As a writer, I decided not to write about COVID-19. However, now that it has affected my wedding, I have decided it’s time to share my experiences.
My Life During COVID-19
The introduction of COVID-19 into my life has made my daily tasks challenging, as it has for most. I am a writer, so I do not have to concern myself with wearing a mask while freelancing. I also travel coast to coast, delivering medical machines to hospitals. Every time I walked onto a dock or into a hospital, I was at risk for contracting the virus. Gloves and masks were and are required.
The virus and the mask mandate put me into the following binds. I have asthma. With the mask, I have had two asthma attacks while delivering machines at the hospital. Cleaning my hands with the mandated hand sanitizer before putting on a mask at a hospital triggers asthma. Without the mask, I am told I have a higher risk of contracting the virus. My anxiety increases with the mask, which increases heavy breathing because I know the mask may trigger an asthma attack.
The wearing of masks in public places has driven me into a quiet world of no shops and no socializing, like many people. I accepted the changes for work and am still stonewalling public mandates. Still, the final straw was when my wedding venue canceled on me.
A Pandemic Wedding
I started planning my wedding in July 2019. I have been planning a wedding for Michigan while working out of Arizona and traveling coast to coast. Visiting venues, caterers, and planning for cakes; I did the whole works from a Volvo semi-truck passenger seat. I was proud of the hard work I had done. I had my whole wedding planned despite the pandemic. I only had to return to Michigan a few days before the wedding to finalize everything. Until three days ago.
Three days ago, my wedding venue in Michigan canceled me due to the State of Michigan COVID-19 mandates. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. How was I supposed to find a new venue three weeks before my wedding, during a state-mandated lockdown? I have spent the last three days traveling from San Diego to Maryland, delivering medical equipment. When I haven’t been delivering equipment, I’ve been searching for a new venue.
Tomorrow, I will be in Michigan. I am hoping my venue will reopen due to the state’s force opening on October 8. My outdoor options, including the rental of tents, were nixed due to the expected rain on my wedding day. My final choice is a barn. The friend of a friend said I could use a barn for my wedding. After a year and a half of planning, I will take it! I am not about to cancel a year and a half’s worth of work toward a lifetime celebration due to a virus!
Has Your Celebration Been Cancelled?
If your celebration has been affected by COVID-19, here are some things to keep in mind. Keep your chin up. You aren’t alone. Millions of lives and thousands of celebrations have been affected by the pandemic. Be open and talk to others about your frustrations. People understand people, masks, or not.
Do your research. Know the mandates within the state where you are celebrating. You can postpone your celebration or make allowances for the mandate laws. Most venues and caterers are willing to work with you concerning your celebration during this challenging time. Not only are they businesses trying to stay afloat, most of them genuinely care about your celebration. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be in the party planning business.
Be patient. Your planners have to change with COVID-19 state mandates as much as you do. They are equally frustrated and very stressed. Work as a team rather than expressing frustration with them. Allow flexibility in your budget and in offered services. Allow for extra time to change your plans if need be. Knowing you have budgeted extra time will relieve some of the stressors of changes you may have to make during the pandemic.
Life doesn’t have to stop because of COVID-19. It’s okay to celebrate. It’s okay to make plans. It’s okay to continue living. There is a future beyond the pandemic, so make plans for your future.