As I’ve mentioned before, trying to plan a wedding during a global pandemic is a special kind of pain in the ass.
Around every corner is another unexpected obstacle. The bridal salons are closed, so no dress fittings. The bakery showrooms are closed, so no cake tastings. Don’t order anything with the wedding date on it, in case it needs to be changed. But don’t wait too long to order anything with the wedding date on it, because it takes a month and a half for packages to ship. The marriage bureaus are closed, so good luck getting a marriage license in the first place. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
The latest twist of fate has forced my fiancé and me to join the ranks of quarantine couples having “micro-ceremonies” instead of proper weddings. Have you heard about these? Basically it’s just the bridal couple, their officiant, and the minimum number of legal witnesses, standing six feet apart from one another, hoping to sneak in a few nice photos before getting told off for not wearing a mask. More of an elopement than a wedding, for all intents and purposes. It’s the hot new thing all over Instagram, and the reality of the global situation is that if getting married in 2020 is at all important to you, that’s the kind of wedding you’ll probably end up having.
Even so, I won’t pretend it was an easy decision to go micro. Even though seemingly every higher power in the known universe was pushing us toward this outcome, it’s tough to abandon a plan that you’ve been working on for almost a full calendar year. Even though we knew putting off the big celebration with all of our loved ones was the safe, responsible, and correct thing to do, it still feels to some degree like admitting defeat. Alright, Universe, you win. We’re licked. Take the wedding from us, we can’t stop you.
But that’s looking on the gloomy side, which isn’t the mindset you want to have going into your own wedding. So instead of wallowing in despair over the whims of cruel fate, which we’re all doing quite enough of these days, I’m deciding instead to take a walk on the sunny side of the street.
I invite you to come along with me, and think of some of the positive aspects of jumping onto the micro-ceremony bandwagon. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Anyone can tell you that the more moving parts involved in any undertaking, the more tiny little things you’ll find to worry about. Planning a wedding is no shortage of moving parts, but a lot of them fall by the wayside when you downsize the ceremony. Cutting a list of roughly 50 moving parts down to about 6 certainly takes some of the edge off.
As Sartre said, Hell is other people. I love my family and friends as much as the next girl, but like any sensible person I’ve been lowkey wondering which relative was going to get thrown off the property for getting too drunk or starting an argument with their sister or asking one too many times when we’re going to have a baby. Not having to worry about managing everyone else’s behavior on my wedding day? Huge plus.
A lot of people, in my observation, tend to focus more on the event of the wedding than the idea of a marriage. Yes, this is the blending of two families and should be commemorated by everyone involved. But it’s also, much more importantly, the joining of just two lives. At the end of the day, this is really just about the bride and the groom. And if we’re essentially the only two people at the event, that certainly makes sure we won’t forget it.
I’ll close with some encouraging words to anyone else (or any millennials, at least) trying to weather this same storm: “I see you. Big oof.”