Working in the Wedding industry, I wanted to learn more about how couples are coping with this difficult time as well as hoping I could find some positive stories I could share with you in my blog. I thought of Joey and Ryan, due to be married this August. They have had an anxious three months waiting to see what might be for their wedding day, having decided to keep their date.
We could all do with some positivity and this couple gave me plenty with a gorgeous love story to boot!
They have openly shared their own experience over the past three months of chaos, including the lows but more importantly how they have found the positive.
First a little background info on this inspiring couple…
How did you meet?
Ryan was one of my sister’s newish friends. She introduced us believing we belonged together due to our likeness of personality’s and crazy behaviour. At first I payed him no attention, but as we got to know each other due to my sister putting us in each other’s company it blossomed very quickly; she was right!
Who proposed to who?
Ryan proposed. August 2018 : we had gone on holiday camping in Norfolk, a place where I’ve spent most of my childhood family holidays; 20 years worth. It was a special place for me due to having a lot of sentimental memories there. It had also been the 2 years anniversary of the passing my father in the June, so part of this holiday was to place a plaque in my Dad’s name on the campsite’s memorial bench.
It was my 28th birthday while we were there, which little did I know was Ryan’s original plan to propose on. However, we had a few friends with us to celebrate and it didn’t go to his plan so he waited until it felt right. Our friends left the following day which left just the two of us sat around the camp fire until 2am, just chatting with a good glass of rum. And he actually Scared me! By pointing behind me as if “who’s that?”, making me think someone else was coming near, but it was a very quiet place so that would have been odd. Turning back around after looking Ryan was sat in front of the camp fire on one knee. It was the first time in my life I have been speechless!
Turns out he had had the ring for a few months but wanted the engagement to be sentimental so he waiting and chose a place of meaning and memories to add more to.
I can’t imagine the pressure you’ve been under since lockdown to make a decision about your wedding date.
What were the deciding factors that helped you choose not to postpone?
Well the wedding date was made two years almost to the date from our engagement, all but one day. Cannot remember now why we could not have the 20th? We had to settle with the 21st, which was still as good!
We got engaged in August 2018 and we just enjoyed the moment, being on cloud 9. We didn’t start any planning until December, however in January 2019 we ended up buying our house unexpectedly so that helped us chose 2020 for our wedding.
It was a sentimental feeling choosing the date we had got engaged 2 years previous, so part of the reason we chose not to move the wedding was the sentimental date we loved and also two years has been a long countdown to which we just cannot wait any longer!
We have pretty much lived this year in hope, but not once did we think we would change the date. Even if it meant just us two and a witness each, we just want to get married! It’s not about the party or the BIG day, it’s about me becoming Mrs Pluckrose, His wife, starting our Pluckrose family and being married; signing those papers and legally belonging to each other, our own family unit.
How do you feel now you’ve decided to keep your original date?
Currently I’m anxious, hanging on with every fibre to hear that our registration office will be open in time. I mean if pubs and shops or churches with 30 people can all open! Surly the registration offices can! even if it’s only ceremony with 2 witnesses!
Also, deep down I’m excited as if it does open, the day is almost here, and we will be married. It’s a shame we won’t have the day with all our special friends and family that we had planned but we know they will be happy for us no matter what.
What has helped you cope with the stress of the decisions you’ve had to make?
Sorry for the mush before hand!
Regardless of whatever is thrown as us, we still have each other, we are healthy and we are living our life the way we want. We are incredibly lucky for what we have got and have had, and we know we will be married eventually no matter what. So if we can’t marry on that day, it’s not the end of the world, it will be very sad but we will get married ASAP
You were originally planning a festival style wedding. With the changes you’ve had to make, how have you managed to keep this feel for your day?
Sticking to the government rules and guidelines we have managed to sort a much smaller festival type celebration with 30 people. It was hard whittling the numbers down from 200 to 30! But we had to do what we could to still be able to celebrate our special day and comply with the safety and rules for covid.
A dear friend of ours offered their half field sized garden to be able to still have our wedding celebration, so we just made the same plans just a lot smaller outdoor style wedding which is perfect for space and distancing, keeping as safe as we can make it.
We had a marquee booked, whereas now we have friends and family trying to help us accommodate, so we are now borrowing a much smaller marquee perfect for the small numbers just as a base for things should the weather not be kind, we have gazebos to use for shelters, our food supplier is happy to still provide for 30 people with all disposables. There was never a structure of seating anyway so people can keep a distance and sit where they like. People can bring their own camping like chairs and their own drinks. We’re doing our own music now from speakers borrowed and a phone and as for the fire pits and things, this all stays the same.
How have you kept in touch with your guests? Are you planning to livestream the day to guests that can’t come?
So we left it until June to really inform everyone as we was living in hope! But we had to send out a "stay home and stay safe" letter explaining our situation due to covid and that we still intended to marry on this day if we were able to, and yes we have offered that we will be live streaming for those who wish to see our special moment. It is very sad not to have all of our friends and family with us on our special day, but we have said we would celebrate with everyone individually when we could, and we know they would be happy for us regardless.
How have you found accurate information regarding current lockdown rules for weddings and where have you found it?
We just keep informed by the government website mostly. They suggest you shouldn’t have a wedding party, but as we have stuck with the 30 people, who are all in understanding of the rules and risks of covid if they wish to attend. We have done our best to keep it as safe as we can.
Regarding the ceremony we are in contact directly with our registration office and council to keep informed with the situation.
Has there been a silver lining to this difficult experience?
Only that we can endure more and more bad news and still get though it together. 2020 has shown us that as long as we have each other that’s what really matters. Also, with the money we had planned on using for the wedding we are now intending to have an extension on the house. A much better use for it to be honest ready for our family.
What advice would you give to other couples still in the dilemma of whether to postpone or cancel?
It really depends on what’s most important for the couple really. The end game is always going to be being married. But for some people it’s important to have the big party, some people have beliefs and religions maybe that takes more of the value, or special people who need to attend but it adds complication, so it really depends on what’s important to you as a couple! And go from there.
If it was most important for Ryan and I to have a massive party to share with all our family and friends, or even a special type of ceremony the we would have chosen to move the date to accommodate for what the main goals are, but as our main goal is just to be Mr and Mrs Pluckrose then we will do the best to make that happen as soon as possible no matter what.
It has been so moving to hear Joey and Ryan’s touching and honest responses. A real life love story.
The positives of this challenging situation for Joey and Ryan has been the recognition of the strength of their relationship and how much they are able to support each other.
So, I vote ‘Yes’, there can be a silver-lining for couples this year. It has definitely brought the true meaning of a wedding day into sharp focus.
What has been the silver-lining for you? How have you found the positive? I’d love to hear your stories too…