…and sometimes a Global Pandemic decides to toss them for you.
I know we don’t owe anyone an explanation on why we decided to cancel our wedding even though it was “still so far out,” and I don’t want to be apocalyptic. I do want to [as briefly as possible] be realistic about why we cancelled our July wedding in March. I also want to share how we chose to handle it.
First up, why we cancelled
- Over 1/3 of our guests were without question in one of the initial high risk categories. With more recent information made available to the public, it seems that everyone is substantially at risk, and to be entirely honest even one person is one person too many for me.
- There is not much known about this virus. We have a lot of educated guesses at this point, but the reality is that there is still a long way to go.
- Fundamentally, it was our call to make and we made it. We talked about hypothetical situations and concerns for weeks and enough information finally became available that we did not feel comfortable with keeping the old plan under any circumstances.
After we made the decision, then came the phone calls updating everyone, and the emails to vendors. Everything we had booked over 6 months prior was cancelled in 2 days with 4 months to go, and it was a huge bummer. The next week or so had us trying to figure out re-planning the wedding which we thought at the time we could do closer to home on the same date.
Then, things started getting worse faster.
How we chose to handle it
I had half-joked about getting married at the courthouse from the time we got engaged nearly a year ago. About a week and a half after cancelling Hawaii, we started talking about it seriously and weighed the pros and cons. In the midst of that, we had a phone call with my dear friend Tyler that included some major points to consider and swayed our decision greatly.
- We would no longer be bound by a timeline to have the actual marriage legally solidified so we would be able to enjoy planning the new celebration instead of stressing out about all the factors at play
- We could start working on the (already slow moving) name change process
- Legal benefits that directly tied in to how we picked our original wedding date since right now we really don’t know now when will be a “safe” time to reschedule for
- Our families would not be able to be there
- Ryan’s dad would not be the legal officiant as we had planned
- My wedding dress is in CA
- It felt a little more informal than we wanted
Pros and cons weighed, we decided on a Wednesday afternoon around 4:30 to see if we could set up a marriage license appointment and get on the calendar to be married by the judge the next day.
We both worked our shifts for the day, met each other at the County Court Clerk’s office for our 2:45pm license appointment, met at home, changed into clothes to be married in (items we already had in our closets, and I was super stoked my dress had pockets!), and were at the Courthouse at 4:45pm.
As far as exchanging rings, I was already planning on just using my engagement ring as my wedding ring. We also knew getting Ryan’s “real” wedding band would be delayed from our wedding no matter what, so we used the carbon fiber ring he has had since last year around the time we got engaged.
The judge who officiated said really nice things about marriage and partnership which was an appreciated touch. We are also grateful that we did have a couple of friends who were able to come to the courthouse to witness (Arizona requires 2), and we do have a video of the whole ceremony.
After the ceremony, we picked up food to-go, went home, put on pajamas, and called our family members.
This is not how either of us saw our wedding going at all. At this point, we are grateful for our health, the support of our families and friends, and of course each other. We will still have a celebration with those close to us, I will still wear *the* dress (he still wants to know nothing about it), and we still have the rest of our lives together.
We have already started brainstorming what we want the celebration to look like, which will be different from what was previously planned. We found a photographer we love, know what our new destination is, and at this point we are navigating married life knowing at some point in the future, we will be able to truly start re-planning our wedding.