A Peachy Postponement - Part 1
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
This is not a decision you came to lightly or on a whim. We understand the deep connection you have to the idea of what your wedding day will be like. Having to postpone your wedding due to the current world circumstances is the safest but also hardest decision you've made so far on your planning journey. Our goal at Sweet Peach Planning is to make sure our clients are supported and educated while postponing on both an emotional and logistical level.
After team working with your partner to handpick every detail, changing it may bring up a lot of unexpected feelings. What you're experiencing is a loss, the loss of the vision and the date you have been counting on for months. We are familiar with grieving the loss of a person, a pet, or even a relationship. It may surprise many people that they can grieve the loss of an event.
In order to walk you through what you are feeling I reached out to Sara Stanizai, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Prospect Therapy, a psychotherapy practice in Long Beach, CA, who wrote some incredible tips to identify what you are going through and how to navigate your new normal in the best way possible.
THE EMOTIONS BEHIND YOUR WEDDING POSTPONEMENT
Acknowledge your feelings.
Say them out loud, even if you feel silly. You will be surprised at who shares your sentiments. They may even be relieved to hear you speak about it, and welcome the chance to share their own feelings too. Knowing you're not alone will go a long way in helping you cope. The grief process includes feelings of sadness, depression, and loss of motivation. But it also often includes some surprising responses, such as irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and even rage. If you find yourself getting a short temper with people (or yourself), getting in your car and not remembering where you were headed, making odd mistakes like remembering your purse but not your wallet, or worrying excessively about the future, this might be your grief talking to you.
Once you make your decision, stick to it.
It can be tempting to try to negotiate the circumstances, and insist that "maybe you don't have to cancel." But the sooner you make the decision, the sooner you can get to work on all your new plans. Being a hold-out when the writing is on the wall only means you'll be scrambling at the last minute to cancel everything.
Keep the connection.
Find ways to stay connected to what you lost. Maybe you had your heart set on a summer wedding but had to move it the end of the year. You can commemorate your original vision by having a tropical themed wedding in December, for example. Loss demands flexibility, but it doesn't mean you can't still incorporate elements of your original vision.
Identify other emotions or memories that are being triggered.
Think of what this loss reminds you of. Was there another disappointment that you had in your life, as a result of an event that didn't happen? Maybe you had to miss your prom, and at the time you felt like an outcast among your peers. Is this bringing up a similar feeling for you now? Or maybe your family didn't throw you a big graduation party like your friends' families did, and you felt like this event was your chance to celebrate a milestone for yourself. Losing out on that can remind you of the disappointment you felt as a young person. Understanding how this loss is affecting you in the bigger context of your life experience may help you make some meaning of it. Making meaning of an unfortunate, unplanned, and unfair cancellation is one way people cope with these circumstances.
I encourage couples to treat a loss - any loss - with respect. Some people will feel silly being upset over a cancelled or postponed event, saying it's just "first world problems." But those events often represent something extremely meaningful to the people involved. A baby shower, a wedding, or a graduation party - all of these are being cancelled in the face of the current pandemic. These events represent years of hard work, love, and the support of your community. They are important not just to the couple or the parents, but to the friends and loved ones who have gotten them to this point.
- Sara Stanizai
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Owner of Prospect Therapy
Sara is by far the most easy going and compassionate therapist I've ever met. She has a way of making you feel completely heard, justified and enlightened by just a simple conversation. I really enjoyed collaborating with her on this project and her advice is so valuable for this or any other challenging situation.
If you like what you've read so far and want to talk further about what you are experiencing here are a few great ways to connect :
Get to know more about Sara https://www.prospecttherapy.com/about-sara
Follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/prospecttherapy/
Read Blog Posts by Sara https://www.prospecttherapy.com/blog
Set up a Video Session for private Therapy https://www.prospecttherapy.com/schedule
I have so much empathy for what you are going through and I'm prepared to be a rock of support to listen to your concerns, share advice and be a support system for you during this time. Please prepare yourself that everything may not be the way you had planned but that the ultimate goal is to marry the person you love and all the other details, although important, all pale in comparison to having your true love to take this journey with you.
Stay tuned for the second half of this blog post where we will go over the logistics and pain points of postponing. I will share a step by step path and checklist for couples moving their date and also some roadblocks to prepare yourself for.