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Wediquette Wednesday: Can we cancel our wedding and elope?


Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My fiancé and I are scheduled to get married in front of over 200 people next month, with a reception to follow. With the pandemic restrictions in effect and the safety of our loved-ones as our priority, we are thinking about canceling the entire thing and eloping. It just doesn’t seem to be worth sacrificing our peace of mind and the health of the people we most love in the world. Can we cancel our wedding and elope?

Answer: The short answer is yes. You can of course do anything you want to do. Wedding ceremonies and receptions are traditions that serve to bring your loved ones together in support of your marriage. At the end of the day however, the goal is not to put on a show. Rather, it’s to make a commitment to one another and have it signed off on religiously (if that’s important to you as a couple) and legally. Once you’ve confirmed your decision, break the news to your most immediate family in person (albeit six feet apart) or via phone call or video conference if in person is not an option. Then begin the process of informing the rest of your loved ones via every form of communication available to you, so that you are certain everyone gets the message. Socially distant visits, phone, email, video calls, wedding website and text (last), should all be employed first, then once you are certain everyone has been filled in, feel free to put it on social media if that’s important to you. The name of the game here is communication, but of course you’ll want to craft your message with kindness, since some people will be disappointed to miss celebrating with you. Be honest that you are making this decision to keep from putting the people you love at risk. If there will be a celebration at a later date, for example next year, include that in your message.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.




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