At the time of writing this blog it is the second week in April 2020, and the world is under the horrific cloud of COVID-19. It is a time of sadness, fear and change. It can also be a time of newly found joy, hope and planning.
Certainly not in our lifetime has there ever been such a situation as there currently is. Life is very different now as to what it was few weeks previously, but we all know that and are all aware of it. This isn’t information on the current world crisis, it is a few ideas of what you, people who are still planning a ceremony can do while this is happening.
As a celebrant who creates and leads many ceremonies, this blog is being written to offer suggestions for all of those who have had to postpone ceremonies, or for those who are planning a wedding, handfasting or vow renewal ceremony.
Many of the below ideas can be incorporated into a ceremony or a wedding day.
Many poets and writers have been inspired by the famous quote from the Roman poet Virgil who first proclaimed:
‘love conquers all things…’
A cheesy line to some, a line of hope for others, a line of reflection for many more. The ceremony you have planned and been forced to postpone, or the ceremony you are planning but have temporarily placed on hold, was born from one thing; love. You met, you fell in love and chose to take your relationship to the next level, that of public declaration of your love.
It is the continued love between you which will give you the strength, hope and determination to get through this time. The love between you hasn’t been postponed nor can it be. A favoured quote which is sometimes used in the ceremonies I create describes the power of love.
‘Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible; it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment and offer you more joy than any material possession could’.
Barbara De Angelis
Keep a diary
Maybe the last thing you currently feel like doing is keeping a diary, but it can become a journal of reference and a reminder for the future. Keeping a diary of how you both got through this is a testimony of the love, connection and unity between you. Love isn’t all romance, love is being there for each other whatever the situation.
Write about the little things we sometimes take for granted such as who made endless cups of tea or the endless memes seen on social media which made you laugh. Currently we are all in our own private bubbles at home. Many of us are lucky to be with those we love, sadly many aren’t and keeping a diary can help you express feelings which you can share with each other when you are together.
For those who are finding the writing of vows difficult, thoughts from a diary can be ideal to express your promises to each other when your ceremony takes place.
Start a memory box
Memory boxes are often included in ceremonies. Special letters, important trinkets, memorable objects and items used within the ceremony are sealed in a chosen box to be opened at a later chosen date.
During this time why not start a memory box of some of the things which are currently important to you. It doesn’t have to be expensive or completely serious items. It can be things which when viewed and touched in the future will take you back to certain moments. Items such as the cork from a shared bottle of alcohol, the wrapper from a chocolate bar, cards or game pieces for a board game you may have played during this time, doodles, notes or silly pictures drawn or even a signed and dated piece of toilet paper which will remind you of the great toilet roll hunt of 2020.
Write a letter to each other
Have you ever done this at any point of your relationship? Many haven’t and writing a letter to each other which can be sealed in a memory box or given to each other on the day of a ceremony is a lovely thing to do. Letters will be treasured for many years and will be a reminder of what you have overcome together.
Create personalised wedding favours with meaning
Wedding favours can be expensive, and couples have expressed how stressful these little things can be. Rather than spending money on the most popular kids of wedding favours such as sweets, why not write a short poem, memory, inspirational quote or draw a picture for each of your guests as a favour? Guests will be more inclined to appreciate handmade wedding favours which you have created for each individual with thought and meaning.
How well do you really know each other?
How about creating a quiz which includes personalised questions?
What is each other’s favourite flavour of crisps?
What do you love about each other?
What drives you mad about each other?
Do you have a favourite flower, colour, season, time of the year etc?
What is your most embarrassing or funniest memory?
The question choices on this are endless. The loser has to make the winner breakfast in bed for the next week or whatever forfeit or reward you decide.
Learn new things together
Learning how to cook different meals or taking an online course if possible, to learn a new language together will bring you even closer together. Partners are more than lovers; they are best friends and learning is always more fun if done with a best friend. If you learn a new language this is very beneficial in many ways. You can include that language skill within your ceremony or perhaps plan a honeymoon in the future where this language is spoken.
Things to do on your proposed wedding date
If you have had to postpone your wedding or ceremony, when the date arrives it is going to be hard. It will be a day of mixed emotion and clock watching. As hard as it will be, try not to spend the day staring at the time thinking or exclaiming what you would have been doing at this time. Although you may not feel like it make a plan for this day and have a set routine. You can still spend the morning applying make up, doing your hair and wearing a different outfit to what you would usually wear. Being at home doesn’t mean you can’t make the effort to look and feel as you would if you were going out.
Once ready go for your daily exercise together if able. Try to do this around the time of your proposed ceremony. Even if it is raining a change of scenery and a change of routine may help this day to be memorable for a different reason.
- Write and say two promises or vows to each other.
- Video call friends and family and share selfies of each other.
- Make a folder on your phone of these images and perhaps get them printed at a later date and give them as framed wedding favours to that person.
- Open a bottle of selected alcohol or favoured beverage and share it together with a meal you have both prepared and cooked together.
- Make a cake together and share it.
- Listen to a playlist you have made on Spotify as you are cooking.
- At the end of the day snuggle up on the sofa with a favoured film.
Times will change and your ceremony will go ahead. You may have decided to make some slight changes to your day, or you may even decide, after having additional time to reflect to completely change your plans and do something different. Whatever ceremony and wedding day you do have, you will be stronger as a couple after your experience of these times.
For information on unique, creative and memorable wedding. Handfasting or renewal of vows ceremonies, please contact me.