Q & A With Real Couples Who Postponed Their 2020 Weddings.

Updated: Jul 7

When facing uncertain times and tough decisions, there's nothing that calms your mind more than knowing you're not alone. The truth is, when we share our fears with others, we find support, and that's exactly what I'm hoping you'll find here. Read on to hear the experiences of 3 of my J. Marie couples who have made the tough decision to postpone their 2020 wedding due to the Coronavirus.


Nicole MacLean & Phil Lamothe


What city do you live in? (Ottawa, but Nicole’s a proud Dartmouthian!)

When was your original wedding date? June 27, 2020

What is your new wedding date? June 26, 2021


How were you feeling before you made the decision to postpone?

In retrospect, the weight on our shoulders of having to decide to postpone took a greater toll on me (Nicole) than I would have let on. It’s a huge decision to make, and after all of the time and effort going into the wedding planning for almost a year leading up to our postponement, it’s nothing short of devastating. But it got to the point where reading the news just made me so anxious, that I knew once we made the decision, a certain weight would be taken off of our shoulders.


Why did you decide to postpone your wedding?

We postponed for several reasons – firstly, because I honestly felt it would be selfish to go on planning the wedding as if everything was normal and the world wasn’t going through a once-a-century global pandemic. Secondly, our wedding is on the larger side (160 guests), so even with the gradual lifting of social distancing measures, it will probably be long after June 27th, 2020 before gatherings of 100+ people can take place. In addition, Keltic Lodge is in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, under federal jurisdiction, so I imagine it’ll be a long time before Parks Canada makes a country-wide decision on the opening of their facilities. Thirdly, we want to ensure that all of our guests feel safe travelling and feel comfortable coming to the wedding. While most of my friends and family are in Nova Scotia, Phil’s from Ottawa and we have a lot of people travelling (from Quebec, Ontario, BC and even Norway), so that was also an important consideration in postponing. Who knows what 2021 will bring, but lord knows we’ll all be ready for a party, and we want to ensure that all of our guests are safe, healthy and can enjoy the wedding to the fullest extent possible!


What stage of the planning process were you in when you made the decision?

We decided to postpone the wedding about two months before our original date. Given this, all of our vendors were booked and we had had most consultations on specifics. Given that it’s a ‘destination’ wedding, in that none of our guests are in the Ingonish area so everyone has some travelling to do, we had sent Save the Dates back in the Fall. The postponement timing was a bit awkward, given that we had mailed out invitations in February with an RSVP date of May 1st. Thankfully the company we’ve been using for our stationery and wedding website were able to act fast and ship our Change the Dates in record time, so that our guests should all have received this information around the start of May. We also added an update to our wedding website with the new date, and took down the RSVP section in the meantime. We were in good shape in terms of timelines for a June 2020 wedding, but given all of the closures due to COVID, there was still a lot we were not able to do (groomsmen suits, wedding bands, bridesmaid dress alterations, travel plans etc.) so after lots of discussion, we came to the conclusion that postponing was our best option.


What was the best piece of advice that you received that helped you make the decision to postpone?

It was through several phone calls with my Mom, who always has the best advice! It came down to what I mentioned earlier, that once we accepted and made the decision to postpone, we could move on with our lives without being fully consumed by all of the COVID news and the weight of making the decision. She reminded me of how lucky we are to have each other, and that we’ll have twice as much fun in 2021!


How do you feel now that you’ve officially postponed your wedding to 2021?

The stress of being so consumed in the daily COVID news briefings and announcements became exhausting. Once we came to the difficult decision to postpone, it took a few days to sort of grieve our old date. And it sucks crossing off “bridal shower”, “Keltic site visit” and “bachelorette weekend” out of my planner. I feel like for a lot of people that may sound silly, that it’s “just a date” and given the gravity of the COVID-19 situation around the world it’s “not that big of a deal”, but it is important to acknowledge your feelings and understand that they are valid.


So for now, given that we have an entire extra year, I am planning on taking some time away from wedding planning, and jumping back in in a few months. My Pinterest wedding obsession will still continue nonetheless :)


What advice would you give other couples who are currently making the decision to postpone?

It’s highly personal for any given couple, and I know how the denial piece feels. The last thing you want to do is postpone. But it’s bigger than your date, it comes down to the health and safety of all of your loved ones. Everyone was so supportive and comforting about our decision to postpone, which really helped solidify that we made the right call.


It's important to acknowledge the disappointment that comes with postponing your wedding and to be kind with yourself. We're in the middle of a global pandemic, which is overwhelming as it is. Of course we feel disappointed at the thought of re-scheduling and re-planning such an important life event. Please remember that just because you’re sad and disappointed about postponing your wedding doesn't mean you don't care about others experiencing their own difficulties due to COVID – there is room for both and we’re all in this together!


What are you most looking forward to for your 2021 wedding?

Given that we now have an entire extra year to plan, I’m hoping to add a few extras that may not have been a possibility this year. Gold cutlery? Neon signs? Floral backdrop wall? Who knows!


In addition, a big part of a wedding is the fun activities leading up to it – bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette weekends, and the rehearsal party! In 2020, those in-person festivities aren’t an option. So being able to fully enjoy those, despite being a year later than originally planned, is a silver lining to COVID wedding postponement.


