As cliché as it may sound, I was always the girl who dreamt of her wedding…the big white Vera Wang gown, the overabundance of flowers, the signing of the Ketubah, you name it, I have thought it out in perfect detail.
Fast forward 31 years. I met my forever in the most unexpected of ways (at my best friend’s engagement party). After dating for almost three years he proposed by getting down on one knee at our favorite vineyard in Napa, CA. It was absolutely magical.
I could not wait to jump head first into planning the wedding of my dreams, however, it feels at every turn we have been met with road blocks. From navigating the budget between both of our families, balancing our parent’s guest lists and now COVID-19 forcing us to postpone until 2021, we both feel defeated with this process. We feel emotionally attached to the date that we originally picked and are having a difficult time just choosing another date.
As I mentioned before, I always dreamt of wearing my white dress, all of the guests gasping as I walk down the aisle hand-in-hand with my mother and my father. I can almost feel the rabbi blessing us and our future together, reciting our vows for all to hear. I see us walking in a state of bliss to our party, and hoisted onto chairs while people dance the hora around us.
If there are any positives to take away from this situation it’s that my fiancé and I have built such a strong, compassionate and open foundation for our future marriage. We have been forced to have some really difficult and uncomfortable conversations. We are so stuck as to what to do moving forward! I am not in my 20’s anymore and we both want to try to start our family next year. I fear that if I don’t have the wedding I pictured I will regret it, but I also simply want to marry my person. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you get married on the original date that we picked and then have a big party next summer? Just choose another date altogether? Run off to Napa and elope? HELP!!
Thank you for reading this Bee! I know it’s a lot. I’m really looking forward to your insight.
Covid Bride or Bust
Dear Covid Bride or Bust,
“Ani L’ Dodi.”
“I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.”
The words are written on our wedding Ketubah (A Jewish marriage contract. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride) inscribed in Hebrew, and hand painted. They are a reminder of what is important.
I am not a religious Jew. We are not terribly observant as a family, but as I grow older and as the world seems to grow more hostile by the minute, there are a few things in my faith that speak to me quite clearly, quite loudly.
Jews believe in grabbing happiness. They dwell in the now, they grab life and they squeeze it with all their might.
Important life events are honored, moments are seized, memories are made.
Life keeps on moving.
There are no guarantees and no promises. And please don’t hate me for this, but who told you you were promised a party a year from now?
You are not attached to a date, you are attached to one another.
I’ve been able to plan two weddings in my lifetime and both times it was a complete ass ache. For someone who considers herself to be a girly girl, I can honestly tell you, in my experience, the best part was when the wedding was over. I think most brides would agree, at least the ones who are still married.
Bazz loves telling people about how when we arrived at the airport the day after our wedding, we sat in our terminal waiting for our flight to Rome eating cheeseburgers and sipping on sodas. Across that grimy airport terminal table he took my left hand in his and clinked our simple gold wedding bands together. Clink clink, we locked eyes across the table and laughed together. Clink clink, married. On the inside of those bands our wedding date is engraved. Our date. It is significant for no other reason other than that it is ours. In these crazy Covid times it’s on us to create the meaningful. You will create the significance around your date and that date will forever be yours.
Bazz and I met in July, 2004.
We were engaged 9 months later.
We were married 6 months after that.
We were pregnant 2 months after that.
I look back on our wedding pictures and stare at the photos of those who are no longer with us. In the nearly 15 years we’ve been married there has been tremendous joy but also tremendous loss.
You said it yourself, you’re not in your twenties anymore. You’re wiser than this. I’m not going to tell you not to care about the fluff, or that this isn’t a difficult time, but my guess is there is a beautiful backyard waiting to be tented, a caterer ready to plan the most delicious menu and an intimate, elegant evening of your dreams that can be pulled off, and pulled off quickly.
Don’t press the pause button on joy, sweet girl. Buy the Vera Wang dress (not the one that takes 6 months to come in), plan something lovely that can be fast tracked, gather the ones who you love the most, grab your Rabbi, and say “I do” to life.
Say “I do” to starting your life together.
You’ll never regret pressing go on happiness.
Less than a year after our wedding, when I was 7 months pregnant, we lost my precious grandfather, my sweet-as-sugar Papa Milton. Our son Madden is named for him.
My beautiful Nana Sylvia passed away in the fall of 2009.
28 days later we unexpectedly lost my mother, Ina.
The loss nearly destroyed us. The loss nearly destroyed me.
Bazz’s incredible step-mother Cora, my step mother in-law who we just adored, passed away one year later.
His loving, wonderful grandparents who he idolized and helped to raise him we have lost as well.
His gentle, sweet step-brother Brian.
My magnificent Gammy just this past April to Covid-19.
Joy and loss
Joy and loss
Joy and loss
Grab yours while the pendulum swings in your direction.
There have been many wonderful moments for us, and we definitely count our blessings. In between the blessings, life has been peppered with grief.
I can see it. I can see that magnificent dress, I can hear the swell of music, I can smell the fragrant flowers, I see the candlelight catching the golden light of the champagne in sparkling flutes, and yes, I can hear your guests gasp as you float down the aisle hand-in-hand with your parents as you head towards your love and he lifts your veil under the wedding chuppah.
There is a basket filled with yarmulkes for the select, lucky guests privileged enough to witness your joy. And perhaps there will be a basket filled with the most exquisite silk, embroidered masks as well.
Don’t press pause.
You are your beloved and your beloved is yours.
Say ‘I do’ anywhere with some of my favorite picks for your big day along with three of the softest, sexiest scents that I’m obsessed with!
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All illustrations by @courtneycoloring
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