You're already so stressed about your big day, and then you find out that someone special can't come...
My wedding is six weeks away and I've just found out that my Grandma doesn't want to travel. My Grandma has always been there for me, and I feel like without her there, my wedding day will be a disaster.
Beth - Stressed Bride
This is a story about one of our beautiful brides, let's call her Beth. She rang me in an absolute panic this week. Beth's wedding is six weeks away and she has just found out that her Grandma wouldn't be there. Beth's Grandma is scared about flying due to the risks associated with covid19. Travel can be very taxing on an elderly person at the best of times, but in our current climate this is very understandable.
The problem for our beautiful bride Beth is that her Grandma is one of her favourite people and has always been there for her, through the good and the bad. When she called me, Beth was feeling a whole heap of emotions -- selfish because she desperately wanted her Grandma with her no matter what; stressed because wedding planning is stressful enough without any added disasters; terrified that her wedding would be a disaster because this felt disastrous; confused because she wasn't sure if what she was feeling was ok; and like she shouldn't be getting married at all!
So what is the answer?
Clearly saying "don't panic" isn't going to help, we were definitely well past that! But I thought, let's look at what we can do.
When Beth had cried herself out we took a moment to look at things as objectively as possible. The wedding is all booked, planned and payed for and looks like it's going to be a beautiful day. There is no logical reason why not having Grandma there will make it a disaster.
But of course, emotions aren't logical!
It's too late to consider taking the wedding to Grandma with a destination wedding. So the only thing to do is to somehow get Grandma to the wedding without her being physically at the wedding!
For Beth this is going to mean hiring some video cameras and setting them up everywhere --where she will be getting ready, in the church, and at the reception. That way she can put together a beautiful wedding video that Grandma will be able to watch over and over. We thought that a nice way to enjoy the wedding video with Grandma is to organise a post honeymoon viewing party. What a great way to relive the big day!
This could also be done by hiring a videographer (or two depending on budget!).
2. Get technical
How tech savvy is Grandma? We decided to get a computer to Grandma's house and teach her how to work Facebook. This way, beautiful Beth can do her wedding as a Facebook live and Grandma can watch the ceremony in real time. Grandma being able to watch the wedding in real time will be something special for the whole family.
3. Wardrobe and ACCESSORIES
We brainstormed Beth flying or driving to Grandma for a pre-wedding weekend and a girls shopping trip. Being a part of picking her grandmother's outfit for the wedding is something special that Beth doesn't have to miss out on, just because they will be in different cities on the big day itself.
This is a tricky one however, given time presses and budgets. While Beth would love to be with her Grandma in person for this, it may be impossible. But that will be where good ol Facetime (or some other video chat, no iphone snobs here!) comes in handy again! Asking one of her Grandma's close friends to take Grandma dress shopping and making sure they can Facetime the process will mean that Beth still gets to be part of the dress shopping and that Grandma will have a dress bought just for her granddaughters wedding. Beautiful huh?
While we're sorting wardrobe, we also talked about the all important accessories. Namely, a corsage for Grandma. It's a nice tradition to give each family member a corsage or buttonhole. It's also expensive and is often overlooked these days.
But Grandma getting a beautiful corsage delivered to wear with the lovely dress that Beth and she picked out together as she watches her granddaughter get married... Stop it! I'm not crying! You are!
4. Eating together
So the food isn't why we go to weddings (generally), but it definitely adds to a beautiful day. We thought that Beth could organise a special meal to be delivered to her Grandma so that they will all be eating the same thing at the same time (while Grandma watches the livestream!). What a way to bring the family together? Eating! I mean, obviously a wedding is a pretty great way to bring people together but, food is good too.
As we were finishing off the call, I asked Betty if there was anything else I could help her with and she said no and then added:
"I thought my wedding was going to be a disaster but now I know that, with your help I am going to have the most amazing day. and if anyone else can't come because of fear of travelling, I'm going to let them know we are doing a FaceBook Live and they can be there with me on my special day".
It was such an honor to be able to help Beth through this very big wedding planning hiccup. At the end of the phone call she was smiling and seeing that just because someone special couldn't come, it didn't mean it would be a disaster. I find wedding planning to be such a rewarding job, and I absolutely love it! When you look at problems on your own, they can seem insurmountable. But I believe that there is always a way to work through it, sometimes you just have to ask for help!
Sending lots of xoxoxo to all of my amazing couples, I love you all!