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Angela
Beginner December 2020

Brides who downsized due to covid - how do you feel about it now?

Angela, on July 4, 2020 at 7:15 PM Posted in Planning 2 23
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Do you wish you’d postponed until you could have the full wedding and reception? Did everything work out for the best?


I keep thinking a mid-December wedding in Missouri will be ok, then I read the news. We’ve cut out the band and long reception, but guest count is still at 40 and between venue and catering for a 2 hour cocktail reception it’s still a $12K day.
I’m 35 and this will be my first marriage. I don’t want to wait until 2022, and our families still think everything is “fine”, so an elopement with a larger celebration later is not really in the cards.
Very conflicted and hoping to hear from those who had to change plans but still had their day.

23 Comments

  • Missa
    Dedicated October 2020
    Missa ·
    • Flag
    We’re in the same boat now, we were told as of now it’s 50 people so that’s half of our guest list. Our wedding is in October, so we haven’t actually had our wedding yet. If things get better, we may be able to increase the guest count, but our venue has no answers so everyone is in the dark and it’s all up in the air. My fiancé and I are really disappointed about the cut down, but honestly I personally could not go through another year or two of planning a wedding (even though most of it would be done) I’d rather just get it over with, and move on with our lives. (I don’t mean that in a bad way, but we’ve cut down spending so much because of the cost of the wedding and we’d rather focus on other things, like searching for a house etc.). We’re just ready to be married, and while I still want a nice wedding it’s the actual marriage that counts for us. We have the most important people on the 50 people list that we’d most certainly want there, at this point it is what it is for us unfortunately. Hopefully things get better and we’re able to have more people!!!
    • Reply
  • Angela
    Beginner December 2020
    Angela ·
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    I bet you'll be happy it got cut down to just the 50 you cherish most! We've been planning for a max of 50 even before COVID. We cut it down to 35, but I'm thinking of cutting it to practically an elopement (13 including us). I've always wanted to get married at the holidays, so I really don't want to let go of my date. Where I live, some counties will still let you have 200 person events. But even if the state allowed for 50 in December, I feel awkward about having it and I don't want my friends and family to feel bad about going or not going. What a truly unique situation we're in.

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Devoted June 2021
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag
    We had our ~200 person wedding planned for June 19 this summer. Soon after the lockdowns started in March, we made the decision to postpone to June 2021. We didn’t want to wait another year to get married, so we had a super small, 10-person ceremony on our original June 19 date.


    I’m incredibly happy I married the love of my life, but for the most part, the day was a complete let down. My husband’s family decided to fly in from California at the last minute, so instead of feeling like a bride, I was catering to guests the day before, day of, and day after. I love his family, but they’re definitely not the most helpful type of people.
    If I could do it over again, I would, but I would change A LOT. I would refuse to do most of the cooking, I would see if I could get my hair done (even if makeup wasn’t an option) and I would sure as heck get a professional photographer. I would have tried to find ways to feel like a bride. I think doing a small ceremony/celebration is a great option as long as it’s done right! Don’t make too many compromises and remember that it is your WEDDING DAY, even if it isn’t what you originally imagined.
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  • E
    Beginner October 2021
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    We are 10.3.2020 couple here! After the governor informed what the phase would be like until a vaccine (no bar, no dance floor, certain number of people per square feet, no more than 100) we decided on doing a hybrid.


    Our guest list was 60 people to begin with. SoWe are going to get married on 10.3.2020 w DJ and videographer and parents w some siblings and couple close friends. The venue is letting us use the bridge for the ceremony as planned!
    Then we are going to have the celebration on 10.2.2021 with everyone! We have not decided yet, but may redo ceremony or show film during cocktail hour!
    Trying to go w the flow! This is all unreal!
    • Reply
  • Reena
    Expert February 2021
    Reena ·
    • Flag
    We postponed from July 2020 to Feb 2021. My fiancé and I are also on the older side, 42 and 36, so we really don’t want to wait until 2022 either. I also think there will still be restrictions in February.


