Hi all! We have been a bit quite on here, although we didn’t really mean to be, we’ve been attending some great webinars and have all sorts of tips and resources we intend to share. We even revamped our services to some digital offerings which is actually working really well, particularly to access folks in other parts of the country. But just like everyone, we have had a lot going on trying to adjust to living with this pandemic, the government restrictions, what that means to us as professionals and personally. For us, this has meant, like so many others, postponing our wedding. This post is different than most of ours, as it is not building and sustainability focused, but personal to us as a couple.
Which is what Beo Glas is, two people with a love of buildings and sustainability who managed to meet and fall in love.
We were scheduled to get married on 26 April, and the week the first round of restrictions were announced, we were 6 weeks away from our wedding. We had just been up at Cabra Castle the previous weekend having our wedding tasting, finalising the details of the day with the venue, and meeting various suppliers to sort out the arrangements. That was Monday March 9th sitting in Cabra having tea and my worst-case scenario self was asking our wedding coordinator what happens if this virus messes up our wedding, Trump does something stupid like implement a travel ban and my family cannot come. She graciously reassured us that they would work with us if need be, albeit I do not think she thought it would come to that. Three short days later, that’s exactly what happened. Trump announced a travel ban and I woke up to quite a few worried messages from friends in the States who were all booked to come over. We moved fast to get a backup date in place, with our vendors who have been so amazing through all this and by St Patrick’s day we were making the call to move our wedding to September. Now that it’s late May, nearly 11 weeks in, again we are finding ourselves making a back-up plan to move our wedding date for the second time, for us this means potentially pushing it to 2022.
As many people know, planning your wedding is a massive undertaking, we spent the last year working out so many details, but through it all the most important thing for our wedding was having our friends and family together for it. Between Noel and I our immediate family is spread across 3 continents and we had guests coming from far and wide. Our wedding was always supposed to be about having all these people together, for what most likely will be the only time this many people we love are under one roof. We wanted them to have an experience and enjoy how fun Irish weddings are and the beauty of Ireland. We wanted them to have a picturesque Irish experience, which is huge part of the reason we choice a country castle for our wedding. To us, our day is as much about the people nearest and dearest as it is about us. For this reason, we are now looking at moving it to 2022. If everyone can’t be here or won’t feel safe or won’t have the fabulous atmosphere associated with Irish weddings, we’ll wait until we can have that. This purpose for our wedding is what we are holding on to as we look at another postponement.
As anyone who lives far from home knows, you look forward and count the days until you can see your family again, whether it be you going home or them coming to you. For me, as an American living abroad, that is one of the hardest things of postponing our wedding and the pandemic as a whole, I do not know when I will see my friends and family again, the ability to hop on a plane feels non-existent.
When we moved our original date the first time, we kept hoping that 26 April would come around and we would at least be able to mark the day in person with Noel’s family, but as the day came closer, we realized that even that was highly unlikely to happen. So, we pivoted and decided to celebrate the day we had spend the last year (and least be honest for Hana, a lifetime dreaming of) planning in the only way we could, with Zoom.
We ordered decorations to make our living room festive from a party supply company in Tipperary (doing our best to keep supporting Irish businesses), we send out an evite to our immediate family and bridal party to ‘attend’ our Zoom wedding and we reached out to our celebrant, Rachel Garland, to see if she would help us facilitate this ceremony. She eagerly jumped on board and adapted with us. We picked up flowers from Lidl, ordered our favourite takeaway, and picked up some Prosecco and Gin to be ready to celebrate our original wedding date.
When the day came, we woke up excited to mark the day. We decorated the living room with a balloon arch, pom-poms, and pretty much all the candles we had in the house. It wasn’t the morning I’d been dreaming of waking up in a castle and getting ready with bridesmaids and mom, but I listened to the playlist my sister had made for the morning, did my best to imitate the makeup from my trial, wore my wedding earrings and a hairpiece I’d purchased to go with the new theme of the day. With my wedding dress still stuck with the alternation’s lady (and totally not appropriate for our living room). I put on the dress I had purchased last year because it was on sale and seemed like it would be good for festivities of the wedding week. I had no idea how actually perfect it was for a living room Zoom wedding. Noel put on his wedding tuxedo, although no shoes because those had not been purchased yet.
Choosing a time for the ceremony was properly the hardest thing as we were spanning sisters from Australia to California. When the time came close, we put on the background music playlist we made to give a bit of atmosphere while everyone virtually gathered and created an aisle for me to walk down with Noel waiting at the top. Rachel wrote a very appropriate ceremony with two readings from our sisters and an exchanging of vows and rings. Seeing everyone’s faces all dressed up from their living rooms across the world excited to be with us in whatever way they could was incredibly touching. One of my bridesmaid’s took screen shots throughout the ceremony and we asked everyone to send in pictures of them ‘attending’ the ceremony so we can create an album that marks our ‘should have been wedding day’.
Despite the fact the day was so different than what we had planned, we were still able to gather our nearest and dearest in the only way allowed and shared what will always be a special moment. We were so grateful and moved to have everyone turn up for this event.
Despite a pandemic and the feeling of chaos worldwide, life goes on and so do the rites and passages accompanied with simply being alive.
How to mark your original wedding date is unique for every couple, for us we knew we couldn’t just ignore it and embraced what we could do and are grateful we did. It created a fun memory that we will always treasure and will keep us going until we have our big day in the castle surrounded by those that we love.
It is not an easy decision to postpone your wedding, and how long you postpone it for or cancel it altogether is a very personal decision as no two couples are alike. Having already done the legal side of things we are holding on to the reason of having our celebration always was, being together, as hard as it is to think that might be another two years, we know it is worth the wait for the safety and health and ensuring the day is full of joy and free of worry.
All these decisions have been made easier by our amazing wedding suppliers, they have all been supportive in any decision we make and are easily moving to our new date(s). We know the majority of them are small businesses who are looking at a year without their regular income, but they are being so sound that we know when our day comes it will be so full of bliss and will be worth the wait.
We’ve now mostly made peace with what COVID-19 means for our wedding and the emotional and mental toll it’s taken on us is subsiding. To everyone reading this, planning a wedding or not, just remember to be gentle with yourself and do not expect to be functioning at your normal peak levels. We are not living in normal times; every day is emotionally different despite feeling quite the same. Remember to take care of your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health every day.
Sending good vibes and good health to everyone.
Hana and Noel
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