"No couple is alone in this:" 3 key pieces of advice for worried brides-to-be during Covid-19
"Sometimes we can easily lose sight of what a wedding is about..."
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected events industries across the globe.
Concerts, festivals, parties, and weddings: each of them hit particularly hard by the virus, and the social distancing measures that will likely be in place for some time to come.
It can sometimes seem as if there is nothing to do but wait - and to worry. Especially for the engaged couples of Ireland who had planned on getting married this year, only to have their plans thrown into disarray and uncertainty.
We chatted to Elegant Event's wedding planner Collette O'Leary all about wedding worries, how common it is to feel panicked, and how brides and husbands-to-be can hopefully find relief during these trying times.
1. Make a decision - and stick to it
Collette says that much of the panic, stress, and anxiety her clients have been experiencing has been borne of uncertainty.
Making a concrete decision to postpone your wedding to a date in the future, she says, will help.
Once the virus hit Ireland, Collette moved all of her clients into next year. At this stage, she doesn't know if those weddings will be able to go ahead at full capacity, but says that the move helped to calm couples who had worked themselves into a panic.
"In some cases we had bridesmaids coming from Australia," she says, "so it’s just not realistic to think that that wedding would be going ahead this year.
"I said to one bride: Let’s pretend that you’ve moved everything to next year and see how you feel, see how your heart rate is. Imagine everyone is able to come, the virus isn’t an issue, you’ve saved a bit more money - but it’s 12 months later."
Collette says she encouraged the bride to consider what a wedding in 2020 would look like.
"Do you want a wedding where everyone is social distancing? Where your bridesmaids are wearing masks? Where we’re still hearing the statistics of who has died from Covid-19 every day?
"So let’s just pretend that we push the wedding to next year. And after five days, she said she started to sleep again."
2. Avoid the forums - at all costs
“There’s a lot of scaremongering happening on forums," says Collette. "People who aren’t even in the business are giving ‘advice’ and realistically, they don’t know what they’re talking about.
"These are brides and husbands-to-be who have lost their jobs, they’ve paid deposits, and they’re worried. Right now, the future is very uncertain for a lot of industries, and if you’ve put down €40,000 on a deposit, reading these forums is not going to be helpful.
"We just don’t know what the economy is going to be like after this."
Instead, Collette suggests speaking to somebody who does know what they're talking about: like a wedding planner, an events specialist, or somebody else who works in the wedding industry.
They will be able to give realistic advice on what to expect from events going forward - and what the move for your wedding will be.
3. Try to have some perspective - if you can
While simply taking a step back and reassessing the situation may seem like an obvious solution, sometimes putting things into perspective - and keeping them there - is enough to weather any storm.
Collette says that although a couple may feel like they are the only ones struggling, they are not.
"Sometimes we can easily lose sight of what a wedding is about," she says. "You need to centre yourself and think: we’re doing this because I love them and they love me.
"At the end of the day, this is about two people who are in love and they want to celebrate with a party - but that love will wait.
"No couple is alone in this, we need to take heed that we’re all in this together. We must stay positive."
You can find out more about Collette and Elegant Events here.