Like many, the dream of having my wedding be in the New York Times, felt just like that, a dream. And today, it happened for me. Well sort of. Instead of covering the soon to be ‘best day of my life’, it’s about the subject that keeps me up at night. Figuring out what to do and how to celebrate this amazing 14 year relationship I’ve been in and commemorate our love. In over a decade we’ve accumulated a lot of friends. Whether or not we’re now just Facebook friend or acquaintances, many of these people are a part of our love story, and as someone who is always of the ‘more the merrier’ mindset, I want every special human, that’s ever touched my/our lives to be a part of my big day.
Reality check. That’s not happening. And while I read so many “oh the poor bride” stories, that’s honestly not what I’m going through. I don’t feel bad for me, I’m lucky the invitations didn’t go out, the deposits weren’t made, for me it’s what to do about my guests. Although I admit what does suck is I never got to do the things… You have have an engagement party, a bachelorette… Or even some type of celebration. Going virtual or small ceremony feels so anticlimactic when it took me over a decade to say yes and then I finally do and well… this.
Here’s a quick run down… We got engaged in Vietnam on a boat on an amazing lantern filled river on New Years Eve. It was raining that day and for 30min it stopped so we took that boat ride. Clearly by my outfit, I wasn’t expecting it. In fact I put on my most casual clothes since we didn’t have an umbrella. Every part of it (including the outfit) was perfect and 2019 ended in the most magical way. Also he re-proposed hours later at the hotel (the original engagement plan), when I was all dressed and it was HILARIOUS. And amazing to do it twice (I highly recommend it).
Then an hour later 2020 hit. James stayed in Asia for a 3 month on a work trip. I went back to the US. Months later he was extracted back to the US, Hawaii to be more specific, since Covid hit S. Korea hard. I did have plans to be in Asia with him but all my work trips were canceled due to their Corona levels. The US didn’t have cases at this time or take it seriously. The extraction made it so I would to finally see my finace and we’d finally have some quality time and vacation together. Withing 4 days corona hit the US, the islands around Honolulu closed for tourists and our vacation was squashed. Fast forward many months and the debate over to still do our wedding from scratch, quickly and most definitely half-assed to pull it off in a month or two. Or do I just give up and wait until next year, all the while friends are dropping like flies out of NYC by the day. The debate literally keeps me up at night.
I feel unsure of what to do. Maybe I’m not the stereotypical bride. I don’t care about all the attention, or having everyone stare at me or some type of vanity moment, I don’t care about presents, I don’t care about showing off in any which way, or the day being ‘perfect’. What I care about is my guests and getting to hug and dance and be joyous together. To laugh, to throw cake in James’ face and to see a room full of people I love.
I used to think to pull off an amazing wedding you need good food, good music and an epic open bar. Now, I think about, ‘will people feel obligated? will they feel pressured and unsafe? will they have a hard time celebrating something joyous when they are having a difficult time? Do I even know what the 150+ people in my life are going through to make this decision? To quote myself in The New York Times:
“I still wanted to get married but I wanted to be sensitive to what people were going through,” said Ms. Eurdolian, the founder of Pretty Connected, a lifestyle blog and fashion accessory line. “Some have lost loved ones; others have lost their jobs. People have been traumatized. They’re concerned about their health and about traveling.”
So the question becomes, do we wait with no guarantee? Do we stay on track and do it this fall and make it virtual? I did a virtual bridal shower and I had a blast. I didn’t actually think something virtual could be so fun. And I planned on sending thank you card and emails to all my guests within 2 weeks with all the answers, invitation and what our plan was. And over a month later I’m stuck. Every time I go to address the group, I’m paralyzed. I thought time would give me clarity, but I just make more circles on the hampster wheel.
Were in uncharted territory. I get that and I’m very appreciative to the New York Times, specifically their amazing writer, Alix Strauss, who’s articles I’ve been reading for years, for writing my story, my struggle as I know it’s the same for countless brides around the country. And for having experts weigh in on what to do, and what this ‘new normal’ (don’t you just hate that saying?) protocol looks like.
Without further adieu… here’s the full article, You Are Cordially Invited (or Not) to Our Socially Distanced Wedding. It will also be in print today, Sunday August 16th.
Thank you to my friend, and family for their patience while I figure this out. I promise no matter what we do, we will have a virtual component to our wedding so for anyone that can’t make it in person you can watch it live, even if the world is healed by the time we say I do.