In addition to lockdowns, panic buying, border closures and everything else COVID has thrust onto our society, it’s also threatened many of our special occasions we may have once taken for granted.
From mourning the loss of a loved one, to celebrating the big milestones in life – births, birthdays and graduations – COVID has seemingly left no stone unturned. In my case, it was my wedding.
Planning a wedding is never easy. Planning a wedding during COVID is an emotional rollercoaster with no promise of when or how it will end.
With restrictions constantly changing, we were constantly adjusting and sacrificing for what was supposed to be one of the most amazing days of our lives. We reduced our guest list, cancelled our reception and honeymoon, and moved our wedding date forward.
We had everything planned in March for our April wedding. We’d accepted it would be smaller than we’d hope for. With restrictions getting tighter, we cancelled our April wedding and moved the date forward to the closest weekend.
Everything was locked in for the coming Saturday – just four days away. Within a few hours, restrictions for weddings were reduced from 100 people to just five. We were no longer able to even have both sets of parents there. So again, we cancelled.
This was the part of the roller coaster ride where you’re tempted to just get off. I give up COVID – you win.
We had no control over when we could start planning and rescheduling our wedding and when we could finally start our lives together. Instead of getting off the roller coaster, we stayed the course and set a new date for October.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. The news had just broken of a possible outbreak in Queensland. Once again our plans were in jeopardy.
We didn’t want to make the same mistake again and decided to get married in a week’s time. Last Saturday, we got married!! 3rd time lucky!!
Here are 4 things I learned organising a wedding during COVID.
1. Take control in a world of uncertainty
There are so many things we cannot control – even more so during a global pandemic. Instead of waiting, we took control and got married while we still could.
2. Importance of family and friends
It’s incredible to reflect on the amazing family, friends and church community you have in your life. We could not have organised a wedding in one week without everyone banding together. The community of friends and family around you are so important.
3. Celebrate in hard times
In times of struggle and suffering, it’s important to still focus on celebrating the good things in life – like a wedding. The response from our guests and from the public when they saw me wearing my dress was wonderful. “It’s so lovely to see something good happening in this time of suffering” and “Exactly what I wanted to see in such a sad time,” were just a few of the comments we heard.
4. The importance of marriage over wedding
COVID has helped changed my perspective on what’s important to have in your wedding, such as the vows we made to each other before God, and the presence of our close family and friends. We didn’t need the most expensive wedding, the perfect decorations, or the biggest party. We are thankful for the small but important things. We still had our wedding ceremony with 50 people. We had a wedding cake and celebrated at the end of the day with a BBQ in the backyard. To top it all off, we had our first dance underneath our Hills Hoist covered in lights.
We’ve learned so much from organising a COVID wedding, but I guess the most important lesson of all has been to never taking anything – big or small – for granted. And while at times you may feel that the roller coaster ride you’re on is in control of you, remember God can still control your roller coaster. Just trust Him.
About the author…
Jane has been involved with SU Camps and Community Outreaches for 15 years. She has experience as working as a chaplain and has a background in nursing. Jane currently works as the Camp Specialist for SU QLD, overseeing the camps and missions across Queensland.