona Bride

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When my fiance and I paid the remaining balance to our wedding venue, there was a lot of excitement but also some dread. It was a lot of money. This would be the biggest party we’d most likely ever throw in our lives. And there were no refunds. But why would we need a refund? We were secure in our relationship. Aside from something tragic happening to a close family member, we were gonna be partying it up on July 18th, 2020. My fiance had his suit ordered with our wedding date inscribed on the inside. I had the invitations already printed and ready to go cause as a thrifty bride I couldn’t pass up on the sale.

That’s the type of bride I described myself as: a thrifty bride. I never imagined I’d become a Corona Bride. When the year first started, that was a term no one ever heard of. Now, it’s a category every bride who was set to get married in March of 2020 or later falls into. 

At the beginning of this year, I was in full wedding planning mode. Then sometime in March, like everything else in the world, it came to a complete stop. It’s been a whirlwind. Besides dealing with a global pandemic that has set everyone on edge, I’ve also been trying to navigate the new landscape of weddings. Here’s just a small glimpse into what it has been like. 

Denial – At the beginning of March, things started to cancel, and I began to worry. But I never really let that worry manifest itself. This was serious but not THAT serious. Sure Italy was shut down, but no way could that happen here, right? Right!? 

Optimism – OK, so things did get that bad here. I was working from home. Schools were closed. Everything was canceled. But my wedding was still almost 5 months away. That’s a very long time. By then, we’ll have this under control, and people will want a reason to get out and party. Our wedding will be a post-quarantine celebration! 

Freaking Out – THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO HAVE THIS UNDER CONTROL! How am I going to have a party with 100+ people in the middle of a pandemic? Not only is that ridiculous, but it’s also incredibly unsafe and irresponsible. What’s going to happen now? What about that dress I spent way too much money on? Will I ever be able to wear it? How about all the money that the venue has? Will we ever get it back? 

Downplaying – While I gave myself some time to freak out and definitely shed a few tears, I also allowed myself room for some perspective. Sure, this sucked. Really, really sucked. It’s not how my fiance and I imagined the lead up to our wedding. However, we were both employed and healthy. All the people around us were healthy. So many people were going through tremendous hardships during this pandemic. All we’re dealing with is a canceled or postponed wedding. Things could be a lot worse. 

Negotiating – Around June, we both came to terms with the fact that our July wedding wasn’t going to happen. Ideally, we just wanted our money back. We decided to cancel the entire thing and have something VERY SMALL with just immediate family when things settled down a bit. Unfortunately, our venue had other plans. (This is something that I’m sure many Corona Brides are familiar with: battling with venues and vendors.) We couldn’t cancel and get our money back because they claimed they were able to throw us a wedding within the Governor’s guidelines. Translation: they were able to set tables up 6 feet apart outdoors, no matter the weather, without a dance floor. That’s precisely how I imagined my wedding day. After a bit more back and forth, we finally gave up and moved our wedding date to September 5th of next year. 

Plan B – While the venue was holding our money hostage and we knew we couldn’t have a party anytime soon, it didn’t mean that getting married was entirely off the table. We decided that the September 2021 date would be a much-delayed reception. As long as we had a marriage license and our recently ordained friend, what stopped us from getting married?

More Freaking Out – We forgot this was 2020, and nothing goes the way you want it to. As soon as we decided to get a marriage license and have a small ceremony with our parents and siblings present, we found out that New York City had a three-month wait to obtain a license! Are you kidding me? Just when I thought the tears and freaking out was finished. 

Acceptance – Somewhere along the way, we both had to accept the fact that our wedding was not going to happen the way we originally imagined. We have a party planned for next year (fingers crossed), and eventually, we’ll be able to get a marriage license. But for now, we’re in love and have each other, and in the end, that’s what really matters. That’s what the whole wedding thing was about in the first place. Years from now, this will just be an interesting story to tell our kids. 

There’s Nothing Wrong with Wanting a Wedding

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There should be a second part to that title which should be: As Long as It’s for the Right Reasons. However, that was way too long of a title. But in actuality the blog post you’re about to read is titled: There’s Nothing Wrong with Wanting a Wedding as Long as It’s for the Right Reasons.

As you all know, I got engaged this year. After we got engaged, the fiance and I sat down to talk about what we want as far as a wedding goes. There was a big part of us that didn’t want to have a wedding at all. Weddings are insanely expensive. Even if you try to budget and DIY, it can still really add up. After much debate and discussion, we ultimately decided that a wedding was something we wanted to have. The thought of having all our family members and close friends together for a big party swayed us.

As soon as we came to an agreement that we were having a wedding, the planning began. Of course, I turned to the Internet cause where else would I start my journey? As I was reading article after article about wedding tips, tricks, trends, etc., I also read the comments because I am a glutton for punishment. (I have learned time and time again that Internet comments are filled with the most miserable human beings but I can never seem to avoid reading them.) Some of the comments were helpful – newlyweds talking about what they did to bring their wedding together. Then there were a bunch of comments from people who appear to hate weddings yet feel the need to not only read articles about weddings, but also comment on them.