For fun! Who do you love more than anyone else in the world?

Phil, of course! Tied with my amazing Mom, Dad and sister! xo


Jenna Cholock & Tyler Boutilier


What city do you live in? We live in Halifax, both originally from Cape Breton. 

Original wedding date: August 29th, 2020

New wedding date: June 25th, 2021 

How were you feeling before you made the decision to postpone?

Before we decided postpone we were feeling uneasy, worried and stressed out about making the decision. We weren’t  sure what was going to happen with the borders and with my dad (Jenna's dad) living in the US, we were worried about him being able to travel.  

Why did you decide to postpone your wedding?

We decided to postpone the wedding due to not wanting to have that ‘uncertainty’ feeling of what was going to take place in the coming weeks/months. We originally said we were going to wait until June 15th to make the final decision whether or not we were going to postpone, however we quickly realized that the 2021 wedding season was filling up quicker than we thought and we didn’t want to plan for 2022 as we got engaged in 2018.   We also didn’t want our guests to feel stressed about whether or not they would be able to travel due to the pandemic. 

What stage of the planning process were you in when you made the decision?

We had the majority of our wedding plans done for our original date. We had just gone and shopped for the bridesmaids dresses the first week of March. The only thing big things we had to do was design the seating plan for the supper once we received our RSVPs.  

What was the best piece of advice that you received that helped you make the decision to postpone?

The best advise we received was honestly from everyone we talked to.  Our family and friends were all extremely supportive and wanted us to make the decision for us, nobody else. 


What advice would you give other couples who are currently making the decision to postpone? The best piece of advise we would recommend to other couples would be to weigh all your pros and cons. Talk about what you want in your wedding. Is it important for you to be surrounded by friends and family or more of an intimate affair? Talking with our planner, Jenna also helped us greatly. 

How do you feel now that you’ve officially postponed your wedding to 2021?

Now that we have officially changed our date we feel relieved. Knowing that we have a firm date for 2021 and knowing that we will be surrounded by everyone we love is the best feeling, the feeling we felt before the pandemic. As weird as it may sound, I am actually excited to send out new save the date cards to everyone so they can also get excited about our new date!  

What are you most looking forward to for your 2021 wedding?

We are most looking forward to spending time with everyone from near and far before/during/after our wedding festivities, especially the people we won’t get to see this year due to the pandemic. But mostly, we are looking forward to starting this new chapter together, and celebrating it with everyone we love the most, of course with the help of J. Marie Weddings!


August 29th will always be a special date to us, even though it is no longer our wedding date. June 25th, 2021 will be the best, ever. 

For fun! Who do you love more than anyone else in the world?

We love each other, our loving family and encouraging friends.

Sheila Aucoin & Carl Wickstrom


What city do you live in? New Glasgow

When was your original wedding date? August 2, 2020

What is your new wedding date? July 2, 2021

How were you feeling before you made the decision to postpone?

In the days/weeks leading up to our decision, everything felt very uncertain. Information was changing daily and we were at the mercy of a situation very much beyond our control.


Why did you decide to postpone your wedding?

Ultimately, we made this decision for the safety and comfort of our guests. We have a large number of out-of-province and international guests: all of whom are so important to us. We didn’t want anyone coming to the wedding fearfully, worried about travel and staying in a hotel. We also didn’t want anyone to feel pressured to make that choice in such stressful and uncertain times.


What stage of the planning process were you in when you made the decision?

We were close to the finish line, with Jenna on board to guide us through the final stage.


What was the best piece of advice that you received that helped you make the decision to postpone?

During our check-in call, Jenna posed two questions to get us thinking about our decision in a more focused and productive way:

The first: “If nothing changed and you could only have five people attend your wedding, would you be OK with that?”. Looking through this lens rather than guessing what the summer would bring helped us clarify what we were and were not comfortable with.

Secondly, she urged us to explore re-booking policies with vendors. This ended up being a reassuring process. Our vendors were professional and understanding of these unique circumstances. We were able to identify a 2021 date that minimized financial loss and kept us connected to the vendors we wanted on board.


How do you feel now that you’ve officially postponed your wedding to 2021?

Relieved! We gained peace of mind by finalizing our decision and being proactive rather than reactive.


What advice would you give other couples who are currently making the decision to postpone?

I would encourage them to ask the same questions Jenna asked us: Are you ok with a socially distanced wedding? Will that satisfy your expectations for your day and, if not, are you ok with adopting a new vision? If the answer to those questions is yes, then a small, socially distanced 2020 wedding may be just right! If not, start exploring rebooking options with your vendors.

Be open to the silver linings a postponement may reveal to you. We’ve encountered several!


What are you most looking forward to for your 2021 wedding?

All the same things we were looking forward to this summer! We hope it may be even more celebratory. People will want to come together when we are finally allowed and we can’t wait to have all our people together that day.


For fun! Who do you love more than anyone else in the world?

Our cat Toby! Wait….we mean….

:D

follow along with us on Instagram at @jmarieweddings

Jenna Sampson 

jenna@jmarieweddings.ca

Based in Sydney, Cape Breton​

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • LGBT_Rainbow_Flag