Many millennials entered the workforce throughout the Great Recession and its aftermath. Regardless, with a sparkly new diploma, millennials went to take on the world. For many, their dream entry job was attainable within the first few years of graduating, but it certainly was not the job market many of us had hoped for. With determination, millennials worked hard to make each opportunity work, and have now worked their way up to where they want to be. Attaining a career that is not only fulfilling but pays the bills (and more) takes time. This time put into the workforce also interferes with the “timeline” of major life events such as marriage, buying property, and starting a family.
When you reach the point of wedding planning, one of the most stressful events that you and your significant other will plan together with input from family, friends, and co-workers, you are determined to live out your fantasy. Not everyone may have dreamt of their wedding since they were young, but you know what you want and certainly what you do not want at this point in your life. Now, let us sprinkle COVID-19 into the mix and voila a new set of circumstances arise. You are rearranging everything you envisioned for your wedding, as well as managing your new lifestyle of working remotely, possibly changing your living situation, and most importantly, worrying about your health and the health of your loved ones.
My fiancé and I’s wedding planning was going smoothly, with lots of compromises and shared google spreadsheets until about 30 days before our wedding. Our wedding was planned for April in Brooklyn, New York. The day after our walkthrough in March, rules, and regulations were being enacted regarding travel, occupancy of spaces, and even the shutdown of iconic Broadway. We suddenly realized that our wedding was not going to happen, or it certainly would not look like what we had envisioned. Being a few weeks out, invitations were sent, final touches (and payments) were being made and there were Amazon and Etsy packages galore at our door.
We didn’t have to long to make a decision of what we were going to do, knowing that we couldn’t slash our guest list (sorry, you guys were on the B list all along!), nor did we feel safe with people traveling or having elders or immunocompromised in attendance. Many people were faced with the same circumstances. Some partners were forced to cancel/postpone their nuptials with lightning speed in March, and couples are still canceling/postponing and even scaling down their weddings throughout fall and winter. During this process of figuring out what was best for my fiancé and me, I kept coming back to three small pieces of guidance. Hopefully, these small pieces of advice can be helpful if you are going through this decision.
1) A marriage is a lifetime; a wedding is just one night. Every time I said this to myself, it helped me realize what truly mattered. The marriage to my partner was the most important thing. Everyone can get swept up with beautiful flowers, delicious food and not to mention the wedding dress or tux, but it is important to remember that it is just one night and marriage with the right partner is what to focus on, regardless of what that looks like.
2) Focus on your goals as a couple. Now was the time to look towards our future post-COVID, whenever that will be. Did we want to postpone the wedding? Till when? There are still no answers. It was time to pivot and reevaluate what we wanted from our life together. We dove into important questions, such as how we should move forward with our lives and should we start a family earlier than expected? Now is the time for you and your partner to discuss a long-term plan without your dream wedding. Can your life still be the life you envisioned after your wedding? Of course, it can, and why not start now.
3) Drown out the noise. I kept seeing this quote on social media, “You made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time”. The world right now is full of unknowns, and this is truly a time when you need to trust your gut. Of course, asking for advice (and receiving unsolicited advice) is inevitable but it is important to remember that this decision is about you and your partner. The final decision needs to be what works for you, with the information at hand, not information that is not based on hearsay.
No matter what you take from this, I hope you and your significant other can weather the storm together and come out stronger as a couple. It may be the first big decision you and your partner have had to work out that involves finances and planning but the silver lining is that it will show you more about your relationship than the first year of marriage might have. I would love to hear if you were in this situation, how you coped, and what your final decision was.
Christina Smith has her M.S. in Secondary Education and a B.A. in Mass Communication. Using her degrees, she has combined her love of learning and writing. Follow her thoughts & retweets on Twitter .