weddings

'I'm supposed to be getting married in February. Half my bridal party refuse to get vaccinated.'

I honestly don't know what we were thinking, deciding to have our wedding in 2021. If I try to cast my mind back, I guess we figured things couldn't get much worse than 2020. Yeah, I know, how wrong we were.

In the scheme of things, wedding cancellations aren't the worst things to have happened since COVID arrived - but that doesn't make them any less upsetting. 

Now, some poor couples have had their weddings cancelled four, even five times. Some have ditched the big plans altogether and eloped, while others have ended up scrapping the whole idea, after the stress of it all just got too much.

Those who have managed to go ahead have had to deal with mask mandates, dancing bans, buffet bans, number restrictions, snap lockdowns, interstate and international border closures and hotel quarantine.

Jeez, as if the normal stress of planning a wedding wasn't already enough.

 Watch: How much do Aussies spend on their weddings? Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

We honestly thought we'd got it all sorted. We picked a day far enough in the future that we thought surely by then things would be better, if not back to normal.

We excitedly started putting together the plans for our wedding after getting engaged in July 2020 – we survived a lockdown together so clearly marriage was going to be a breeze.

We had everything organised, and the invitations sent out in February 2021, ready to tie the knot in August 2021. 

Then we sat back and watched as wedding after wedding got cancelled. We watched as friends scrambled to try to get guests for their weddings over state borders and onto islands around Queensland. All the while contending with snap lockdowns and random outbreaks. 

We started to get nervous.

As the months went by, we moved from congratulating ourselves on picking an excellent date to clenching our teeth and asking each other, "so, if we do have to cancel... what exactly is plan B?"

We got closer and closer to the date and had already shelled out so much money in deposits, on flowers and furniture, photographers, food and outfits that it all felt like such a waste if we didn't get the chance to do it properly. Although I did whisper the words "let's just elope" a couple of times.

Just one week out, on the morning of my hen's party, Queensland went into another lockdown. We managed to get three hours of celebrating in before everyone had to jump ship (literally) and head home for yet another lockdown. 

This one was due to end the day after our wedding date.

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Thanks to our planner, who happens to be the best money we've ever spent, our whole wedding was moved to a new date in February 2022.

After a few tears and some redistribution of wedding flowers which had already arrived, we thought we could relax.

But the COVID wedding Gods had one more gift for us.

Vaccine mandates. 

Me and my fiancé are both double jabbed and knew that most of our friends were too. But we thought a message to our bridesmaids and groomsmen was a good idea just to be extra sure. 

Sadly, it wasn't really a huge surprise when my sister messaged saying there was no way she was giving up her 'medical freedom' and would not be getting vaccinated.

We hadn't been on the best of terms since she yelled at me at my hens party when I asked her to put her mask on and check in. So, when the mandate was announced she didn't even call. She just texted telling us she didn't want to put the vaccine in her body and that we should have a great day and send her some pictures. 

Urgh! My heart. 

One bridesmaid down. 

Then bridesmaid number two declared that she wasn't getting it either. She and her husband had decided that the government pushing it on us was too suspicious and that the vaccine hadn't been tested properly.

To their credit they did come to dinner with us and talk it out. I'd read a load of articles about talking to anti-vaxxers and tried my best to persuade them, but I don't think they will change their minds. Even if it means no restaurants, travel or shopping for months.

Two bridesmaids and a flower girl (her daughter) down.

Half my bridal party gone.

Please don't come for me on this one – I know my wedding isn't the most important thing in the world and everyone has their own priorities.

I just wish it all didn't have to be so black and white and suck quite so much. I know I'm not alone in being affected by this. 

The question about whether to get vaccinated is personal and so divisive. It's obviously tearing families and friends who disagree apart.

When we have agreed to disagree before, even on huge topics, we've still been able to spend time together and avoid the subject or have a healthy debate. But I can't help thinking that when it comes to actually staying healthy and doing everything we can to protect the vulnerable people in our community and our own families, then agreeing to disagree on this one means not spending time together. That's the heartbreaking part. 

Christmas without my sister, dinners without my bestie. It's not just the wedding. It's everything, and it's so, so hard.

We will have the wedding day we want – hopefully. And maybe our puppies can be stand in bridesmaids. I do have three dresses to fill now.

Feature Image: Canva.

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