Interview With A Bride- COVID-19 Is Shaking Up Wedding Plans For Couples Everywhere

The COVID-19 hit the wedding and events industry hard. Not only has it left venues and vendors in disarray, couples from all over the country are now forced to postone or cancel their weddings altogether. We interviewed couples here in Pennsylvania to see how the virus has affected their plans to say “I Do”.

carrie and ben

Cross PhotographyCross Photography

Engaged Since: January 1st, 2019

Original Wedding Date: May 16th, 2020

New Date: The 4th of July

How they met: We met 8 years ago this month through mutual friends in Hummelstown, Pa. Carrie was actually preparing to leave for Florida for a travel nursing opportunity with two friends, so they were enjoying a night out with other co-workers to celebrate. The mutual friends/“matchmakers” convinced Ben last minute to join the group for a drink and the rest is history. Neither of us were looking for a relationship at the time, but it was an instant connection that was hard to deny.

When did you find out you needed to postpone your wedding?

It was never a requirement for us to postpone, but with the current CDC recommendations of groups of less than 50 for the next 8 weeks (we were only 5 days removed from that timeframe), we saw being forced to cancel or postpone as a very real possibility in the future. When we checked in with our venue coordinator (who has been absolutely amazing) and she informed us that there were only three remaining days available to reschedule our wedding to (which quickly turned to two), we knew that we needed to make a decision sooner rather than later.

What has been the hardest part about this?

By far, the hardest part has been realizing that some of our guests who were previously able to attend, no longer are able to due to prior plans and obligations on our new date. We know that it will still be an amazing day and that we will eventually get to say “I do”, so we are choosing to focus on those positives. Another heartbreaker for us has been cancelling our dream honeymoon to Italy and Greece. We have plans to reschedule that as well though and feel that the added wait and anticipation will make the trip even more special than it would have originally been. We are grateful for the perspective that this whole situation has brought us. As we continue to plan for our big day, we will definitely strive for less perfection and more for highlighting the simple things…our love, our health (and that of our guests), and the ability to share all of that with those who matter most to us.

How are you handling the added time while you wait for your new wedding date? 

We are taking a deep breath and a bit of a break from the planning. It’s amazing how caught up in the tiny details you can get when organizing a wedding. While we still plan to have a beautiful day, our focus has been redirected for now and we’re okay with that. We’re hopeful that the current situation will slowly improve and that our day will turn out even better than we could have ever expected. For the most part, this is completely out of our hands and control and we’re doing our very best to accept that.

What advice do you have for other couples in this same situation?

Use every opportunity to find the positive. There is no point or use in focusing on what you can’t change or control. I was telling a co-worker the other day that the last thing I ever wanted was for our wedding to be on a holiday. She quickly said, “well, you’ll always have fireworks on your anniversary!”; and in that moment, she really helped me to flip the dialogue in my head. I have thought about that many times since…there is always a bright side, and we think, a reason for everything. We will get to the (proverbial) altar and so will you. Our hearts are with you as you decide exactly how that will happen, but it will be an incredible day no matter what!

Were you able to use the same venue/vendors you originally were working with?

We have been so incredibly lucky. When we were in the midst of trying to decide what to do, we quickly realized that we had to make a decision in the very near future or risk losing the ability to have a wedding at all. The remaining 2020 dates at our venue were limited to 3 Saturdays and were flying out the door. We sent out SOS emails to our main vendors and they all got back to us within the hour. It worked out that the latest date available at our venue was also the date that every single one of our vendors was able to reschedule us for. We are so very grateful to all of them.

The Vendors

Ceremony and reception venue: Weddings on Memory Lane (Hershey) | Caterer: Saffron Grill & Catering (Williamsport) | Photographer: Jen & Katie Photography (Wilmington, DE) | Videographer: Zach Beidler Media (Mount Joy) | Florist: Rosemary & Rust (Shrewsbury) | DJ: Occasions Disc Jockeys (Lancaster) Ceremony musician: Sean Farley (Williamsport) | Hair & Makeup: Rock Paper Scissors Salon (Hanover) Bride’s dress: Tamzen’s Bridal at Butler Manor (Carlisle) & Nancy’s Bridal Alterations (Harrisburg) Bridesmaids’ dresses: Kennedy Blue | Groom’s/Groomsmen’s suits: Generation Tux | Mobile bar: Get Hitched (Chester County) | Cake/cupcakes: Kyrsten’s Sweet Designs (Harrisburg) | Photo booth: SocialLights (Williamsport) | Rentals: Swoon Vintage Rental (Hummelstown), Weir Event Rentals (Harrisburg), & Rental World (Lancaster) | Transportation: Premiere #1 Limousine Service | Officiant: Minister Steve of Pennsylvania | Rehearsal Dinner: Millworks (Harrisburg) | Invitations: Minted

amanda and joshMaggie Mae PhotographyMaggie Mae Photography

Engaged Since: March 16th, 2019

Original Wedding Date: March 28th, 2020

New Date: TBD but hoping for July!

