In light of many couples facing the difficult choice of postponing, adjusting, or cancelling their wedding day plans, I wanted to share my story of how my wedding didn’t go 100% to plan and how, if anything, it was more of a blessing than a curse.
Of course, we all see our wedding as being this perfect, dreamy event that is Instagram worthy perfection. But in reality, sometimes things happen that are entirely out of our control. Like a global pandemic! Or in my case, something that affected the world a whole lot less but for me and my husband, it was a very stressful and heartbreaking scenario.
The situation that led to my double wedding was the reality that a very special person was not able to be at our wedding. My husband’s daughter. Yes, we were heartbroken at first. But like many couples planning their weddings right now amongst a COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that this was a privilege to be able to get married and have the luxury of living out our dream wedding.
So, we accepted our reality and opted to go ahead with our wedding. Throughout our planning process, we were as relaxed as we could possibly be, with the idea in our minds that if at the end of the day we were married, then everything went to plan. And we were! And it was absolutely wonderful. We truly did have the best day ever. It was exactly what we wanted. Intimate, relaxed, romantic.
But, when we saw our daughter again, we decided to put something else into motion. Without telling her, we were planning a surprise wedding. It was a lot smaller, with just us, our immediate family and two close friends (one acting as an unofficial officiant) and a photographer. But it was completely centered around her and our relationships with her. We each honoured her with vows to her, and we gave her a gift.
To me, she is not a “step” daughter. She’s my family. No “if’s” or “but’s”. So we wanted to spend the day celebrating her. And we did! To me, our wedding(s!) are both incredible memories. Incredibly different, but both incredibly beautiful celebrations. Having two weddings to the same person meant two gorgeous venues, two dresses (yep- I wore two!), two sets of portrait photos, two bouquets, and even two wedding themes. Even our flower girl got a new outfit to go with the new vibe.
Our first celebration was a romantic, vintage bohemian celebration at a tiny rustic church in the beautiful Macedon ranges in Victoria with 60 of our closest friends and family.
Our second celebration was a colourful celebration at the incredible Cactus Country, with flowers galore, which was intimate and family-focused. From my experience, I am now in the camp that the more wedding, the better! Weddings are incredible and go by so quickly that having a supplementary day to celebrate is invaluable.
In many cultures, more than one wedding event is standard. And although many of us in Australia see one big white wedding as standard – it’s okay to adapt and change your plans based on the world around you. Consider your non-negotiables before cancelling your wedding or postponing the whole event. If Aunt Karen can’t come down from Queensland due to COVID-19 then is that enough reason for you to cancel? Or could you downsize now and have a bigger celebration later? How can you make your wedding work on your own terms? For some people, the only thing is that is a non-negotiable is that they marry their person. You can do this!