Coronavirus Wedding Diaries: This Is the Email We Sent Our Guests Before We Rescheduled

This Center City duo kept their friends and family digitally informed, every step of the way.

Center City engagement photo

This Center City couple rescheduled their April wedding for the following year and informed their guests via email. Photography by Love Me Do Photography

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: Carrita Thomas, 27, and Jake Stein, 36, of Center City

Original wedding date: April 18th. We were planning on getting married at The Fairmount Park Horticulture Center with about 250 people. We were going to have a rehearsal dinner at La Colombe and post-brunch at Mission Taqueria. We were planning on leaving Tuesday of the next week for a four-day mini-moon in St. Lucia.

We kept our guests informed before we even officially rescheduled the wedding. We sent out an initial email [on March 13th] to let guests know that the date might be different. Our subject line was “The Wedding Crasher.” (Full email below.) 

We knew for certain we had to postpone on March 15th. When we learned that events of over 50 people were not recommended by the CDC, that was the moment when we were like, “We have to reschedule.”

We had to scramble. We had to find a day that works for us and Jesse Lucas of Clover Event Co., our wedding planner. We did secure a date at the same venue in April of next year. It was sort of tense because I think every couple who is getting married in the next two months is also trying to reschedule. We felt like we had to do this fast to get a date before they all booked up. … Jesse has been an absolute rockstar. Postponing our wedding has been minimally stressful, which absolutely wouldn’t have been the case if she wasn’t going above and beyond by helping us think of new options and communicate with our vendors. We’ll be sending another digital follow-up to our guests as well.

RELATED: A Guide to Philadelphia Weddings During the Coronavirus Outbreak

We’re having two celebrations. We will have the originally planned wedding next year. But as soon as Earth reopens and our parents can safely travel, we’ll have a small ceremony and celebration at one of our favorite restaurants. We are so looking forward to this, and are grateful for this small way we will be able to support an industry that is hurting a lot right now. 

As for right now (as told by Jake). We’ll buy more food. Make use of the new Peloton we got. 

It’s hard to live through this time of pandemic. It’s stressful, and it’s sad, and it’s scary. I think we’re both feeling the effects of that. The wedding is something we can control and reschedule. There are a lot of people dealing with much more challenging things at this time. We’re thinking of those people. 

The big picture is what matters (as told by Jake). If you had spoken with me 10 years ago and you had told me I’d meet the love of my life and I’ll marry her in an amazing ceremony with all of my friends and family around me, and it’ll be in April 2020 or 2021, I’d be like, “OK, great.” So the fact that there is a different digit, in the grand scheme of my life, won’t make much difference.

Center City engagement photo

The Wedding Crasher – Emailed Friday, March 13th

A large gathering in an enclosed space? A party where the young and the chronological older but still young at heart get together? Guests flying in from all over the world? Holding hands and dancing in a circle? Plates of food being passed around for everyone to eat off of? If you are thinking this sounds like an increasingly questionable plan for April 18th, 2020, we agree.

We dearly value your health. We also value the health of your communities, including people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and their caregivers.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and to be honest, we’re not entirely sure how to react. We are thinking through some awesome contingency plans and we are still excited to celebrate with you all in some fashion either on April 18th, or if needed, on a later date.

Stay tuned for more details and thank you in advance for your patience as we figure this out. Please know that we are incredibly grateful that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. Nothing like a pandemic to crystallize what really matters: our love for each other, the health of our loved ones, and consideration for those around us.

All our love,

Jake and Carrita

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