26 Oct 2021 Admin

Getting Married During Covid-19

It’s not going to be too much of a surprise that Scottish wedding suppliers including, photographers, videographers, caterers and wedding bands in Scotland have had a tough time over the last 18 months. Cancellations, booking changes, understandably stressed clients, uncertainty and no way of knowing when it was all going to get better kept all of us on edge. All of our wedding bands were grounded, with nowhere to play and nothing they could do about it.  The nervousness around planning a wedding in the current day and age, in spite of everything being open, is certainly to be expected.

When you’re planning a wedding, there are of course a whole host of things you need to consider: which wedding venue will meet your criteria, which wedding band will get the party started, how to make the seating plan work for everyone, what to do if there’s a pandemic...No, wait? Is that last one something we actually need to build into our wedding checklists in the future?! Yes, unfortunately, it looks like, Covid-19 aside, pandemics could be an element of modern living that we will need to deal with - potentially - with increased frequency going forward.

But life goes on doesn’t it and we’ll take it all in our stride. So for those couples who have been putting their weddings off until we get back to our pre-pandemic life - and are now not sure whether that will ever happen - what is it like to actually get married during a pandemic? And what do you need to consider when you finally take the plunge and schedule your Big Day?

As ever, we’re here to help, so read on to get an idea of what it’s been like to get married during Covid-19.

Weddings in the Time of Covid-19



James and Sofia were due to have an international wedding in May of 2019 - Sofia’s family lived in Madrid and James’s in Glasgow. They planned to have a legal ceremony in Glasgow with a large reception in a swanky Glasgow hotel and fly to Madrid to continue their wedding celebrations. They planned every detail of the multiple events across the two countries with precision and finally managed to arrange a wedding that rivalled even their idea of a dream day.

And then the Pandemic hit and all of the intricate pieces of the wedding puzzle were thrown into disarray. Cancelling seemed unthinkable but there was nothing else they could do. They put off the decision until the last possible minute, to see if the situation improved but as the infection rates blew up and we were all locked into our homes it became clear that their dreams were not to be. It is of course difficult to know what to do in that situation given that our generation has not been faced with anything like this before and fielding questions from friends and relatives is tough when you don’t know any of the answers.

To add insult to injury, both the Hen and Stag dos were also going to be abroad, in order to involve as many of their friends, living all over Europe as possible, so the spa weekend in Austria and the Beer Marathon in Belgium were cancelled too.

Faced with so much disappointment, what do you do?

“The key, I think, is to be stubbornly optimistic and make sure you’re as flexible as possible but try to keep all of the elements of the big day that make it special to you” Sofia reflects. “For me, that was family, fashion and food.” So, deciding to keep the legal ceremony and big celebration separate as planned but delay it until international travel resumed to normal, Sofia and James made plans again, for when restrictions were eased in Autumn 2020. They planned everything to be as flexible as possible because they couldn’t predict what was happening with the Covid restrictions from one day to the next.

“The legal ceremony was as we planned it pre-Covid - even better.” Not being able to splash out on as lavish a celebration as they planned initially meant that Sofia and James splurged on their outfits and post-ceremony celebrations - something they wouldn’t have been able to do with “Wedding Plan A” as their budget was stretched thin accommodating all of their celebrations. “I bought Louboutin shoes (a dream of mine for some time) and a stunning, vintage, short lace dress that I wouldn’t have chosen for the main ceremony previously. We booked a space in our favourite restaurant for after the ceremony and spent the evening eating gorgeous food, drinking wine and then we adjourned to the terrace with a live band to continue the celebrations. After not seeing our families for so long, it was nice to spend time with them, all together and although we had to wrap up the party by 10pm (to adhere to the Government-mandated restrictions) we felt we had the perfect time and didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything.”

Sofia and James decided to delay their big wedding celebration in Spain until such time as all the guests (upwards of 200 people) were comfortable to attend an event of that size. “We’re going to combine our big, fat Spanish wedding with our honeymoon - a road trip across Spain so that James can get to know where I’m from a bit better.”

On the subject of whether or not Covid took something away from their big day, the couple are adamant - “No way. Yes, the wedding was different to what we had initially imagined, but what the pandemic made us realise is that all the details of the event really don’t matter. I stressed over the flowers, the food, the cake, the wedding entertainment - and in the end, having compromised on most of the specifics, we didn’t even notice the decor around us, we were too focused on each other and our guests.” And, having taken the time to reflect on what’s important, Sofia and James have decided to pare down their big wedding on Spain too. “ We’ve come to realise that people are one of the most important components of a dream celebration and that, actually, what you eat and drink during the event and where the event actually takes place, doesn’t matter nearly as much as we thought. So we’ve decided to up the guest list and simplify the detail in order to make that happen. If it wasn’t for the effects of Covid on our plans, we wouldn’t have realised what actually means the most to us on the day. And maybe, the pandemic will have started a trend where people reassess their wedding planning priorities and focus on what actually matters not the colour theme or the wedding favours.”

So what are the couple’s top tips for getting married during Covid?

Research your suppliers - “all of our wedding suppliers were awesome. They were so understanding and flexible, they helped us rearrange the wedding plans and helped to keep us calm. If we hadn’t done our research and chosen suppliers who were able to help us roll with the punches, we would have had a miserable time of it.”
Don’t sweat the small stuff - “ultimately, you’re getting married because you’ve found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and that’s something to celebrate! Everything else is just an accessory to the day! So make a list of what is really important to you and what you’re willing to compromise on and don’t stress out about the little details”
Look at the positives - “It’s difficult to look on the bright side when there really doesn’t seem to be one - I know, we struggled. But, as our wedding plans for Wedding Plan B progressed, we realised there were actually loads of advantages to having a smaller wedding. You can talk to all of your guests for a start which you’d struggle to do with a wedding of 60+ guests. Whereas our big wedding celebration in Spain, with 200+ guests, would go on for several days, allowing us to properly catch up with all of our friends and family, those sort of numbers at a 1-day wedding don’t really allow you to interact with your guests as much as you want to. So, by being forced to reduce our guest list, we found we had a much more relaxed, laid back celebration with plenty of time to really chat to everyone.”
Book the best - “Since you’re likely to have more cash to play with your reduced guest list, splurge on your suppliers. We booked the most incredible wedding band who made our small wedding a real party - they were so good, we’re taking them to Spain with us when we eventually get to have our big celebration! - and the photographer was worth every penny. They really captured the atmosphere."
Just do it! - “If you have any doubts about whether or not to have your wedding whilst Covid is still very much a thing, DO IT!! Don’t have even a moment’s doubt. Life will always throw you a curveball - if it’s not a pandemic then it’s something else - and perfection is not in every little detail, in the number of guests, or if you have the most delicious wedding cake. It’s in why you’re getting married. If you’re marrying the right person then your wedding will be incredible - big or small.”

So there you have, it - if you want to get married, don’t let Covid stop you! It’s a truth universally acknowledged that love wins so get planning and we’ll see you on that dance floor!

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