Last night, hours after I would normally be asleep, my fiancé and I called off our wedding. And it sucked. And I cried. And I whinged that it wasn’t fair. Then I got cross with myself for not seeing the bigger picture.
Brides and grooms worldwide are feeling the same sentiment.
In a society where brides are to be angelic at all times lest we get slapped with the label ‘Bridezilla’, now more than ever are we treading a fine line. A line which, mind you, none of us asked for in the first place.
We’re worried for our communities and families, and we know that as we live through this pandemic, our wedding is not something that will make the history books. So we spend these hours feeling upset but not daring ourselves to show it.
I don’t want my friends, my families or the people I work with to get the idea that I care more about my wedding than I do about a pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 14,611 people. People who might have had their own wedding plans. People who were already married. People who didn’t give a fuck about weddings but who loved and were loved all the same. We’re mourning for them at the same time we are feeling upset about a change of plan. That seems like a betrayal of morality.
A wedding and a marriage is not the same
As most couples will tell you. It’s not about the wedding. It’s about getting married. Everyday that stands between you and the moment you stand in front of your loved ones and commit to the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with, frankly, sucks.
In the grand scheme of things, cancelled wedding plans are just a drop in the ocean in a sea of problems the world is facing. However, our lives aren’t lived in grand schemes. We live in moments and in the last four weeks I have had to cancel the moment that has meant most to me twice.
Marrying my fiancé in Italy, a place that was so important in the story of our relationship, isn’t going to happen. Now, the local wedding we opted for instead is going on hold indefinitely. Sure, there are estimates that we only need to wait out the next six months. But postponing a wedding isn’t just about the date.
Right now, it’s about social distancing and keeping our loved ones safe. In the next six months, it’ll be about recovering financially from the toll COVID-19 is going to take.
Even a Registry Office wedding in Australia costs $500, which as someone who has the privilege of working from home, doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money. Not when you compare it to the cost of a typical wedding.
However, for my fiancé, who’s job it is to keep his community fed when the supermarkets are like a zoo but is now a “non-essential service” and stuck on unpaid leave, yes. That is a lot of money. That is money we need for our mortgage repayments. Money we need for food. Money we will need if idiots don’t start social distancing properly and someone in our family gets sick.
So, what do we do?
Brides, if you’ve just postponed or cancelled your wedding. I am sorry. The legal, emotional and financial repercussions are not easy. However, take solace in the fact your decision has saved lives. Because in that ever-elusive grand scheme, social distancing and self isolating saves lives.
I for one can’t wait to get married in a moment surrounded by happier ones than these.
Words by Emma Roffey