You may have friends or family members – dubbed “COVID Couples’ – who have had to postpone or cancel their weddings because of the pandemic. For most couples, this is a difficult decision to make, and may bring up feelings of sadness, anger, or even loss. Here are some ways to support the special people in your life whose weddings have been affected by COVID – and some things to avoid.
1. Send a surprise gift on their original wedding day. This is likely to be the most difficult day for the couple. Consider sending flowers, sweets, or a gift card for a takeout date night with a note saying you are thinking of them. If you’re on a budget, stick with a handwritten note dropped at their doorstep or surprise them with FaceTime or a phone call. Don’t forget about the groom!
2. Listen. Be a shoulder to cry on for your friends and family. Venting can be a therapeutic way to deal with negative emotions from having to postpone or cancel their wedding. Be open and understanding, but not dismissive or overly positive.
3. Contact vendors. A lot goes in to planning a wedding. If your couple has hired a wedding planner, they can help with reaching out to the vendors the couple has chosen. If not, consider the numerous contracts with the florist, photographer, caterer, cake decorator, venue, DJ, furniture rentals, day-of coordinator, and many more that may exist. Depending on the vendor and the wording of each contract, meetings with vendors may involve renegotiating the contract, maintaining it but postponing the date, or asking for a partial refund.
4. Give them resources. There are many couples in the same boat, and many community and support groups online. The Zola Facebook Community has almost 12,000 members in the throes of pandemic wedding planning. For more local advice, check out Colorado COVID-19 Wedding Support.
5. Deal with guests. Offer to help contact guests to notify them of changes to the event. This could involve a formal, mailed update, or an email or text if the wedding was scheduled for just a few weeks away. Be sure to introduce yourself to the couple’s family and friends if making calls or sending texts on their behalf. You can also help answer guests’ follow-up questions about reservations they had for the wedding or the timing of the rescheduled event (if there is one).
1. Give opinions or advice unless it is solicited by the couple. It is complicated and confusing trying to reschedule a large event with many moving parts, never mind with unwarranted opinions thrown into the mix. Give advice only if you are asked to by the couple.
2. Be overly positive or dismissive. Saying, “It’s going to be fine,” may not go over well. Things may not be okay for your friends or family members, and they don’t have to be. Try saying, “I’m sorry. I wish things were different,” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.”
3. Expect to be able to fix it. As a friend or family member, the best you can do is listen and offer help or advice if it’s requested. Do not try to fix their feelings or the situation.
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