Have you ever watched something come back alive?
Back in February I remembered getting asked nonstop how wedding planning was going. I was really tired of answering that question to be honest, but I felt like we were fine. We had a Trello board(highly recommend for all your project planing needs) with tasks broken down by party and due dates. It definitely was a lot of work, but we were doing it! Really the only thing we didn’t take into account was a global pandemic happening.
It was sort of a slow burn for me. I remember hearing whispers of some kind of outbreak in China late last year and then in February when I caught the flu I saw signs in the urgent care center about getting tested(back when there were tests available when you wanted them). Then we had state-wide orders to work from home if you were able. I still don’t think I realized the magnitude of what was happening at this point or what plans wouldn’t survive in the wake. I remember assuring Amy, “I mean, worst case is some people might not travel all the way to California.” Oh early March Kevin, how naive you were.
I can honestly say it was the worst week of my life. Not only were we told that there just wasn’t a possible way to still do our wedding event, but each of the back up plans also were impossible to pull off too. I feel sort of silly for how much of a emotional toll the cancellation took on me. We were healthy, had jobs we could work from home, and still in love, but just unable to have that big expensive ceremony with flowers and food – first world problems, am I right? I think I was mostly frustrated because I knew these things ultimately didn’t matter. We each received text message after text message about “It’s really your love that is the important part”. Yes. We knew that. It wasn’t really our desire to have a giant party so much as it was us wanting to celebrate with our friends and family. Every single person invited to our wedding(and of course others, but guest list limits) had left their mark on each of lives, turning us into who we were and who we would become together. We wanted that community to know and feel their part in our marriage. That’s what we lost.
Have you ever watched something come back alive? We did. That community that we thought wasn’t going to get to play a part showed up in force. Family dropped everything they were doing to take care of anything they could handle in our place. Dear friends sent us flowers. Our premarital pastors fed us and provided space to process loss. People still bought gifts for us despite being told there would be no ceremony they could come to. We got invited to virtual happy hours to talk and play games to take or minds of everything. We felt their love. We felt your love. It calmed us in the midst of the chaos. It made us smile before the tears had finished drying. It reminded us that you all still are an integral part of our story and that you feel valued. Wedding reception or not.
We’re still getting married tomorrow, as planned. Not at the venue. Not with a room full of guests. But with a ceremony that will celebrate who we were becoming and all the people that got us there.
Still having chicken and waffles though. That was a must-have.