Venue picking. Wedding cake picking. Dress picking, and every little detail in between. Planning a wedding is almost always a long and arduous process, not to mention the financial strain that goes along with it.
For many people, their wedding day is considered to be one of the most important days of their lives. This is precisely why so much time and effort is spent on planning both the ceremony and the after party.
But here’s a scenario to all those who have already gone through the process successfully; imagine after all the time, effort, stress and tears (and perhaps money) spent on planning your special day, a force majeure situation occurs and you face having to not only postpone your wedding, but postpone it to an unknown date.
This is precisely what so many people who had magical summer wedding plans have had to face this year as a result of the pandemic. All across Egypt, couples have had to postpone their weddings for fear of coronavirus spread, or even revert to having a smaller intimate ceremony without a party to be shared with all their loves ones.
“I have had to find one (new) date that would be suitable for all the people I had already booked with – including the DJ, hairdresser, makeup artist, photographer, videographer, and event planner,” explains 27-year-old Basma Hatem, whose wedding was originally scheduled to take place June 27.
“I spent days calling every one of them and it proved impossible to find one day that they all agreed on,” she continues, “so I ended up changing some of the people I already picked and then had to go take my deposit from them, and so on and so forth – It was such a hassle.”
Hatem is but one of many bride-to-be’s who have had to re-shuffle all their wedding plans. Although she has decided to postpone her wedding to October, there are others who have not even decided on a new date yet.
“Because we aren’t sure to when we are postponing the wedding… the wait, the unknown and the uncertainty are very hard things to deal with,” says 27-year-old Ochine Awadalla, whose wedding was schedule to take place July 18. Unsure of what the future holds, Awadalla and her partner have not yet decided on a new set date for their wedding, opting to wait things out further.
“We don’t have a huge problem with the postponement, we have a bigger problem with not knowing to when we are postponing,” she continues. In addition to the stressful air of uncertainty, there are many couples who are also facing financial strain after having paid various deposits for various aspects of the wedding.
While there are entities who are understanding towards the situation at hand and try to be as accommodating as possible, there are of course those that are harder to deal with because at the end of the day, these entities depend on these deposits or payments as a source of income. Ultimately, all of these postponements create an intricate web of complications that affect a wide number of people.
“We postponed our wedding twice… it was originally planned for April 6, then we postponed it to June 4,” says 29-year-old Noha Abdelaziz, “things just seemed to keep getting worse though, and both me and my fiancé were worried about carrying out the wedding, even if it would have been a small gathering at home, for fear over our parents – especially my mother who is diabetic.”
Despite all these various challenges however, that have undoubtedly taken huge psychological tolls on these couples, what seems to be common amongst all of them is that it has led to a new surge of hope.
There are many things that test one’s relationship throughout the wedding-planning process, but having to deal with everything alongside a pandemic that has caused an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear of the unknown, brings the relationship to a whole other level and puts certain things into perspective.
“The whole world can literally change in a second, all your decisions and plans would mean nothing, so we need to have a healthy mindset to adapt to all this,” reflects 26-year-old Sara el Amir whose wedding was scheduled to take place June 13, “and of course, it all happens for a reason.”
“Regarding the relationship, I think it somehow got us stronger,” says Awadalla, “we are both living the same situation and only the two of us understand how the other one feels exactly.”
As has been the case with most people during this turbulent time, we have collectively been forced to stop and reflect on ourselves, as well as learn to adopt new attributes and perspectives, such as patience and the beauty of slowing down.
For couples, during a time when they might possibly experience each other at their worst (stress, anger, frustration), perhaps the pandemic has provided them with a stronger foundation for building their lives together.
“Both me and my fiancé tend to get a bit angry or frustrated, but this time and everything we have had to go through has caused us both to be a lot more patient and accepting of things,” says Abdelaziz.
What seems to tie all these couples’ experiences together, is a brighter and stronger hope for the future, and leaving everything to the hands of the universe. This time seems to have reminded people who are getting married the true meaning behind planning weddings and marriage, which oftentimes gets lost amidst the chaos of color palettes and number of wedding guests quarrels.
Every single bride seems to agree on the fact that they and their partners are even more excited on starting their lives together, wedding ceremonies and parties aside, that is what truly matters most.