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Say “F it” and elope, or play the long game? How couples are coping with wedding planning during COVID-19.

Published Tuesday, Jul. 28th, 2020

Every day, more couples are pulling the plug on their dream weddings. With COVID-19 cases rising again across the country, and interstate-travel looking increasingly risky, couples are accepting that they can’t have the big, fancy wedding of their dreams -- at least for the foreseeable future. 


But amidst all this disappointment and heartbreak, couples are finding ways to still achieve their goals, despite the obstacles. Some are eloping, and embracing the nuance and intimacy of very small weddings. Others are looking farther ahead and planning 2022 weddings. Still others are adopting both strategies, with small formal affairs in the short-term, and bigger affairs later on when a vaccine is widely available.


We’ve been following these trends closely here at AMM, and encourage you to watch this space for more coverage in the days and weeks ahead. Our goal is to inform our ministers, and their couples of their options because we are big believers in the human spirit, and our ability to overcome obstacles. 


And like everyone else trapped at their desks, or at home, or somewhere in-between, we’ve been on Reddit, where couples are sharing their stories of cancelling big weddings and opting instead for elopement style weddings. 


This family downsized their ceremony, with Grandma watching from the window at her assisted living center.


“We’re pulling the plug on our 155-person October wedding,” wrote one user. They explained why they were scraping their original plans in favor of an elopement. “With multiple states shutting down again and Indiana’s cases rising, I’m finally accepting that we can’t have the big wedding I was dreaming of. My brother lives in California, so I certainly wouldn’t want him traveling from there anytime soon. And we have multiple other guests who would be coming from different states/countries, so it just doesn’t make sense anymore. I’m sad and it doesn’t feel fair, but we’re trying to make the best of it.”


Another bride explained why they were kicking the can farther down the road. “With everything that’s going on, we had to reconsider our priorities. We are both pretty young, and so we decided to focus on getting some of our life-goals out of the way first, like graduate school and moving into our own home.” After looking at what they wanted to accomplish, it made more sense to schedule their wedding for late 2022.


The two examples are on the extreme ends of the wedding planning spectrum, but they illustrate that there’s really no “right way” to handle wedding planning under the current circumstance. We’re always interested to hear what your experiences are like, and are happy to share them here on this blog, since our shared experiences are the best way to get inspired and make the right choices. So, if you have something to share, please do.

Lewis King
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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