Just last week, five engaged couples contacted me looking for an event planner.
Not unusual, except nearly all of them called in the peak of the second pandemic lockdown in Israel. They simply can’t, or fear they can’t, deal with planning a wedding in this climate on their own.
“How“, they asked “is anyone planning a wedding without you?!“
Many of my clients optimistically postponed their spring events including weddings and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, to the fall months of October and November, a time we thought would be safe.
But, as the late great Yogi Berra used to say, it’s déjà vu all over again.
To illustrate what some of my couples are going through, the other day I contacted a politician friend (are you even Israeli if you don’t have “Protexia”?!) to enlist his help on behalf of a groom who was unable to get to his own wedding, due to lockdown rules limiting travel to 1 kilometer (about half a mile).
Government exceptions include attending a bris or a funeral, yet no such provision given for a bride and groom to travel to their own wedding!
Another couple needed to find a new rabbi to marry them and figure out how to get their ketuba from the Rabbinate offices – both of which are beyond the travel allowances, and some of the offices have closed.
Does your head hurt yet?
Beyond the Menu and Flowers
Planning a wedding during normal times are often filled with stress.
Now couples are understandably experiencing higher levels of anxiety, nervousness, and worry, and face the occasional stumbling block, like in the stories above.
And while all good event planners can choose the right venue, caterer and florist, my clients know that I give them and their families emotional support and guidance.
This is especially important for many of my brides and grooms who live in Israel and whose families live abroad.
ALL the calls I received last week were from couples in Israel who’s parents live abroad.
Getting the bride and groom to their special day with a minimum amount of worry and anxiety is as much, or more, part of my job as securing vendors.
New Dream, New Perspective
These past six months have seen smaller, intimate weddings in all sorts of never-imagined venues.
(You can see the many gorgeous options in my previous post, The Beauty of a Boutique Wedding)
Couples and families and event planners have accepted with a full yet heavy heart that weddings and bar mitzvahs are happening without the presence of grandparents, siblings, beloved family members and many friends.
Everyone is loving to point out how the focus has changed to “what’s really important”, and that people have learned to “keep things simple”.
I applaud this sentiment, IF that’s what they wanted.
However, these statements are minimizing the dreams of each bride and groom.
Everyone has a vision of what their dream wedding will look like. At the very least to be surrounded by loved ones, to dance in celebration and yes, why not have it look absolutely fabulous.
Let’s be sensitive and acknowledge that the dream was taken away from them. That doesn’t meant they don’t know “what’s really important”.
We aren’t giving up on the dream!
Even with uncertainty and unknowns with only days left before the big day, I confidently remind my brides:
“you are getting married, and you will begin your lives together – as a married couple!”
That helps them to focus on that dream, and not worry about the details, because I’ve got that.
I May Not Have a Crystal Ball…
I have a bride scheduled to get married at the end of November. Everything was booked months ago in anticipation that things would be back to normal.
But here we are nearly three weeks to go and still dealing with ever changing guidelines.
She doesn’t know where it will be, who will be there or what it will look like.
Added to that stress is the fact that her parents are overseas.
What keeps her calm and happy?
First, she trusts me. I’m available to her all the time and I’m her calming voice.
Second, she knows I have alternate plans ready and waiting, no matter what’s needed, to get her married that day.
I may not have a crystal ball, but I do have a magic wand!