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  • Lauren Shaffran-Aghajan

The C Word

Were living in one of the most uncertain times, possibly, of our lifetime. COVID is probably the most dangerous word to say to a bride in 2020/2021.

Some people all their lives have dreamed of this giant wedding. Decked out in flowers and décor in a big hall with every single person they have ever looked at in their lifetime to be on the guestlist and that has been taken away from them.

I got engaged in 2019. Everyone said to get married that summer, but if you have planned a wedding you know that is not a realistic timeline. We booked a hall for August 2020. By the time it got to August we could have had a hundred-person wedding at the hall (including staff). Our original guestlist was 175 people plus staff. With family members health and some being in the US and around the world we decided to cut our guestlist down to 35 people - including staff and have a small wedding at my aunts’ home (who literally is the all time most amazing person in general but extra for letting me throw my wedding there).

I re planned our day over 15 times. With every guideline change and restriction. I eagerly awaited Fords announcements to hear what was next and tuned in everyday at 1pm. This I cannot lie was more than depressing. You have everyone messaging you asking if you are still getting married? What have you decided to do? Saying you are selfish to go ahead and get married.

On our day we followed every guideline and then some. Guests filled out a COVID form prior to the day and were asked to isolate if possible. Everyone was given the option to not come, and we totally understood if they did not want to. We had separate bathrooms for men, women, family. Food proportioned and passed. No sit-down dinner. All staff and vendors had masks. All guests were invited to wear a mask and gloves if they felt necessary. Every washroom, table, doorway had disposable towels, sanitizer, wipes. If you entered a closed space, we made masks mandatory. With doing a smaller day we did not get our venue deposit back. We used our photographer and officiant we had booked in 2019, hired a caterer, and used our deposit on the cake to do cupcakes. Every vendor went above and beyond to make our day amazing.

A lot of people were offended to not get an invite, especially local individuals. But at the end of the day, I thought WHO am I getting married for? Them? Or myself and my now husband??? We chose ourselves. We streamed the wedding and started a Facebook group for anyone who wanted to watch and see the day. Many friends and family members had viewing parties in their homes, getting dressed up and popping champagne bottles.

I started to make the planning process as fun as I could. I love the show 90 Day Fiancé. So, when it was 90 days to our wedding, I bought champagne, made a nice meal and we had facetime drinks with friends to celebrate. COVID showed me, its about the small things. I tried to make the small moments the greatest ones. Although certain events were cancelled and everything was not my original plan, I still loved it all. My friends and family made an extra effort to check in and see what needed to be done with each new plan.

Part of the reason I was able to go this route (of a smaller wedding) was I never had mentally planned out my wedding. I did not want a huge guestlist or in a hall. I wanted something small and intimate with my closest friends and family. Even that guestlist was over a hundred people. I do not believe in inviting people because you do not want to hurt their feelings, or you were invited to their day yada yada yada. I wish I could have had all my friends and family there, but the ones who truly loved us understood and were so happy we were still going ahead.

As a Bride and a wedding planner I believe in doing your day how YOU want. Not what your friends think or your mom or in laws. That day is about you and your partner. The unfortunate truth is if you dreamed of having a huge wedding staffed in a hall with dancing, you likely are looking at 2022. Is this a bad thing? NO!!! If that is what you want, you have a whole extra year of planning! Double checking your lists, making sure you have every detail and vendor. If you have decided to move your day, you can do a mini celebration you and your partner on your original wedding date. Make a nice dinner, have some drinks, wear white, have a cake!

If you were always looking for a way out to plan a smaller day, here is your chance! This is the time to take your cousins, uncles, brothers, dentist off the list. Scale it down to who matters. Many venues are planning small intimate packages or get married at your parent’s house or somewhere that means something to you!

2020 I did some gorgeous scaled down weddings and every single Bride said they were happy at the end of the day with it being smaller and absolutely loved their day. So, remember, no matter what YOU WILL LOVE YOUR DAY!

Let’s get real, wedding planning is super stressful and there are tons of tears as it is... so adding COVID OH baby! The tears keep coming! On your day, the world could blow up and you will not remember that. You will not remember any fight or drunk uncle Al. You will remember the look in your partners eyes and every emotion you felt in that moment.




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