I had my ideal wedding date picked out before I even met my now-fiancé, Matt — the fact that all of the stars aligned so that I ended up meeting him, getting engaged, and actually booking our wedding for that date was pure kismet.
My grandparents got married on Oct. 24, 1955, and I always loved the idea of getting married on that same day to honor their love and the strong bonds I've shared with them. So years ago, when I realized Oct. 24 would be a Saturday in the year 2020, I slipped it into my calendar app as "Wedding Day???" and went on with my life.
I didn't think about it much again until Matt proposed in March 2019 and everyone in the entire universe started asking me, "When's the big day?!" It was obvious: Oct. 24. From there, all the biggest pieces of our wedding puzzle started to slot into place.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.
I'm trying to stay optimistic . . . but I'm also a realist.
After spending weeks trapped in my own anxious brain worried about my family, my friends, and the world, tensions started to ease up a bit in our home. I started to focus more on being grateful — that I can do my job from home, that we're healthy, that we have food in the fridge, and that even though we can't see or hug our people, we have technology to keep us together. Only then did I start to think about our wedding day and what this pandemic might mean for us.
Because everything is so out of our control and up in the air regarding this virus and its effects, there's absolutely no telling what our lives will look like come October. I'm trying to stay optimistic that something miraculous could happen either by chance or due to the incredible efforts of our healthcare workers and the experts who are trying to figure this thing out, but I'm also a realist.
So many couples have already postponed or canceled spring and summer weddings, but many of my bride friends with fall dates are holding out. We all have that little bit of hope that we can celebrate our love later this year as originally intended. But unfortunately, I can't actually imagine a world in which things are back to "normal" enough for our wedding day to go as planned just six months from today. At least not right now.
However, being holed up in a 750-square-foot apartment with my fiancé and our two cats has only further proven to me something I think I've known since the second our wedding date being affected ever came into question: I've barely been able to wait to marry Matt since we got engaged, and I'm definitely not going to wait any longer. We set our date for the sake of planning a party, but the endgame has always been marriage, so what would we be waiting for?
Surely this can all be filed under "in good times and in bad," no?
If October looks anything like today, we'll have to get our marriage license remotely and hold a ceremony over Zoom. Our best man and maid of honor will hopefully be able to stand several feet away from us on the street in front of our apartment building, masks on and phones in hand, with our parents tuned in over FaceTime. Maybe we'll set up a computer with all of our other friends and family toasting us over video chat. Our flower girls might have to throw petals at their webcams. We'll hear the camera clicks of our sweet angel of a photographer, Jennifer Lam, from a distance.
And while it'd obviously be ideal for us to not have to cancel, postpone, or rearrange any of our plans, to be honest, the above scenario doesn't sound half bad.
There are a lot of things about this time that feel uncertain, and so many of those things are infinitely bigger than throwing a party for 175 friends and family members. But right now, little, aside from the obvious concerns this pandemic has brought on, feels bigger than celebrating our love and the fact that we can't wait to be married. Surely this can all be filed under "in good times and in bad," no?
Trust, we're going to throw that party whenever it's safe to do so, and we're going to dance our faces off with our friends (whom we'll be able to hug!) and eat cake until our stomachs hurt. But I'm not going to wait until there's a date set for said party to sign the papers and make things official. We're getting married on Oct. 24, 2020, my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary, likely with my 91-year-old grandma watching over video chat, holding the phone way too close to her adorable face.
And I can't wait.