Weddings In The Time Of Coronavirus
A message from a reader on dealing with COVID-19 and a wedding
New Orleans is no stranger to dealing with disaster. Typically, our disasters are natural and involve an influx of national journalists such as The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore hunkering down and waiting for whatever named hurricane headed for the Big Easy makes landfall.
It’s safe to say that no one saw what the current coronavirus pandemic, which is plaguing a good amount of the world, would mean for the country and the city of New Orleans. Not only does the city have one of the highest number of case per capita in the country, but we are also seeing a huge impact on our local economy with closures of restaurants, cancellation of events and more as tourism is a huge market for the city and state.
New Orleans has become a popular wedding destination, but we’re seeing more and more couples having to postpone their Crescent City ceremonies due to restaurant and catering company mandates and shutdowns, as well as ceremony and reception location closures and the calls for social distancing in these uncertain times.
We recently received an email from a “Let Them Eat Cake” reader telling us her story and how the coronavirus has impacted her wedding day.
Hello Melanie! I read your piece on the My New Orleans website. My fiancé and I were supposed to be married at the Napoleon House in the French Quarter on April 18, 2020. It was a destination wedding. My fiancé was born in New Orleans, and his parents are in nearby Mississippi, but we live in Providence, Rhode Island. We had friends and family coming from all over the country. We had been trying so hard to wait and see, but the news was getting worse and worse, and my anxiety was through the roof to the point that it was difficult to work (I’m a special education teacher – my school just shut down for two weeks) or sleep. I was stress eating like I was preparing for a marathon!
On Thursday afternoon, in the hour between leaving work and arriving home, I went from “maybe it will be OK” to “this isn’t going to happen.” My heart was broken. But we were hearing from more and more guests, including two from the wedding party, who were canceling. It was such a painful choice, but we believe it was the right one. And at least I no longer have the anxiety of should I or shouldn’t I. We never could forgive ourselves if someone were to get sick, or god forbid be hospitalized or worse because of our wedding. There is still part of me that wonders – what if April 18 comes, and everything is back to normal? In fact, I’m holding our airplane tickets and hotel reservation, just in case. Maybe we could just make a holiday of it. But my parents are retired biotech scientists, both PhDs, and they believe that this is going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately. And I trust their judgment. They found the Napoleon House for us!
I also wanted to give a shout out to all of my vendors, who have been so compassionate and kind, as well as helpful and patient. I have cried on the phone with almost every one of them – Napoleon House, the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, Girls in Black Events, Fat Cat Flowers, Julia Bailey Photography, Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio, Bittersweet Confections, and Robert Hudson Makeup. I pray that their businesses can weather this storm. And I would recommend them without hesitation, and with the highest of compliments to anyone looking for vendors out there.
We are now planning to be married in New Orleans on April 16, 2021 with all of my wonderful vendors intact. It will be a long wait, but well worth it in the end. And we may have to sneak in another visit between now and then, because we yearn to enjoy the special magic of New Orleans again. Wish us luck!
Thank you for sharing your experience, Stacey. Have you had to reschedule your wedding? Let us know how the current pandemic has affected your wedding in the comments below.