How to Cope with the Loss of Your Wedding During Coronavirus

A woman holding her forehead in sadness.

Hi everyone. How are you doing today? If you’re reading this right now, it’s very likely you’re probably stuck inside, going a little stir crazy. You’ve probably BEEN inside for several days—maybe even weeks—trying to come to grips with a bizarre new normal that has swept the globe.

That’s right, I’m talking about COVID-19. The novel coronavirus that first made an appearance back in December has completely upended our lives. It stopped school, closed businesses, and made seeing our friends and family members feel like a risky move.

We can’t do the things we used to do, like go to bars, see movies, or even take a walk with a group of friends. Worse still, we don’t know when things are going to return to normal—and that means many future plans, like weddings, have to be put on hold.

All over the world, many couples have had to cancel or postpone their weddings due to COVID-19, causing tremendous stress and disappointment for all. If you’re among these delayed newlyweds, here are a few tips to help you deal with this difficult situation.

It’s OK to Grieve

Many people are feeling pretty rotten during this time. They are stressing about lost jobs, wondering how they’ll pay the bills. They are afraid for the safety of their friends and family. Worst of all, many are grieving lost loved ones.

Thinking about the terrible effects of this virus can sometimes make our own problems feel insignificant. Surely in the grand scheme of things, a postponed wedding is hardly something to be sad about…right?

Not exactly; while postponing your wedding may not be as traumatic as losing a friend or family member, it’s still a big deal. Weddings are a chance to bring your loved ones together, to connect with your tribe, and to celebrate your love story. Who wouldn’t be upset to miss out on that?

It’s perfectly natural to be disappointed (even devastated) that your wedding’s been postponed. This is an event you’ve been planning for months, not to mention one you’ve likely been dreaming of for years. Give yourself time to be sad, to be angry, to be confused. Recognize that your feelings are perfectly valid and that you’re not the only one feeling this way.

Take a Breath Before You Plan

A couple laying on a blanket in the grass.

Planning a wedding is a complicated process. Postponing or cancelling can be even more difficult. But cancelling now—as countless other couples are rushing to do the same and vendors are closing left and right—can feel almost impossible!

You may feel a sense of urgency around your wedding postponement. You may want to set a new date, call every vendor and re-secure their services, and send out new save-the-dates to all your guests ASAP. This is also a natural response; when the world is scary and uncertain, many of us try to control what little we can.

Here’s the reality: we’re living through an unprecedented moment in history. No one knows how to deal with this situation—and no one knows how long it will last. The best thing to do is try to take things one moment at a time.

Now, does this mean you shouldn’t plan for your new wedding date? Of course not! Call your vendors and your guests to explain the situation and try to decide on a new wedding date if possible. But if you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed by these unexpected events, make sure you take time to compose yourself before anything else.

Recognize Your Role in This Challenging Time

Personal story time: I did not have to postpone a wedding during this pandemic, but I did have to cancel my baby shower. It was a difficult decision, as I’d been looking forward to seeing my extended family and celebrating my first little one.

Ultimately, one thought helped me stand firm in my decision: cancelling this party was my way of protecting my loved ones.

I thought about my elderly relatives, who were at risk of infection. I thought about my friends, who could potentially spread germs to their loved ones after a party at my place. I thought about my unborn daughter, who would have to spend her first days on Earth away from my husband and me if either one of us caught COVID-19.

With all of those people in my mind, the decision to postpone my party felt totally worth it.

I’m not saying you can’t be upset that your wedding is postponed. You should be upset. It’s completely unfair! But please keep in mind that postponing your wedding could help save the lives of your loved ones. When you think of it that way, postponing can feel alright—and it will feel even sweeter to see everyone when the danger has passed.

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