How they met: Amanda had been celebrating her birthday and met up with her friend Vanessa and Vanessa’s husband Rob, who own the Civil War Cider Shop.  Josh had randomly decided he wanted a drink and walked into Civil War Cider after celebrating his dad’s birthday. Rob introduced Josh to Amanda, and the rest was history!  We have been engaged for a little over a year, and live in Northumberland, PA with our two cats Rosie and Mr. Pappy Van Whiskers.

When did you find out you needed to postpone your wedding?

We officially found out on March 16th that we needed to postpone everything.  With our wedding date so close, it was very difficult to think about postponing things, but we would never want to put our family and friend’s health at risk.

What has been the hardest part about this?

Juggling and trying to find a date that works for us, our families, bridal parties and the vendors has been the hardest part. 

How are you handling the added time while you wait for your new wedding date? 

We will need to send out new save the dates and invitations, so part of this time will be for that.  Having the added time will also make sure everything is extra organized including double checking our photographer photo list, checklists for all of our ceremony and reception decor, and the odds and ends for the day.

What advice do you have for other couples in this same situation?

 Try to take things in stride and laugh as much as you can.  Lean on each other as best as possible, and know that everything is going to workout!

Were you able to use all of the same venue/vendors you originally were working with?

We believe we will be able to use the majority of our vendors, but might have to find a few new ones since it is difficult to find a date that works for all of them.  All of our vendors though have been very flexible and so nice to work with during such a tough time.  

the vendors

Reception Venue: The Iron Front | Bride’s Hair: Total Concept Salon | Bride’s Makeup: Plush Salon | Menswear: Generation Tux & The Clothier | Bride’s Gown/Veil: Bride’s Bouquet & Maggie Sottero | Reception Dinner Catering: Chef Hosch and Ann Catering | Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Hillside Catering | Rehearsal Dessert: The Cookie Dude | Wedding Cake: Gable House Bakery & Psycho Cupcakes | Reception DJ/Photobooth/lighting: Nittany Entertainment | Florals: Gillies Lillies | Planner: Lauren Gemberling Events | Photographer: Maggie Mae Photography | Videographer: Trevor Polly Videography

nicole and dalenicole and dale engagement photo

Engaged Since: July 25th, 2018

Original Wedding Date: April 18th, 2020

New Date: November 14th, 2020

How they met: This love story has two different beginnings, depending on who you ask.

Dale’s story goes like this:

Nicole and I crossed paths in 2008 at a house party she threw. I came as a plus one with a friend that she had invited. There were a bunch of people there that night and we stayed up most of the night talking to one another on her back porch. After I left, we never saw or spoke to each other again until we met again years later.

Nicole’s story begins like this:

I was out having drinks with two friends; Allie and Samm. While we were out, Allie had asked to invite her brother and his friend out too. Of course, I said “yes”. When Jake and Dale arrived, I noticed that Dale couldn’t take his eyes off of me. I was having a hard time not being drawn to him because there was something about him that was oddly familiar. We eventually left the bar and went home for the evening. It wasn’t until the next day when Dale texted me and told me he knew where I lived that I realized who he was. The rest is history.

Dale asked me to be his girlfriend the night he left for Las Vegas with his cousin, Henry. I thought he was crazy for doing that but I obliged him anyway. August 29th, 2012 was the day our lives changed forever.

After almost a year of dating, we moved in together to our first apartment in the Fairways. We lived there for about three years before we bought our first home together. Over those four years living together, Dale and I earned our Bachelor’s Degrees (Dale in Business Management and Nicole in Elementary Education) and adopted a new furbaby.

When did you find out you needed to postpone your wedding?

We found out we needed to postpone the wedding about a week ago. It was actually the day before our 30 day countdown, so March 17th. 

What has been the hardest part about this?

I would say the hardest part about having to make this decision has been just trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we planned for this day for close to 2 years and we were so close to our special moment together. 

Also, answering all the questions/concerns from guests up until the decision was made to postpone. Dale and I both were fielding texts, daily, from guests who were concerned about COVID-19 and the wedding.

How are you handling the added time while you wait for your new wedding date? 

Well, Dale and I have been responsible for all of the financial needs associated with a wedding. Since ours was all but paid for (we had one last deposit after we got our guest count), we plan on doing a few things for ourselves with our extra money. Also, we are going to find some summer courses towards our Masters degree!

What advice do you have for other couples in this same situation?

Everything happens for a reason. Maybe the new date will have perfect weather and you’ll find that the date you had was going to have terrible storms. Maybe guests who couldn’t attend the first date for health or financial reasons can now join in your new day. Try to find the positive. I know that it is hard and heartbreaking. As the days go on, I find myself getting used to the new date. 

Plan on doing something for the two of you on your original date. Something you love doing together or something you’ve always wanted to do. 

Were you able to use the same venue/vendors you originally were working with?

Luckily, yes! All of our vendors have been super supportive and understanding that this was completely out of our control. 

the vendors

Venue: Grand Ballroom and Garden at Normandy Farm Hotel | Photographer/Photobooth/DJ: Complete Weddings and Events | Stationery Designer: RSVP Love

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