For one obvious reason, some couples getting married this summer or so are one by one putting their wedding day on hold. As the coronavirus pandemic tallies more cases (almost 2.5 million worldwide as of press time), the reality that weddings and other social gatherings unlikely being permitted to take place for the foreseeable future is more felt than ever.
COVID-19 is not only mangling the wedding industry. (The 2020 WeddingWire Newlywed Report reported couples hiring an average of 15 wedding professionals—from the venue to the cake baker—for their wedding day. To think, these wedding workers work by the gig.) It has also sent the emotions of brides and grooms to be hurling.
And why wouldn't it be the case? Couples spend tons of money and move mountains just to put their special day together. And so with the crisis postponing all these efforts, they can easily turn more than emotional just to process it.
In an interview with ABS-CBN Lifestyle, some brides-to-be who have unfortunately decided to move their weddings aired out their frustration.
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Asher Dimaculangan, 29, for one, said she broke down into tears having to postpone her big day. She's been engaged to Royce Sambilay, 32, since May last year. "Nung nag-announce (ng lockdown), umiyak ako. Parang lutang, lost, hindi ko alam anong gagawin ko," she recounted.
Asher and Royce were supposed to tie the knot last March 26 in Quezon City, two weeks after the announcement of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) that then barred any group get-togethers.
The same thing happened to Pamela Carunungan, 29, who was supposed to get married to her fiancé Miguel Montelibano last March 27 in Makati City. "When it (coronavirus) began getting worse in March, I could barely concentrate on anything because I kept thinking about our event, everyone’s safety and what we should do," Pamela narrated. "It was a very emotional time because Miguel and I have waited almost 11 years and we were so looking forward to celebrating with all our loved ones already. But the last thing we wanted was to put any of the people we love at risk."
For Kate Velasquez, 28, everything was ready for her July 7 wedding with Fred Gomes, 29—travel plans to a rustic ceremony in Italy already made and the logistics for their 70 guests smoothly fixed. She was just supposed to be on counting-the-days mode with Fred.
But, alas, Kate recalled making that unwanted but inevitable decision with her groom. "It was disappointing for us as we were looking forward having everyone we love in one country and place. It was clear for us that we had to postpone the wedding," she said.
Kate added that it all boiled down to the fact that "We absolutely did not want to put our family or friends at any risk or even to worry about little things like sending RSVPs while a pandemic shakes the world. It was, unquestionably, the most sensible and safe decision to take."
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For these brides, it seems like the world has changed almost overnight. One minute, they're just planning their wedding hashtags and making sure they got enough beauty sleep, and in the next, they're on induced anxiety as they "plan" the next step still with zero certainty.
Asher, for example, rescheduled her wedding to May 4 of this year, but with the extended ECQ, she and Royce would have to move to a later date this year. Now, the couple's Plan C is to go for a simpler wedding with their family and the entourage, and to just hold the reception at a restaurant.
"Ngayon nandun na ko sa mindset na I just wanna walk down the aisle, it doesn’t matter what kind of reception," Asher said.
Kate, meanwhile, has moved her big day to next year, with the same suppliers whom she said were kind and understanding enough to defer the payments. "Most of them are self-employed, yet they understood that there are bigger things to worry about at a time like this," she said. "If anything, this proved to us that people are still choosing to be generous, understanding, and loving, even in a middle of a crisis."
For Pamela, there's just so much uncertainty at this point for her and Miguel to make a concrete decision. But once the ECQ in Metro Manila gets lifted, she said, they would just hold their church wedding just with their immediate family, and move the big wedding with their 450 guests—on January 2021. Pamela said of her and her groom's relatives and friends, "We were so relieved that they were all so optimistic and understanding."
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While still broken from their postponed weddings, these brides did realize valuable things along the way—many of which, have changed their perspective for the better.
For Kate, now finally with her fiancé after an eight year-spanning, long distance relationship, celebrating every small win is a victory. "There is nothing like a global pandemic to put things in clear perspective. As soon as it hit, it came with it a sobering sense of clarity—postponing a wedding is definitely not at all that big in the grand scheme of things and that we are, in countless ways, very lucky," Kate said.
"We are five weeks into confinement now and we are making a habit out of celebrating every positive thing that happens—from finding the last bag of flour in our neighborhood supermarket to the once impossible reality of finally living in the same place after eight years of being apart," she added.
Asher learned that indeed no grand celebration can make a union just as enjoyable and gratifying when lived simply. "For the third time na na-cancel (yung wedding), doon ko naisip, ang daming unnecessary, ang daming 'you can live without.' You can have the wedding without it," she shared. "You’ll never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow, next month… for the things that you can do as soon as you can, do it."
Pamela seconded. "This situation has made me realize that when it comes down to wedding celebrations, big or small, at the end of the day our goal is just to simply get married and begin our lives together... I have learned that even if we are not yet officially husband and wife, in times of difficulty, we become so vulnerable and we have to support each other."
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Banner image from Unsplash. Photos from the brides.