Coronavirus Cancelled My Wedding: How I Still Celebrated My Day

Florist and wedding stylist Rosie Conroy from Lavender and Rose had been waiting two years to get the perfect wedding date – then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We caught up with her to find out what she took from it…

“My fiancé James and I were due to get married on the 31st May 2020. We had picked the date because I’m a florist and love the clashing of the spring and summer seasons at that point in the year, where you still get spring flowers like peonies and ranunculus as well as early summer blooms such as garden roses.

 

Rosie and her fiancé James

We waited two years to secure the combination of our perfect date, venue and band so it was really gutting to have the carpet pulled from under us on that. It took us two years to plan everything perfectly, to match how we wanted the whole day to look and feel.

Read more: Coronavirus and cancelling your wedding: everything you need to know

There wasn’t a big ‘it’s all off moment’, it was more of a gradual thing. We decided when lockdown happened that we would have to wait until a month before to make a call.

Our venue was in touch on and off in the leadup to that timeframe and once we were sure it wasn’t going to be possible we cancelled everything about six weeks ahead of the original date, in the end.

Unfortunately, the venue wasn’t able to offer us an alternative weekend in 2021, so we had to cancel with them and find a new venue which was a bit stressful and emotionally draining while we were going through also facing cancelling a day that had taken two years to plan. For the most part everyone has been so lovely and accommodating! 

We let our guests know by designing a ‘postpone the date’ PDF that matched our original invites and emailed everyone it as an attachment. We didn’t want to spend more money on additional stationery when we didn’t yet have a new date and everything was so up in the air.

Read more: How to cancel or postpone your wedding

To begin with it was looking like we might not get the money back from our venue – which was nearly £10000 – but thanks to the government legislation we eventually received a refund. All other suppliers have been happy to either transfer us over to next year or refund us our deposits if they’re not able to help in 2021. We have been so lucky and haven’t lost any money.

We’ve rescheduled for June 2021, which was as close to our original date as we could make it. We’ve gone for the weekend after because we couldn’t get a marquee for our original date which is a bank holiday in 2021, otherwise we definitely would have kept that same weekend.

We had the odd wobble but on the whole it’s been fine, we’d rather wait and have a lovely celebration with family and friends, where nobody is worrying, than rush it through this year. It’s – hopefully! – a once in a lifetime event so it’ll be worth an extra year.

With everything else going on we just felt lucky to be happy and healthy surrounded by people we love, so had to remind ourselves that there are bigger problems in the world and the wedding will eventually happen and be lovely when it comes.

It was actually super tricky to find a new venue with so many people having already postponed, or just having booked a 2021 date originally. Lots of the popular places were booked up and we got a bit despairing thinking we would never find anything as nice as our original spot.

Read more: How to minimise coronavirus risks at your wedding

Thankfully we ended up looking at alternative ideas and settled for a self-catering country house which hasn’t hosted many weddings before so wasn’t booked up in the same way. It’s going to cost us double what the original venue would have cost though because we need a marquee, so that’s a bit tough to take – another year of saving.

We did celebrate our original wedding date – it was so much fun, I even had a come down from it. I’m genuinely worried about the real day now, how will I cope afterwards?!

Loads of family and friends made us this really sweet video with a funny poem in it and lots of dancing and cheers-ing. We ordered a mini wedding cake from Lily Vanilli and bought lovely steak and prawns for a big barbecue for just the two of us. There were treats delivered throughout the day too from would-be-wedding-guests, it was so lovely and something we’ll always remember.

James and I are quite easy breezy for the most part so it hasn’t really impacted our relationship thankfully. We both know we’re in it for life, so what’s another year? The only slight wobble was on the budget, James is an accountant so getting the marquee on top of the venue past him was a challenge, but one I rose to!

I think it’s been nice to learn that neither of us are panicky and that we’re good at being quite rational in a moment of madness. At least it gives us both another year to come to terms with being married! And people won’t ask us about kids for another 365 days…

For those in the same situation, I’d say it’s so easy to feel like everything you’ve worked for has been ruined but really for the most part you’ll find things work out if you can steady yourself to be a little flexible on dates or the odd supplier.

It’s cheesy but you’ve already got what’s most important, each other, and all the extras are just ‘nice to haves’. I think what we know now is that whatever our wedding becomes it’ll end up being the perfect day and we’ll feel like it was meant to be like that all long, which I’m sure will be true of all of the postponed weddings of 2020.

Are you in a similar situation? We’ve got 10 beautiful ways for you to celebrate your cancelled wedding date.

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