April 4. That’s when Sue Shade and Mark Thompson had planned to be married. Earlier this month, they had received all their RSVPs and were ready to give their caterer the final head count.
The wedding has been rescheduled. The honeymoon is up in the air.
After The Buffalo News published a story last week about the challenges and disappointments faced by couples whose weddings are planned during the growing Covid-19 pandemic, we heard from Shade and other Western New Yorkers in the same situation.
“Wedding planning is already stressful enough and this Covid-19 just adds way more stress and worries," Alice Strobele wrote in an email.
One couple had family flying in from Poland for their summer wedding. Another had planned a wedding abroad.
“My oldest son has a destination wedding planned the second week of June, in Italy. Talk about all of us being concerned, plane tickets bought and deposits on villas and B&B’s done. Stressing is not even the correct word right now,” wrote Melanie Swanson.
Shade described the emotions of the last few weeks:
“When everything first started to make the news I tried to stay calm and take it one day at a time, ignore all of the pandemic talks around me in order to try my best to stay positive. However, we had to come to terms with what was happening and ultimately decide that it had to be canceled,” she said.
"Our vendors have been wonderfully considerate; we were able to rebook almost everything so far for Sept. 25, with no money lost. The deposits were all down. They just changed the date on the contract,” Shade said.
As for the invitations: “My sister promptly printed ‘change the dates’ to mail to our entire guest list. Even after we personally contacted all 200-plus guests, we still wanted to formally let them know,” she said.
"The honeymoon (Key West, Fla.) is still up in the air as we planned to travel in spring, prime time to visit Florida and now we have to rebook by October or we forfeit our Delta credits. Hurricane season runs from June to November. I still worry, will this be over by even September?” she said.
“It is all far beyond our control and I know that this is affecting so many lives not just ours. For now, we must be fortunate for what we do have, our health and each other and not what we don’t,” she added.
Strobele wrote that she and her fiancé, Aaron Lutz, were in the midst of planning their local Disney-themed July 17 wedding.
March 21 was supposed to be her first dress fitting, but it was postponed. She and her bridal party canceled a shower-planning gathering for March 22 and are talking alternatives. She’s been in contact with the venues and vendors.
Everything is on a day-to-day basis.
“We’re deciding on what we should do for my bridal shower. My sisters have been getting creative and had some ideas about doing a Facebook Live event with everyone or maybe just moving it completely along with the wedding to a different date,” she wrote.
“I know there are plenty of couples out there right now, especially in Buffalo, who are supposed to have weddings this year. ... I just hope we can all stay healthy and come out of this OK,” she wrote.
Natasha Wierzbicki said that she and her fiancé, Nicholas Lord, had made all the plans for their summer wedding. Now, they are looking into postponing it until next spring.
“Between picking a new date with the venue, coordinating with all our vendors we’ve fallen in love with and signed contracts for, it’s near impossible to get on the same page for a day this summer. Not to mention our family that was going to be flying in from Poland, one member being the flower girl.
“Between trying to get the venue, the church, the limo, the florist, the band, the photographer, the hair and makeup girls, the flights for family, the honeymoon rebooked on the same summer or early fall day – we decided it would just be easier to look at a date next spring,” she wrote.