A few things have changed since we last spoke. The biggest being that we got married!! Just 8 days ago to be exact! If you feel like you missed an update, you didn’t. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. We decided about 6 weeks ago to nix our plans for May 2021 and get on with it! Trust me, we rode first class on an emotional rollercoaster (freshly sanitized of course), and man was it was a bumpy ride.
Here’s what happened: Just a few days after we took our engagement photos, we had the realization that since my entire side comes from the East Coast, they need to start making travel arrangements very soon. With all that is still so unknown, we didn’t feel comfortable asking people to make a decision right now for travel plans next May. And it didn’t feel right continuing to plan and dump money into an extravaganza that may not actually even happen, or be restricted to a small number of people. So, we said F it, let’s just do it now, and we can have our dream celebration later.
We spent a few short weeks making plans trying to find a smaller and equally as beautiful venue as our original selection, see what contracts and deposits can be amended or transferred, and find a dress that I loved that would be available in less than a month. Surprisingly, it all worked out.
The venue we found is called Beltane Ranch in Glen Ellen, CA. It is a darling bed and breakfast/inn that has an incredible garden, a vineyard and farm. It was built in the 1800’s and was at one point a brothel. I love a little history and charm, and it did not disappoint. We were able to transfer our deposit for our photographer over to this minimony, and the remainder still have our deposits for our ‘someday’ wedding that we’re still planning on having when the world is back to normal. Lastly, I found the most perfect dress that the designer just so happened to have already made in stock in California and in my size. It needed minimal alterations (ie like 10 inches taken off the hem), and otherwise fit like a glove.
While it wasn’t exactly what we expected in the beginning, it was perfect for us. We had 6 guests in attendance, and were married by a dear friend of Dan who has also become a great friend of mine. We had a socially distant lunch (9 people sat at a 25 foot table and talked to one another really loudly), everyone wore masks, and as hard as it was, we refrained from any hugging or contact cheers-ing.
If you are planning a wedding right now, here are my tips for you:
- Remember that the wedding is just the celebration, and your marriage is what really matters. Dan told me this countless times and helped put things back into perspective. If your wedding plans have changed beyond your control, try to think of the positive. If you postpone, you can still have your dream wedding, you may just have to wait!
- Cry as much as you want to. There was one week when we first decided to postpone that I had 5 meltdowns in 7 days – hysterical crying, feeling insanely sorry for myself, etc. You have every right to feel sorry for yourself. Planning a wedding is hard enough as it is, doing it now is even harder because you constantly second guess your plans and decisions.
- Be flexible. Things are changing daily and likely will for a while. Yes, you’ve been thinking about your wedding for years, but some things may not end up being exactly how you imagined them. You might have to altar (pun intended) your plans to retrofit the current situation, or refer back to point 1.
- Be diligent. Review your contracts so carefully. When we signed all of ours, we had amendments to include cancellations whether government our county, that we’d be refunded. We included just about every possibility you could think of, but then realized we didn’t include a timeframe (what if the wedding is in May but another shelter-in-place happens in April). It’s also important to note that those on the other end of these contracts don’t have experience in dealing with a pandemic either, so it’s important to work together and continuously be understanding.
- Be understanding and courteous. There are so many people struggling right now whether it’s from losing their job, their home in a fire or a loved one from the virus. When you’re working with vendors, remember how much business they have lost this year, and that booking your wedding could be a make or break for them. Continue to negotiate, but if you can afford to pay that $100 extra for something minimal, do it. The same thing goes for your guests.
As soon as we get more pictures back from our photographer, I will post more! But for now, check out my new insta handle and some more pictures there! Instagram.com/stephaniemok__
Please tell me anything you’d like me to share! I’ll post more pictures for sure, and some more details about my dress and what I wore, how I made the day more personal etc. Let’s get back into the swing of things! And if you liked this post, give it a thumbs up, or a like, or a few stars, or whatever signal you want from the place you found this post.
xx, Stephanie Mok