Coronavirus Wedding Diaries: We Waited 8 Years. We Can Wait a Few More Months

Tips and strategies from a Philly couple that worked to quickly postpone their wedding in the wake of COVID-19.

coronavirus wedding postponed

Erica Hamilton and Joseph Godio’s postponed wedding is now scheduled for October. Photo by Grace & Ardor

The coronavirus crisis has upended life in Philly (and across the country) in more ways than we can count. With the strictest guidelines focused on large group gatherings, weddings as the grand celebrations we know and love them as are effectively halted. While there’s no perfect roadmap for how to proceed, there is something to learn from every couple’s story as they navigate postponing, canceling, and changing their wedding plans in the wake of COVID-19.

This story is part of Philadelphia Wedding’s on-going Real Talk series, where real Philly couples share their unique approaches to wedding planning and marriage. If you have a unique story or experience worth sharing, we’d love to hear about it.

The couple: Erica Hamilton, 28, and Joseph Godio, 29, originally of Garnet Valley, PA

We are Philly born and raised, but currently living in NYC for our jobs. Getting married in Philadelphia was never even a question for us. It’s our home.

Ironically enough, my fiancé and I started dating after he almost died from an infectious disease in college. He had bacterial meningitis and I went to visit him. Once he pulled through, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Eight years later, an infectious disease postpones our wedding.

When the call was made to postpone our March 27th wedding two weeks before, I was absolutely crushed. But I know it was the right decision to make. We followed our gut, and it worked out in our favor because the very next day, all the new restrictions were put into place. The health of our friends, family and vendors comes first.

Once I was done crying, I felt relieved. The thought of going through the next two weeks with the uncertainty of the wedding being canceled even the day before was giving me so much anxiety.

RELATED: A Guide to Philadelphia Weddings During the Coronavirus Outbreak

We officially have a new date: October 23rd, 2020. All of our vendors worked together to find a date that works for all of them. We feel so lucky. The only issue we’ve had is finding enough hotel blocks because our original hotel is hosting … AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONFERENCE. We can’t help but laugh.

After we moved the date, we divided and conquered to let everyone know. My mom reached out to everyone on my side of the family; Joe’s mom did the same for his. I made a post for Instagram and Facebook (see below), and then we started reaching out to everyone individually. We wanted to get the word out quickly, which is why we used the power of social media. We also posted on our wedding website.

Coronavirus wedding postponement announcement

The Instagram story Erica used to announce the postponement.

Our final deposits were in the mail to our vendors when we started discussions about postponing. I feel like the wedding industry is getting crushed right now, and my heart goes out to everyone who’s feeling those impacts. Because of this, we’ve asked many of the vendors to deposit the checks as if the wedding was happening in two weeks as planned. I would rather them have this money now, then have to wait an additional seven months for it.

My advice: Take it one step at a time. One email at a time. One phone call at a time. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of having to plan an entirely new wedding, but realized that after every email sent and every problem solved, I would feel a little better. I would say for other brides to pick their top three most important vendors and ask for their availability, then find the date that works for all three.

And use compassion when talking with your vendors. This is all out of their control and impacting everyone’s livelihoods hard. Remember that.

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