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My wedding planning journey: How COVID-19 is affecting my wedding planning

01 Apr 2020

As the world continues to fight against the threat of Coronavirus, bride-to-be Ashleigh Tuttle shares how it has affected her wedding planning

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It’s the dreaded virus that everyone is sick of hearing about, yet every day we must be thankful that we are not one of those infected by COVID-19. The flu-like bug that is taking so many people’s lives, and affecting thousands globally, has caused chaos across the globe. 

There’s been a significant impact on businesses too, and the wedding industry is not exempt from that. I feel most for those who were getting married this year and have had the day they’ve planned for months or even years postponed or cancelled. I can’t begin to imagine the pain this has caused them and their families, and I really hope they are able to reschedule and have the chance to make their wedding days even bigger and more special than before.

Although my wedding is next year, I have also felt the shockwaves this pandemic has caused.

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Some of my suppliers have been rocked to the core, with many of them posting on their social media pages giving constant updates to worried brides-to-be, doing their best to settle their fears, and I think in some cases their own. My suppliers have been brilliant, always there to answer questions and listen to all my worries.

In particular, my wedding planner Lucy at Oxnead Hall has been fantastic, going through all our wedding plans we have so far and pointing me in the direction of things I should be doing next. She’s getting married herself this year and I imagine she is having similar worries to the rest of us, but she has been nothing but a positive shining star through this.

My make-up artist Stephanie Alexandra has also been brilliant, sending me different Instagram questionnaires to keep me busy, and publishing stories daily of different tutorials or just funny little anecdotes to keep her brides cheerful.

Victoria from The Bottom Drawer Bridal has done her best to answer my thousands of questions every day, and I know that she must be getting so many queries from different brides about their dresses, which I’ll go into more later. She’s given me other things to focus on with the wedding planning and helped me in any way she can.

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We are just starting to look at our invitations with Tops Designs. We would have loved to have visited their studio, but unfortunately due to this our contact is via Facebook Messenger. They are still epic at their job and have been awesome at sending across design mock-ups etc. but I feel like we’re missing out on part of the wedding journey because of the restrictions that are in place.

Similarly, when we had our meeting with our wedding planner, this had to be over the phone, which was absolutely fine but I would have loved to have gone to Oxnead again. It’s like a day out for us, but I keep telling myself there will be plenty of opportunities when this is all over.

I also had planned a day for me and my eight bridesmaids to pick their dresses in August, with bottomless brunch included, but I’m unsure whether that’s just a pipe dream now.

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And the most important part of the wedding for me (after marrying my fiancé of course), my wedding dress has been delayed indefinitely. Many wedding dresses are actually made in factories in China, a fact I didn’t know before getting into this process, and mine is included in this stat. I have a bespoke dress, which I bought in August last year, and as of yet I still don’t have an ETA, which I’m really struggling to deal with.

Unfortunately, although the shop owner Victoria has been brilliant, neither she nor the designer can really give me any more information until China’s factories have returned to normality. What should be a really exciting experience is hoping day-to-day that I may hear something about my dress.

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I’m part of a few different bridal groups across Facebook and I know many brides are feeling the same, or even worse than me. Do we book suppliers? Do we look into wedding insurance, which is a problem in itself? So many insurers are adding extra clauses in their policies so they don’t cover Coronavirus, or they're just not taking on anymore clients full stop. And finally the biggest question, will we do all this for our wedding not to go ahead at all?

Brides are also worried about theirs or their partner's jobs, so they may not be able to have the dream day they had always wished for. Some are thinking of packing it in altogether as the risk is just too great.

With all of this in mind, I thank my lucky stars that I do have another year until my wedding as others are not quite as fortunate. It’s at times like this I remind myself to take a deep breath. We will all come out of this on the other side. We will have beautiful, incredible weddings, and this horrible virus will be a distant memory.

I am looking forward to having the best day of my life with my friends and family around me as I marry my amazing husband-to-be, and that is the most important aspect of this forever memorable day.

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