So many of the comments went like this. “Why would you have a wedding?” “Weddings are a complete waste of money!” “Save your money and spend it on literally anything else.”

A part of me can get the sentiment. I do believe that some people go overboard with weddings. If you have to take out a loan for your wedding, then there’s seriously something wrong and you should scale back a bit. But the comments, and even some of the articles, read as though anyone who even considers having a wedding is an idiot. And I say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a wedding. And I am not just saying that as someone who will be having a wedding next year.

Just make sure that you are having a wedding for the right reason. It’s fine to want a big poofy dress or a raw bar overflowing with shrimp and oysters. Get those frilly chair covers and splurge on a photo booth. But remember that the main point of the day is to marry your forever partner. It’s to make a commitment with someone in front of all your nearest and dearest. The party is only one day. After all the guests have gone home, the food has been eaten, and your dress has been put away, you’re left with a marriage. If that’s not the most important thing on the day of your wedding, then you’re doing it wrong and getting married for the wrong reasons.

Have a wedding. Have the kind of wedding you’ve dreamed about forever. Just remember the wedding is about you and your partner, and not just about your dream Pinterest board.

Writing a Maid of Honor Speech

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One of my best friend’s is getting married this Sunday and I am the Maid of Honor. My thoughts about bridal parties haven’t really changed too much but when your best friend since PreK asks you to be her maid of honor, you’re not going to say no. Being asked to be in someone else’s bridal party is a curse and a privilege. If you say yes, then you know you’re agreeing to spend a shit ton of time and money but you’re also agreeing to stand by your friend during one of the best and most important days of her life.

Thankfully, my maid of honor duties are coming to an end. The bridal shower is done. We already partied it up for the bachelorette party. My dress is fitted and ready to go. The only thing left is to write a maid of honor speech. You would think someone who runs a blog where they write about their life and other random factoids would be able to put together a maid of honor speech. Well, you would be wrong.

I have known the bride-to-be since we were both 4-years-old. However, when I sat down to write the speech, I couldn’t come up with a single memory. Twenty eight years of knowing one another and apparently we’ve never done anything together. I stared at that blank screen as though I have never met my friend or her fiance before. I also forgot all the words I’ve ever known. Starting the speech was a struggle. Ending it is proving to be even harder. I want to say I’m about 80% done with the speech. Pray for me that the other 20% will come to me before Sunday afternoon. Either that or I get so drunk before the speech starts that I won’t care that none of the words coming out of my mouth make any sense.

If you haven’t figured this out already, let me say it. I should definitely be writing my friend’s speech instead of writing a new blog post. But procrastination is my game and that’s never gonna change. Instead of writing the speech that I need to, I am going to provide anyone else who may be struggling through writing a maid of honor speech with some solace.

No matter how long you’ve known the bride, you will forget everything you’ve ever done together. I mentioned this before but it’s worth saying again. This could be your sister who you’ve been attached to at the hip since birth and suddenly every memory of her will be erased from your mind.

And any memory you do think of will be highly inappropriate. “Omg, remember that time you got so drunk that you passed out in your own vomit.” While that story may be hilarious, it’s probably not wise to tell it at a wedding where parents and grandparents are present.

There will be no other way to describe love than with cliches. “She has truly found her better half.” “She has found her person who completes her.” “Blah, blah blah.” My God it is hard to describe love and two people getting married without sounding completely fake and corny. I do believe in love and I genuinely believe that my friend and her fiance are madly in love with one another. But for some reason expressing that sentiment in speech form screams of fake news.

You will suddenly think you’ve become Chris Rock. In the movies, wedding speeches are always hilarious. Only the funniest of speeches will become viral. I need to make guests pee from laughing so hard. Jokes are great if you can fit them in. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is worse than a forced joke.

And if you do think of some jokes, they will most likely be mean spirited. I think it’s OK to poke a little fun at the bride and groom, but you don’t want to turn this into a roast. An anecdote about your friend always being late and you being worried she wouldn’t make it to her own wedding on time can go over great in front of her friends and family who know her well. Going on and on about your friend’s selfishness without a story countering it is just mean. Making your friend cry cause of your speech isn’t a bad thing but you don’t want it to come from you relentlessly pointing out all her bad flaws.

Keep it short. Close friends and family may enjoy hearing you go on and on about the happy couple, but the majority of guests just want to go back to dancing and drinking. Five minutes tops. I am sure you don’t want to stand up there for hours talking and I can guarantee you that no one else wants you to stand up there for hours talking. Stick to the basics: your relationship with the bride, how she met the groom, their relationship, and their future.

To all those in the midst of writing a maid of honor speech, or those who need to write one in the future, I salute you. This shit is not easy. I am two seconds away from standing up there with a glass of champagne, shouting “cheers bitches,” and calling it a day.