My wedding planning journey: Boris’ big announcement
02 Mar 2021
Like many 2021 brides-to-be, Ashleigh Tuttle was waiting with baited breath for the prime minister’s roadmap out of lockdown last week, which hopes to see weddings return to normal by the end of June 2021
Well, what a week it’s been! After months of eagerly waiting for some kind of confirmation that our wedding day may actually go ahead, the news came on a sleepy Monday afternoon. Well, what should have been sleepy. John and I had originally taken the day off to recover from his birthday shenanigans, now it was so we could tensely await the results of talks that seemed to last for weeks.
When Boris began to speak, I had a variety of news websites, as well as the #WhatAboutWeddings campaign’s Instagram open on my laptop screen. As soon as anything was posted, I straight away clicked ctrl+F, searched for weddings, and read the long-anticipated guidance.
Our wedding is due to take place on July 24. We’ve been planning for two and a half years, although planning for me probably started almost as soon as John and I became an item. I knew when I met him I wanted to marry him, and our fairytale nuptials have never been far from my mind.
Celebrating John’s birthday on Zoom with a 20s murder mystery
We both have massive families, and lots of friends from Nottingham, London and Norfolk, as well as one friend coming from Jersey. Our guest list has always been huge, and the thought of having to reduce to 30, or even 15, was inconceivable. We currently top the list with 155 day guests, and another 100 guests on top of this for the evening. Realistically, restrictions of any kind were a no-go for our dream day.
I have remained relatively optimistic throughout the pandemic that we would get the day I wanted. This started to wane in recent days, as other brides sadly started trying to bring us down, saying that days above 15 guests were not going to happen for at least two, or even three years.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still hugely cautious after this latest announcement. If we believe what Boris says to be true, our day will go ahead as we had always planned. From June 21, we will be able to have the massive celebration that is so important to us to go along with our day.
Other couples have not been so lucky, with the maximum allowed from May 17 being 30 guests, with even heavier restrictions in place before that. I can’t imagine what they’re going through, and feel most for those who just miss out, for example I’ve seen a lot of brides unsure what to do as their date falls on June 19, just before restrictions are due to end.
I say ‘due to end’ as this is still all subjective, which still tinges the excitement with a little wariness. When I read the news I burst into tears, mostly from exhaustion of worrying, with relief, but also with knowing this continuous worry will extend until at least June 21 when rules are due to change, but are still open to move out dependent on data. I couldn’t deal with another Christmas scenario, where Boris took away the opportunity to see my family and celebrate the holidays just days before it was due to happen. I still haven’t forgiven him for that, and that’s what makes me so untrusting now.
John and Ashleigh dancing at the last wedding they attended - hopefully he way they'll be able to dance at their own
I want to believe it will happen. I want to believe we will be alright and we will have an amazing day, just like we planned. But unfortunately, that worry, that never-ending anxiety still underpins all the planning, because still nothing is certain. I feel I have no right to moan because other couples have already been given the finality that their days will not go ahead as planned, but as I said to John in some ways I wish the Prime Minister had said we had to postpone, just so I’d have the certainty rather than the ‘will it? Won’t it?’ that currently plagues every waking minute.
This all sounds very negative, and I am over the moon that we are being given the opportunity to celebrate like we were supposed to. My hen do to Marbella has now been postponed to next year, but I always said I would trade the Hen for the wedding of my dreams.
For now, I will keep planning like the day is going ahead exactly to our original plans, and will keenly await the RSVPs of our many guests, get my dress fitted and have hair and make-up trials. I will make the most of the planning journey that has been taken away from me.
We’ve just been burnt before, and we don’t want it to happen again, so please Boris, don’t let us down.