What It's Like Being Engaged During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Photo: Clay Banks via Unsplash
What It's Like Being Engaged During The COVID-19 Outbreak
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By Alexa Jary

When my fiancé first proposed to me over a year ago, I only had one word on my mind: “YES!” I was absolutely positive I wanted to marry him, and I still am.

However, there are other words on my mind now: “social distancing,” “pandemic,” and “quarantine.”

With our wedding less than 7 weeks away now, these are not things that I want to have to think about. These are not the obstacles that we anticipated while being engaged.

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During the time we were engaged, I was uncertain about if I wanted to continue school, what I wanted my career to be, and so many other things. The one thing that remained consistent was that I would be getting married on May 23, 2020.

I constantly reminded myself, “Even if there is nothing else in life that I am sure about, I am sure of this.” Our guest list includes about 150 people — of which we expect about 100 to attend. However, the entire state of Florida is under a safer-at-home order until at least May 1st.

That leaves us only a few weeks to solidify everything we would need to after the order ends and before the wedding. It’s not a lot of time to find somewhere to live, get wedding dress alterations, do food tastings, and finalize the guest count.

No one can accurately predict how long this will last. Will things get worse before they get better?

The consensus is yes. Cases of COVID-19 are expected to spike before they go down. 

Even with everyone following the orders and staying home, this will have a major impact on people’s health and lives. Viruses are unpredictable. As a result, this quarantine could be extended, or we could all be going out and celebrating with our friends and family on May 1st.

My fiancé and I have to think about so many things that we never thought we would have to consider.

Planning a wedding is already a lot of moving parts. Now, imagine that the normal way of doing everything in life is different.

For instance, my sister and niece had to do a curbside pick up to get their dresses. Moreover, there’s no way to get them tailored to fit right now.

Being engaged during the outbreak is stressful. Furthermore, it forces so many questions to run through my head.

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Should we hire a hair and makeup artist? What if the wedding is postponed? Will we get our money back or will she come on a different day? What if everything is still closed? Will I be able to go get a haircut or a spray tan or a manicure?

What about my engagement ring and my wedding bands? My engagement ring was being sized, my wedding band was on hold, and his wedding band was being shipped — all from the same jeweler in the mall that is now closed.

What if there is not enough time to have my wedding dress altered? I will at least need the length adjusted. Will they still charge me rush fees to get it done in time? How will I even pick it up if the store is closed?

My venue said that carrying out the tastings are an option, but then there is the concern about dinner getting cold and cake getting hot and melty.

How many out-of-town guests will be afraid to purchase plane tickets or travel to a different state? How many elderly or at-risk individuals will refuse to even be around people?

And the biggest question of all: What if we cannot get married when we thought we would? Was all the planning and stress for nothing?

If that were to happen, we would have to postpone the wedding even more, since our venue does not typically do summer weddings because of the risk of rain.

We recently overcame a huge obstacle during our time being engaged: Hosting a wedding shower when you can’t have a party. But we did it — virtually. We used Zoom and had friends and family members join in.

We mailed out game cards in advance so we could play games, talk, and open gifts. Technology can be tricky sometimes, with sound and picture issues, but overall it was a very memorable day full of love and laughter.

Plus, now I have the knowledge to help others who can’t have in-person bridal showers for whatever reason. Maybe they are still under quarantine, too. Maybe they live far away from all their friends and family. Or, maybe they are immune compromised and being around too many people is a constant worry for them — not just right now.

So, is it heartbreaking to see all of your plans change and become more difficult? Yes. But does it make being engaged any less special? Absolutely not.

We are still in love, we are still committed to spending our lives together, and this is just what our engagement story looks like now. We look forward to a beautiful marriage and a lifetime of happiness.

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Alexa Jary is a writer who focuses on relationships, love, and health and wellness. For more of her relationship content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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