By: Maegan Epps
A Bride’s Worries of Planning a Wedding During what I call 2020 Downhill Spiral or Better known as “The Apocalypse”
I wanted my wedding to be more magical than my engagement. That’s right I said it, I wanted it to be MORE magical. I would love to have the cliché moment and say my engagement day was everything I have always dreamed of, but I would be lying unfortunately. To be clear, it was still magical just not the way I would have planned it, but my husband to be definitely surprised me with the things he had up his sleeve.
Let me paint the entire picture for you: I graduated from college and I was studying for my state licensure boards, therefore my mind was focused strictly on the books. A successful black woman in the making. My fiancé decided to surprise me with a fancy brunch in downtown Chicago, our hometown, the day before my board exams.
It almost didn’t happen as I was a mess and I looked like I had been under a bunker for months at a time with a book at the tip of my nose. I was stressed, I was irritable, tired, snappy, and overwhelmed. I told him several times I wasn’t up for it and to postpone the brunch and to make it a celebratory one. My suspicion grew just a little when he wouldn’t give up but I went figured I could use the break and he was so very adamant.
I did not know the magnitude of the treat that was in store for me. When we get there, it was a seemingly normal brunch as we eat, laugh, and talk. As the meal progressed, I hear the restaurant play my favorite Drake song, which he had the restaurant play specifically for me.
He had it planned and ready. A family friend (hidden there in the back of the restaurant) as the photographer, the music was queued, the waitresses dimmed the lights as he got on one knee and swarmed us with candlelight on the ground to set the ambience. It truly was special and well planned. It was no ordinary restaurant proposal. I certainly give him credit for that.
The only thing about it was I had envisioned having my hair, makeup, and nails flawless for the engagement photos, however, those things ultimately really didn’t matter. I’m really not as superficial as that. It just would have been icing on the cake if I had been looking and feeling my best, after the licensure boards. C’est la vie.
However, the festivities did not stop there. My husband to be really pulled out all the stops. He had even coordinated a surprise engagement party back at the house. All of our shared friends and family were there. I actually forgot all about how I looked. I guess one can say, I could not have thought of a better way he could have swept me off my feet, after all. I am finally getting married!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve been waiting for this day my entire life. Like most little girls, I have dreamed of my wedding day from such a young age. To walk down the aisle in my gorgeous white gown and say I do to the man of my dreams. To spend the rest of my life with my forever partner. The day every girl dreams of. The day your family and friends celebrate you and your union. That was SUPPOSED be my wedding day!
Well, then the zombie apocalypse, aka COVID-19, happened and I think you ought to read this.
So who am I? I am Maegan, a bride to be much like some of you who may be reading this right now. I had my fairytale wedding planned down to the seconds. I have all my big to-do list items ALL checked off. I was locked and loaded. I planned literally an entire year in advance, I guess you could call me super planner. I loved it so much that I am down to plan any of your lovely weddings or anyone you may know any day. I was so prepared. Everything was ready: the vendors, all the small details, my dress, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, etc. All a year in advance! I wanted to be prepared so that it could be perfect! Well, I guess no matter how much in advance you try to plan your dream wedding, your plans can still be interrupted by problems beyond your control. How am I handling all this you ask; and any advice I could give during these trying times? I am thrilled you asked and this is what I think:
I think what is happening is basically the same as a zombie apocalypse and it really sucks. It does feel discouraging knowing that for centuries this ceremony has gone a certain way for others and knowing if we planned to marry our significant others during this time it may not be that same experience. Is it fair? Hell no! And I will be the first to say it.
Now, let’s not misconstrue things. I think your big day will still be joyous and memorable because nobody will forget what the hell happened to us in the mist of all the quarantine craziness. This will still be a day we would never forget, because we are marrying the person we love most in this world and claiming that person as our life partner for all to see. We are declaring to everyone we know and love that we want and plan to be with our chosen partner for the rest of our lives.
I keep trying to remind myself that is what it’s ultimately about. A union between my partner and I, a bond that I want sealed until the end of time. It’s not about the glamor and glitz which is just the materialistic items, no matter how fun they may be.
A marriage is about the love, not the wedding. However, I am human and I fall short. I often think about how I still want this big wedding the way I planned it. It’s my big celebration, it’s my bachelorette, it’s my bridal shower. I am then unfortunately reminded it’s not my choice. We have to alter all our plans accordingly to abide by the CDC and local government guidelines.
It sucks. It is unfair. I feel upset that things cannot go as we planned. But I am praying every day that my friends and family still show up when the day comes whether it is our original date or not. I pray the day is just as magical as I envisioned or that our people make it even more so, knowing what we ALL, guest and participants included, went through to make it happen. I am hopeful that will make people more excited to get out and celebrate with us.
Until then we will make the sacrifices and compromises needed. I had a boat party all set and ready for July of 2020 for my bachelorette. I literally wanted to live my best imaginary rich life on that boat with all 15 of my best girlfriends. Now I am in the middle of planning a different adventure while trying to follow local social distancing guidelines. I DO NOT want to plan a destination wedding where people have to wear masks as I am not having a masquerade ball; I am planning a wedding. I have to face the dilemma of either going on as planned or if I postpone until next year and hope this will all be a distant memory of February of 2020 and that this doesn’t go into next year. I know some of you are like next year, really? Yes, next year is still on my mind because science shows that there could be a resurgence in the Fall. If that happens, I will be faced with deciding if it is even safe for my guests and I to travel. Will people even want to come and be comfortable traveling to our wedding. There are so many questions we will be faced with.
The way I see it I have two options: postpone the date way further out to a point where EVERYONE feels safe or compromise and comply to the pandemic guidelines with social distancing, masks, and limiting the number of guests. I am with all of you who are facing this obstacle. To all my fellow brides and grooms, the question we may be asking ourselves during these moments is: why us? I for one am trying to do something about it. I am working on plan B and remaining hopeful that this will blow over and it does not get as bad as they say it could be in the fall going into next year. All the while, I am trying to stay mindful of the reality and mutual fears I share with some of my participants and guests.
Ending on a positive note! I found hope in seeing all the virtual weddings and see people get creative which fosters hope for a creative and memorable wedding day.
I would love to hear what you may be doing for your wedding plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like this to be an open and safe platform for people to pose their ideas, thoughts, fears, and concerns as well as allow others to suggest options, alternatives, or simply share what they’re doing.
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Author: Maegan E.
About the Author:
Maegan E. Is a licensed healthcare professional of Vascular Medicine by day and a Project and Event Manager by evening, nights, and weekends. She is the CEO of Epps Management Enterprise located in Chicago, IL. Maegan’s passion is for helping entrepreneurs, brides/grooms, event hosts, etc. live out their dreams, plans, projects, and visions for their events (private or corporate), weddings, galas, conferences, etc. Her passion stems from planning her own major event “THE WEDDING DAY”, and it started from friends and associate entrepreneurs who put their trust in her for her to really make a name for herself in the business. If interested in her services (big or small) please contact her at Eppsmanagemententerprises@gmail.com