    We cut the guest list from 160 to roughly 60. I’m at peace with it. I’m an introvert, and the thought of saying my vows in front of a large crowd was making me nervous. Also, with the larger crowd our venue was going to be a tight squeeze. Now those aren’t issues anymore. I am bummed that my coworkers can no longer come, but I think it will still be a fun day filled with our closest family and friends.
    • Reply
  • Olivia
    Beginner July 2020
    Olivia ·
    • Flag
    My fiancé and I were originally scheduled to get married on 4.24.20 but postponed until next year. All of our vendors were paid by the time we found out we needed to postpone so we did this instead of cancelling. However, we are still getting married this month in a small ceremony with our parents and wedding party!! I’m so excited. And then we’re having our large celebration next July on our 1 yr anniversary! We didn’t want to wait another year to make things official so this is what we decided to do. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy! Don’t worry about family or friends opinions. This is your day! I don’t think there is a right or wrong with everything that’s going on right now. Do what’s best for you.
    • Reply
  • Missa
    Dedicated October 2020
    Missa ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    If you don’t mind me asking, what state do you live in? I’m in NY
    • Reply
  • Missa
    Dedicated October 2020
    Missa ·
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    Yeah, I agree. It’s going to happen how it’s meant to happen I suppose.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Dedicated August 2020
    Michelle ·
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    My fiance and I are ready to get it over with. We are sad to downsize, but are offering a live stream option.
    • Reply
  • Katharine
    Expert July 2021
    Katharine ·
    • Flag

    We opted to do a mini ceremony this year, and re-do the whole thing next year (postponing our original plans).

    I'm mostly just happy to be able to get married at all at this point, and sometimes a little sad that we can't have the big party we planned. Also really determined to do everything we can to keep our mini wedding (less than 15 people) from being a COVID spreading event. Most of our guests have been isolating as much as possible, and masks are going to be worn by all, gathering outdoors and social distancing as much as possible.

    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Beginner June 2020
    Brittany ·
    • Flag
    I got married on June 27 in my parents backyard (live in TN). We slashed the guest list from about 230 to 50 people, which is the gathering size our county is currently allowing. We rescheduled our date at the venue for next year to have a more formal reception/anniversary party because this whole
    thing has shown me that NOTHING is promised so we wanted to get married on our date no matter what. We also had a band that we cancelled. Everything was outside, and we requested people wear masks whenever they needed to go inside the house and we had them available. Everyone also received their own little bottle of hand sanitizer. People were seated at tables with their households for ceremony and reception. We used the same caterers, florist, etc that we would have used originally, just down scaled what we needed. My big worry about downsizing the wedding would be that it wouldn’t feel like a “real” wedding day, but it was actually much better than what we had originally planned I think. I am lucky that my parents had a big beautiful yard we could use and I know not everyone is in that same situation. But honestly it was so intimate and special my fiancé and I don’t even really want to have the big celebration next year. It looked MUCH different than what we had planned but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
    • Reply
  • Michael
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Michael ·
    • Flag
    We are struggling with what to do. Our date is 10/10/2020; we are in SoCal and have booked a yacht for approximately 130 guests. Our theme is 1940’s glam. With the new rollbacks, we are at a crossroads. We’ve already have some out of town guests say they won’t want to travel. My fiancé wants to move the whole wedding to next year but I like the idea of having a small ceremony at our family beach house On our date and doing the big Yacht party on our anniversary. And of course our October Greek honeymoon is looking less likely every day.


    We have to make a decision in a few weeks; at least whether or not to keep the date for the boat.
    • Reply
  • Emily
    Just Said Yes July 2020
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    We are getting married this Saturday the 18th, and have drastically cut down the guest list from ~125 to 24 now for an outdoor wedding. We live in WI, and even though people are having big weddings I just don't want to put more people at risk. Overall, the planning process now has been less stressful, although friends and family are expecting a big reception once this is done with, but we want just a small thing now. We still have a catering company and my cousin is a professional photographer, so hopefully there wont be a ton of work for me to do as the bride. This has made us realize what we really want now, which is an intimate wedding.
    • Reply
  • Julia
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Julia ·
    • Flag
    We’re in Los Angeles & our wedding is Oct 17th 2020. We cut our guest list from 100 to 25 and then are planning on doing a larger reception in a year as a 1 year anniversary party (if we can then)! We thought cutting to 25 would allow us to keep our venue etc but at this point it’s looking like we may have to scratch the venue too & move it to our friends beautiful big backyard. It’s disappointing (our original venue was a favorite restaurant with a beautiful garden) but we’re both wanting to get married now and not go through another year or two of planning, and downsizing does come with the plus of saving some money (just a reality!). We’re trying to get rid of our expectations for what our day would look like and be ooey gooey flexible!!! Still very excited for the intimate wedding- just a pain to plan the now 3rd version of our event!
    • Reply
  • K
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Katherine ·
    • Flag

    We're in California and planned to get married on 10/10/20 at a ranch several hours north of San Francisco. Case counts there have been low and with all the open space we thought we'd be able to proceed (taking precautions of course), however a couple weeks ago our venue called to say they were considering cancelling all weddings for the year since all gatherings had been restricted in the county. At this point with a cap of 50 being the (not guaranteed) best case scenario, we decided to postpone to next fall. After you account for vendors we've already paid for in the 50, the money we've spent didn't feel worth it to have only 33 actual guests. While it was definitely tough emotionally to let go of it happening this year, now that it's decided I actually feel relieved. The stress of all the uncertainty and trying to make sure we wouldn't be the cause of a super spreader event was a lot more than I realized. We're still planning to do a small ceremony/elopement on our original date (we've become attached to 10/10/20!), but will have the bigger celebration we'd originally planned next year.

