Planning a Wedding During COVID-19

IMG_1719I grew up at my family lake house on Lake Rabun. There’s no place I love more on this entire planet. In fact, the other night we were asking each other crazy questions and “If you could see one last place before you die where would it be?” was asked. I didn’t even need to think about it. The porch at the lake house is the most special place in the world. Because of this, I have always known I wanted to get married there. In fact Tyler knew it was basically a requirement. No matter how hard, stressful, expensive, time-consuming it might be I was going to marry the person I love most in the place I love most. There was never another option.

When Tyler proposed he even took it one step further to propose on a waterfall 10 minutes from the lake house that my parents had taken my sister and I to since we were babies. After he proposed, we celebrated with gorgeous weather and our friends floating in the lake and getting pizza from right down the street. It was a magical weekend.

I won’t lie and say planning this wedding has been a walk in the park. In fact, it’s been one of the most time-consuming processes I’ve ever gone through. My parents got married on the porch of the lake house but I knew with the amount of friends and family we were going to need to accommodate we would need some sort of venue. I was adamant to keep the lake in sight and for our weekend to just be one big adventure for our guests. There is an open-air rock pavilion around the corner from our lake house, it’s gorgeous with open beams and stone covering the entire thing. They made it look like it was meant to be on the side of the mountain. The kicker to this space is it isn’t a wedding venue, it’s just an open structure. So everything from the flowers, food, cake, music has to be brought in from either Atlanta or Athens. We had some bumps in the road trying to find vendors and ended up hiring a planner to help- something I never in a million years thought I would do. This was the best decision I made during planning, she has been amazing and so helpful. 

I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty on top of this whole wedding planning thing. I thrive off lists and organizational tasks so I loved checking things off my boxes, calling vendors and getting things done. Around Christmas I had pretty much wrapped up the majority of planning. I decided I wasn’t going to really look at any wedding stuff for at least a month so I took January off and decided to join a CrossFit gym (which is a story for another day because it completely changed my life.)

In February I went to my first dress fitting and fell in love with my dress all over again. I could see the finish line. We were getting excited for bachelor/bachelorette parties, showers and honeymoon plans. Our wedding bands came and Tyler tried to convince me to just go elope… but we didn’t.

We were so excited to celebrate with our friends and family, our vision finally coming to life and then… a pandemic hit and everything went to hell.

How do you wrap your mind around a global pandemic? A virus that is circulating and killing thousands of people around the world. All of a sudden everything you thought was important got put on the back burner and you’re just hoping that you have a job at the end of this, or that you can find toilet paper in a store. Florida goes through hurricanes. I’ve been through a massive flooding of my home during one. But I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’ve never seen people panic the way they are right now. It’s scary and heartbreaking and how in the world could we even be thinking about a wedding right now??

“Let’s just go get married on Forrest’s yard and be done with it”

“I mean it’s in July we still have time.. right?”

“We could just go up to the lake right now and get married”

“Our friends and family would be crushed if they couldn’t come”

“We might be having to stand 6 feet apart from our friends and family at our wedding”

“A social-distance wedding?? I can’t hug my Grandma???”

These are just a few conversations that have been thrown around in the last month. It’s hard because truly for Tyler and I the wedding has never been about us, it’s been about all the people we love getting to enjoy the place we love most in the world. There are much, much worse things going on in the world right now than having to cancel or postpone a wedding. The horror stories I’ve heard from vendors who are now friends about brides threatening to sue them for XY&Z makes me sick to my stomach. I get it girl, I really do, but have some compassion for people who are just trying to stay afloat through all this.

“So Jenny and Tyler what are you going to do?”

We’re going to wait and see. For a little while anyways. If we have to get married on the porch of the lake house that’s what we’ll do. I hate that this year will always go down as the corona year and not the year we got married. But, this crisis has definitely put a lot of things into perspective of what’s really important. We will keep everyone updated, hopefully with good news, a little bit closer to the wedding.

Stay safe friends and family. We love you.Jenny + Tyler