• John Lally

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Saturday, 20th June 2020 is one of the best days to get married!

In December 2019, I read an article on Hitched, which discussed a recent survey in which more than 10,000 couples said the perfect day to get married in 2020 was June 20th.

This Saturday in June falls on the Summer solstice. The article suggests 'couples will be able to party into the early hours on the longest day of the year...' never mind the midnight curfews most venues impose - I thought.

As if that weren't reason enough to choose this day to say 'I do', the hangover brunch on the following day also happened to be Father's day. Conditions were perfect. What could possibly go wrong?

Credit: Erik Witsoe
Credit - Logan Weaver

On 19th March 2020 the Church of England announced that wedding ceremonies should be limited to five - the legal minimum - which consists of the priest, bride, groom and two witnesses.

March 20th saw the government closing down bars, pubs, restaurants and gyms and 3 days later the Prime Minister announced a nationwide lockdown.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the government to take drastic measures to ensure we Stay Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives - a slogan which we would be reminded of on a daily basis until May 10th, when Boris Johnson's new Stay Alert catchphrase confused the nation.

For couples planning a wedding, their worst fears were becoming a reality. Months if not years of planning had come undone in a matter of days, venues scrambled to squeeze 2 years worth of weddings into 2021 and many couples quickly realised the wedding insurance they'd been paying towards - to cover the unexpected - doesn't cover the really unexpected things, like global pandemics.

Saturday 20th June 2020 is one of the worst days to get married!


Accordingly to the same Hitched article, the second most popular day to get married in 2020 is (was) July 25th, which also happens to be day I was due to get married. When my fiancé and I realised that the 2 year anniversary of my proposal fell on a Saturday, we knew this was the day for us, so we paid our deposit and sent out our save the date cards.

2019 was filled with weekends of meeting suppliers, tasting cakes and fine tuning our guest list. In January 2020, I perfected, printed and posted out our invitations. This was the year we were going to get married and with only a few things left to organise, we knew the next 6 months would fly by.

Credit - Dilyara Garifullina

In the middle of March, as we began to comprehend the seriousness of what was going on, the prospect of postponing our own wedding hadn't yet crossed our mind.

With President Trump proclaiming 'I want coronavirus over by Easter' it was looking as though this would all blow over by the summer. We prudently added on a few additional months, given Trump's track record of farfetched claims. This might not be over by Easter, but July should be fine, right?

The truth is nobody really knew how this was going to pan out. By the end of April we started to consider that even if our wedding could go ahead, would it be safe for our guests? Would our American family be able to travel to the UK (or even want to)?

With such anxiety and uncertainty surrounding our wedding date, by the time we made the decision to postpone, we didn't feel sad or particularly disappointed, just relieved.

Our new wedding date is Saturday 24th July 2021. The same weekend, one year later. We feel lucky to have chosen such a helpful venue - Solton Manor - and such wonderful suppliers, who have all seamlessly rescheduled to our new 2021 date.

As a wedding supplier myself, I wanted to provide a similar level of cooperation and helpfulness from the very start of the pandemic.

On the week commencing March 18th TavernCreative launched a range of New Date / Change The Date cards in anticipation of postponements to follow over the coming months.

Interestingly, when we launched our range there were 9 pages of search results on Etsy for 'Change The Date Cards' and at the time of writing this, there are 81 pages of results for the same search term. It's safe the say, there's plenty of choice.

From the launch, we made it our company policy to stand by our loyal customers, by offering free e-vite designs and heavily discounted printed change the dates.

We still stand by this offer and have now helped over 500 affected couples with reprinted invitations, change the date cards or electronic notices.

2020 was supposed to be the best year for many, myself included, but now we're having to accept it's probably a write off.

As cliched as it sounds, knowing that 'we're all in this together', does provide some comfort in the sense that this is an extremely exceptional time. It would be even more heartbreaking if your wedding was cancelled because the venue went into administration or if the day was ruined due to extreme weather.

2021 is going to be the year of weddings and celebrations (touch wood). Postponing your wedding has given you more time to save, more time to get in shape and it's one less anniversary you need to remember.

Stay safe, stay positive.