The end of the summer bleeding into Autumn is usually prime wedding season, normally my feeds are inundated with nuptial festivities. And while I expected my Instagram to be wedding-free this fall, I can’t say I’m shocked weddings are still happening across the country.
There are so many reasons why having a wedding right during COVID is a dumb idea. I’ve already seen too many articles about small weddings turning into super-spreader events, even indirectly causing deaths. But even if you were to take out the dangerous health implications of a pandemic wedding, it is just an overall selfish move.
Weddings should be something to look forward to
Although we say the wedding is all about the groom and bride, the lucky couple does ultimately care about the guest’s evening. The goal is to celebrate your relationship while providing a memorable day for friends and families.
If we didn’t care, there would be no emphasis on the guest’s experience (party favors, yummy dinner, open bar, good music). If everyone had the mindset of “to hell with our guests, this is our night” the DJ setlist would be more like the bride’s most liked songs on Spotify.
The beauty of weddings is this shared fun evening, throwing a wedding during COVID destroys that magical dynamic. Now you’ve created an anxious environment with a double-edged sword. Either your guest list attends and worries about contracting a deadly illness or they stay home and miss what otherwise would be a special evening.
Congrats on giving your friends and family the choice between two bad options. Weddings are supposed to be a fun break from daily life, pandemic weddings are more like Russian roulette.
Money is tight and weddings are expensive
During normal times, weddings are financially straining. If you’re in the bridal party you can expect to throw a paycheck or two on a wedding. But even if you're a regular guest, there's the cost of an outfit, travel, overnight accommodation, a gift, and more. Weddings can be a pretty penny to attend.
Now add COVID-19 and nationwide job insecurity to the equation. Most guest lists will include financially struggling friends or families. It’s beyond inconsiderate to expect people to invest in your wedding right now when people are struggling to pay rent.
Overall, one-in-four adults have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak started, a third have dipped into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet, and about one-in-six have borrowed money from friends or family or gotten food from a food bank.
You’re going to tell me, your entire guest list is the other three-in-four adults? Doubtful.
And it’s inconsiderate beyond your guest list
Let’s give the whole situation the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you’re a millionaire and can ensure a safe wedding. You can supply adequate testing and make the wedding free of any additional cost for your guests. And god forbid someone got sick afterward, you have the money to cover any medical or emotional costs.
Even if you can throw a wedding and ensure all of those things, it's still selfish to throw a wedding.
People are dealing with funerals, losing their jobs, and just overall anxiety/depression from quarantine. Seeing or hearing about some grand wedding is just a slap to the face. Millions of Americans are sacrificing their normal lives to stay home and stay safe. So many Americans have lost loved ones due to this virus. Kids are being denied a proper education. But you are going to post about your beautiful evening?
This is a unique moment in history, everyone is challenged with the same issue. The virus is already bringing wealth and race disparities to light, a wedding just further highlights the gap. Families are unable to see their loved ones in the hospital to prevent further exposure…have some compassion, and read the room.
Look, I can totally sympathize with the desire to get married right now. The pandemic is going on its 10th month and inside all of the turmoil, a lot of couples have realized they want to take the next step. I think getting engaged or getting married is perfectly rational and even welcomed right now. But there’s no need to throw a wedding.
If being legally (or religiously) married is really critical to your situation, then skip a long engagement and tie the knot. But also skip the party and typical wedding celebrations, it's not important. Not right now at least. Go to the courthouse with people in your immediate bubble and daydream about the beautiful post-pandemic wedding you’re going to have.
It’s not worth it. Don’t be that person.