Wedding plans aren’t supposed to change. You’re supposed to spend a year (or more) planning your special day—and then celebrate on your original date. But sometimes unexpected circumstances (like a global pandemic) can totally upend all your hard work. It’s crushing to postpone your wedding, and you shouldn’t take the decision lightly. But if you do decide to postpone your wedding, you can still celebrate your original wedding date.
According to Evening Standard, 12 million weddings worldwide are scheduled from April through June. That’s almost one-third of weddings globally! For the United States, roughly 652,000 weddings are scheduled every year during this time. And most of those weddings are being postponed because of Coronavirus.
This doesn’t just mean loss of revenue for the wedding industry, or loss of deposits for wedding planners. It means that thousands of couples won’t be able to tie the knot on their chosen date. And that can be more painful than postponing your wedding. Whether you chose your date for a specific reason, like your anniversary or parent’s anniversary, you should still celebrate your original wedding date. That celebration will help ease the emotional pain of rescheduling your big day—and keep that date special for you and your soon-to-be. Here are nine ways you can celebrate your original wedding date while respecting social distancing and safety.
1. Get Married
If you already have your marriage license, there’s (almost!) nothing stopping you from getting married. Ask your officiant if they are willing to perform a socially distant wedding ceremony at the original date and time. Consider meeting at a local park for a scenic backdrop—and so the officiant doesn’t risk their health by entering your home. Of course, if you chose an out-of-town officiant, try and find one closer to home who won’t have to travel. All parties should be as safe as possible during the ceremony!
Bonus Tip: Check your town’s or city’s website for information on marriages during COVID-19 before making any decisions!
On the other hand, if you don’t have your marriage license, you might not be able to legally get married. Some counties are closed because of the pandemic, and might not be issuing licenses. And that’s okay! You can still have a faux ceremony, or meet with your officiant for a special service.
2. Eat Cake
Any cake that you eat on your wedding day counts as wedding cake! If you weren’t able to cancel your cake order, you can enjoy your official wedding cake as planned. But you can also custom order a cake or cupcakes from a local bakery or cafe. Whatever tasty treat you eat—don’t forget to save some for later. You might want to share a slice on your rescheduled wedding date, your honeymoon, or your one-year anniversary. Celebrate your original wedding date by keeping that tradition alive.
3. Video Chat Family & Friends
You don’t have to celebrate your original wedding date alone, either. Spend the afternoon chatting with friends and family—call your parents and group video chat your wedding party. If you really want to go all out, host a virtual happy hour, ask guests to dress up, and play silly reception games. You’ll brighten everyone’s day and cherish the memories of your original wedding date. Just be sure to let guests know ahead of time, so they can prepare.
4. Take Photos
Even if they’re silly photos in your sweats on the couch, document your original wedding date. Not only does this commemorate your original date, but it also helps you look back at that date with joy. Postponing your wedding is a hard choice, and you may feel very emotional when that original date approaches. But if you create special memories on that day, you can remember it as part of your wedding celebration—not what should have been your wedding.
If you’re up for it, dress up for the pictures. Of course, you don’t have to wear your wedding dress (and you might not have it!). But get a little fancy and visit a local park or important date night spot for a picture-perfect background. Your photographer may even be available to snap some shots from six feet away,
5. Drink Champagne
Living during a pandemic can be scary, so use your original wedding day as an excuse to toast to the things you love. Toast to your fiance, toast to inside jokes, toast to an extended engagement, toast to getting through the quarantine together. It doesn’t have to be champagne, of course. You can toast with your signature wedding cocktail, a cup of coffee, or sparkling water. Just taking a moment to recognize your love and appreciate each other.
6. Make a Digital Photo Album
Because smartphones double as cameras, we are always taking pictures. But how often do we go back and look at them? Take some time (maybe with the champagne!) and go through your photos together. Create a digital photo album or photo book and share your creation with friends and family. You can even print the photo book for guests sign at your in-person wedding!
7. Organize a Car Parade
Although you can’t be near your guests, you can still see them. Host a drive-by reception for friends and family to celebrate from their cars. Schedule a time for nearby guests to drive by your home or local park (if it’s open!) for a socially distant wave. If you’re handy with the camera, you can even take group photos with your friends: have your friends pose in the way background, and you and your fiance up close in the front. And then add those photos to your picture book!
8. Exchange Vows
Even if you’re not tying the knot, sharing your love for each other is the best way to celebrate your original wedding date. For couples who want to save their vows for an in-person wedding, consider writing custom quarantine vows. You can also read a favorite love poem, sing a favorite love song, or share your favorite memory.
9. Dance to Your Wedding Song
Firsts are an important part of your wedding—like your first dance and the first time you’re introduced as a couple. So why not use some of them to celebrate your original wedding date? After you’ve toasted to your love and exchanged vows, put on your wedding song and sway away. Not only is it romantic, but it’s also good practice for the in-person wedding!
Your wedding isn’t special because of a date—it’s special because of you and your fiance. Yes, it’s disheartening to postpone your special day. But you can make your original wedding date a special day, too. Create some of the magical wedding firsts and connect with friends and family. That’s sure to make your original wedding date special!
Which of these ideas will you try? What ideas would you add to this list?