The Government Decided Our Guest List

Weddings: Love, excitement, tear jerking vows, the white dress, the sharp dressed wedding party, dancing, fabulous speeches, beautiful florals, pretty décor, delicious food, and endless cocktails. Those are just some of the many descriptions of the big day that many anticipate having. But not this year. For the second spring/summer in a row, planning a wedding is described as: frustrating, stressful, hard, defeating, tiring, and depressing. Your wedding planning has become more of a chore than anything. It is no longer fun. Recently, my fiancé and I decided to postpone our wedding from August 2021 to August 2022. With British Columbia's cases of the new Covid variants sky rocketing, Ontario going into a four week lock down, and good ole Manitoba (me) stuck in the middle of it all, you just have a slight feeling that it's not going to turn out well. Especially when you realize that our provincial Covid-19 numbers were at 55 last week and this week they are at 180. Manitoba has one of the slllooooowweeesst vaccine rollouts ever. And on top of it all - we haven't seen our whole family under one roof since well before March of 2020. So how do you send out 100+ invites (max) to people who have been complete homebody's and say "see you at my large, germ filled, hug fest of an event in August!". It just doesn't work. Nor does it even make sense. You can go to a supermarket with 300+ people in there, but brides are sitting at home in tears crossing off yet another family member or friend on the list like they mean absolutely nothing to them. It's gut wrenching! The government decides how many guests we can have in attendance, even if we feel comfortable with a larger amount. Pure insanity! As a bride who has only had to postpone once, I cannot imagine how the brides who have postponed twice feel. Who knew that this would be such an emotional process? You would think you are rebooking to save yourself from the anxiety you feel every three weeks when restrictions are updated. The stress of having not one guest list, but a minimum of four. The last minute back up plan that you may need to incorporate incase restrictions loosen or tighten. When should you send out invites and to who? Do you get your dress altered? Do you order the tux? The daily pep talks you give yourself when your in a bad mood about the thought of planning your wedding anymore than you already have. You think you've escaped it all by postponing, but you don't. You hit a new wave of emotions. The ones you didn't think were possible when you thought you've just lifted the biggest weight off your shoulders. Instead - you mourn it all. You inform your family and they hug you and jump with glee so they can possibly have more family and friends to have in attendance or that you may be able to invite people who reside across the world. Your family is excited that they have one more year to loose the weight that they think matters to us. That they're pumped to have another weekend in the summer to hit up the lake. They tell you "we told you so" and "now you can have a regular event next year". But can we? You may also get the complete opposite and deal with the feeling of someone you love leaving a group chat with no explanation after you just informed them about the new wedding plans. You receive the "but I don't understand why you can't get married with immediate family. Just cut out your wedding party". "It will be fine". "It's not a big deal". "Just stay positive". Oh you know, all that toxic positivity and ignorance. Regardless - either reaction pivots you back into that slump of depression again.

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If I could go back in time and change one thing - it would be to change the amount of updates we gave our extended family and friends. They don't need to know. It doesn't change their day. You're dealing with enough every day trying to figure out how to get married without getting fined all while keeping it safe and up to provincial protocol. You have enough stress and anxiety going on in your life to worry about your family's input on how you should invite plus ones that you haven't even met yet. It's not needed. Save yourself from it all. So to my fellow Covid brides. I see you. I see you trying so fricken hard to stay positive and block out all the negativity. I see you sending out monthly updates to your wedding party and family each time there's a provincial update. I see you emailing several vendors with the "what happens if this doesn't pan out" email. I see you dreading to explain for the 900th time what the plan is when people phone, text, or DM you. I see you crying over having to inform your aunt and uncle that they are no longer able to come no matter how excited they are for you. I see you on edge, your mood swings, your uncertainty. I see you having a good day then bursting into tears as you grieve the process of postponing your biggest life event yet. It is all seen, heard, and validated. I support you!

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What you need to know, is that we are all in this together! Every god damn ounce! So have your bad days, your pity parties, your nights where you cry yourself to sleep because your wedding day isn't going to be what you envisioned. Have it all! But most importantly, do it for you and your fiancé in the end. Whatever plan you decide to go with - do it without the regret of all the "what ifs". Those people who have a negative or toxic input - leave them behind. And better yet - leave them off your guest list! Anyone who decides to voice their opinion that goes against your wishes CLEARLY has NOT been present during the huge wave of emotions that wedding planning has become. So cry it out, do what's best, ask for support from your parents or closest friends, and RISE UP! The comeback is always better than the set back. Like they say "this too shall pass". Hugs + love, Chels



Photo taken by the very talented Julie Fulsher (Julie Fulsher Photography). <3


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