Letter From the Editor

Photos by Hamilton Photography.

Wedding Planning in a Pandemic 

Well, it’s here: The Bay Weekly wedding issue!  We know what you’re thinking: It’s a heckuva time to plan a wedding.  

It’s true: gathering family and friends for a large ceremony followed by an elaborate party seems tricky—even risky—in the time of COVID-19. There are the obvious concerns over interstate travel and keeping guests socially-distanced, of course. But there is also the fear of compromising on some of those exquisite wedding details couples spend months (sometimes years!) perfecting. 

The dress, the venue, the cake, the flowers—these decisions are only the beginning. There is photography, music, transportation, party favors, welcome bags for out-of-towners, and don’t forget the signature cocktail! Some couples also add in novelties like a photo booth, an ice cream sundae bar, or perhaps a food truck that appears for the after-party. 

The bar is set high these days for picture-perfect weddings. Social media feeds on Pinterest and Instagram offer an endless supply of wedding inspiration, and it’s tempting to try to keep up with the online influencers setting bridal trends. All of those Instagram wedding aspirations can turn saying “I do” into a major to-do.  

I have had more than one girlfriend admit that she suffered from stress and exhaustion just from planning her wedding. Most friends I’ve talked to spent anywhere from a year to a year and a half getting the details just right.  

I was not one of those brides—my husband and I were engaged for a grand total of four months before we tied the knot. The turnaround was so quick that a family friend asked my mother if it was a shotgun wedding (It wasn’t; we’d been friends first and simply knew a good thing when we saw it.) 

We started planning the big day in May; we said “I do” in September. In some ways, this made things much easier: While some venues on our list had no availability for 18 months, we still found a great ballroom not far from the church. My desired florist, photographer, and even a happy hour piano player, were all available for our date, so I booked them on the spot; no waffling. My gown choices were limited to only dress designers that could accommodate a rush order, which helped narrow down the dizzying racks of white lace. There was no time for second-guessing this wedding. We went with our gut.  

For today’s couples planning matrimony in the uncertainty of a pandemic, “Go with your gut” may be the best advice. Should you postpone your dream wedding and re-schedule for a time when masks are no longer formal event attire…or pivot to a small, outdoor wedding with close family and friends? Only you can decide. 

Whatever you choose, this issue of CBM Bay Weekly is here to show you that you have options in Chesapeake Country, from micro-weddings to minimonies. And maybe you’ll find, as I did, that working with limited options can simplify your wedding and leave you with more joy and less stress.