    Now that I've had some time to get used to it, I'm pretty excited about our small ceremony! Plus hopefully now we'll be able to have our bach parties/a bridal shower and having another year to look forward to our bigger wedding with almost everything already done sounds pretty great!

    Even though your family might be disappointed, do what makes you feel comfortable. As much as I wanted to do it now (just turned 33), I know the memories of it would be ruined if someone I loved got sick.

    • Reply
  • Michael
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Michael ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I lost the “lets get married on our original date” argument (also 10/10/20) and we are moving the whole wedding to 9/18/21. A 50 person wedding on our date with no dancing allowed didn’t seem worth it. We were very attached to the date as well.


    Really disappointed and can’t get past the frustration of having to move it at all.
    No way to know you’re doing the right thing for you so just go with your instinct.
    • Reply
  • K
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Katherine ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Awww I'm so sorry. I know how you feel, I had a complete meltdown (sobbing and everything, fiancé thought I was crazy haha!) when we first made the call. As disappointed as I am, it's helped to remind myself that everyone engaged right now is in the same boat and that if this is my biggest problem, I'm actually pretty lucky compared to many people.

    Other than that, the best advice I've seen is to actually let yourself grieve the original date. Plus, in 20 years you'll probably just remember having a great time dancing at your wedding, not that you had to wait an extra year to do it Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • T
    Dedicated September 2020
    Tracy ·
    • Flag
    We were just told by our venue that we HAVE to either keep our September 19, 2020 date, or lose almost All the money we've sunk into our wedding (catering And Venue). Our guest list was only 26 people, now down to 10-13. That's a big amount of $ to spend for hardly anyone to be there with us! We could have sunk it into our home, but this... This was so unexpected.. I'm just feeling so selfish, right now, for having made all these plans...
    • Reply
  • L
    Just Said Yes May 2020
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    I downsized from 120 invited (planning for about 80 to show up) to 9 guests (immediate family only) in May—we decided to keep our date because our immediate family is local and our church was willing to do the ceremony as planned. Also, our venue gave us a full refund of our deposit (they were wonderful—they even emailed on our wedding date to say congratulations). I drafted amendments to all of our vendor contracts basically adjusting our prices to their lowest package since we were only using them for a few hours/we weren’t having a big reception (meaning they basically just kept our deposits), and everyone signed them without any back-and-forth. The only money we lost was on a DJ, but he gave us a credit that never expires. Our day ended up being amazing—it felt really intimate and special, and everyone had a blast (we turned our living room into a disco with those plug-in disco lights and danced all night with our family). I wouldn’t change a thing. But I know this isn’t the path everyone wants (and I totally get it!). Here’s what made us decide to keep our date instead of switch it:


    1) Uncertainty over restrictions surrounding COVID (obviously)—we didn’t know how far out to pick a date so that we could have a normal wedding.
    2) Money - we didn’t want to be locked into contracts that would make us lose money in the event we had to push the wedding again, and we didn’t want to pay full price for a wedding where no dance floor was allowed/social distancing had to be observed/etc.
    3) Stress - planning (and deciding whether to move) a wedding during COVID is one of the most stressful things we’ve ever done and we didn’t want to worry about it for another year (or longer).
    4) Timing - we were ready to be married and move on with our lives. At the end of the day being married was the most important thing, and we didn’t want to delay that. Also, we want to have kids soon and we didn’t want to put that off (or have them before we were married) because of this virus.
    Good luck with your decision, and I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful celebration no matter what you settle on!
    • Reply
  • Michael
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Michael ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    You truly chose the best avenue for you.


    We are in our late 50’s and don’t plan on having any children, The original concept of our wedding day Was the most important. We were able to choose a larger yacht that will accommodate all our guests and over a year from now, the date should work.
    I did want to get married on our original date but I got outvoted (if one person can outvote you).
    And one more year to set money aside is less stress since we are paying for everything.
    Congratulations and thanks for your suggestions, they are helpful.
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