Planning a wedding can be a challenging task, but COVID-19 has made it that much more difficult. 

Senior Tayma Sebek has been engaged since May of 2019 to her significant other of four and a half years, Jesse. Sebek said the wedding has been planned for late September of this year. 

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a possibility that Sebek’s wedding plans need to change.

“Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty of how this is going to play out,” Sebek said. “We’re thinking we should be able to gather with our family and close friends since we are planning for late September, but we are constantly reevaluating what the best plan is to keep the people we love safe.”

With the possibility that social distancing protocols will still be in place, it is possible that Sebek will not be able to have everyone present on her wedding day that she had originally hoped for.

“We want to share the moment with the people we love but we will do what we have to do to keep our people (especially older relatives) safe,” Sebek said. 

As for planning the wedding, things have gotten even more stressful for Sebek.

“It has added more stress to the situation because we’re unsure of how to proceed. Do I print and send out invitations with a date that might not even happen? It seems like a silly thing to do, but we have to start doing that stuff soon,” Sebek said.

Paying for the wedding has also become a risk, Sebek said. They are unsure if they will be refunded their deposits if COVID-19 protocols are still in place. Sebek said that while some venders have been accommodating, there are some that have given them no assurance.

If COVID-19 protocols are still in place, Sebek does not plan on changing the date of her wedding but instead changing who is present.

“We’re just confused but still excited at the same time,” Sebek said. “We know in the grand scheme of things we’ll still get married and we’ll still start a wonderful life together - it just might look different than what we originally thought.”

Senior Brooke Eisenhauer has faced similar issues with her wedding plans. Eisenhauer has been engaged since March 2019 to her boyfriend of seven years, Caleb. Their wedding has been planned for October of this year.

Eisenhauer said they have not had to make major changes to their plans as of yet. However, the two have had to postpone their engagement photos. They have also had to think about how many people to invite.

“We are anticipating that we are going to have to cut down our guest list by a lot,” Eisenhauer said. “We are hoping that by October we will be in the clear, but we are tentatively planning to have our wedding party and family only. We are hoping it doesn’t come to that.”

Eisenhauer also does not plan on changing the date of her wedding. 

“If we do have to change our date, we will still be getting married on our intended date and have our reception at a later date,” Eisenhauer said.

Eisenhauer and her fiance have already cut down their guest list from 400 people to around 200. While they are unsure of the future, they have a plan in case they cannot invite everyone they planned on.

“If it does come to the point where it can only be us and our family, we are going to stream our wedding on Facebook live and encourage our guests to be waiting outside of the church in their vehicles so they are still able to celebrate with us,” Eisenhauer said.

Eisenhauer has someone close to her that is going through something similar. Her fiance’s brother was planning to get married in early May and has had to postpone their wedding. Eisenhauer said it has helped to have someone who is going through the same thing. She said her family has helped as well.

“Our families have been very supportive and encouraging when it comes to our feelings for the wedding,” Eisenhauer said.

Overall, Eisenhauer has struggled with the possibility of not having her family with her on her wedding day.

“We are a little discouraged and sad because we have been waiting for this day for such a long time! We realize that this is a day for us but we have always been looking forward to spending this day with our closest friends and family,” Eisenhauer said. “The hardest part for us being this far out is that we cannot plan for what might happen in October.”

Recent graduate Trey Perry was set to get married to his girlfriend of almost five years this May. Because of COVID-19, the two have had to postpone their ceremony and reception.

Perry and his fiance Emily got engaged in September of 2018 and have been planning their wedding since the proposal.

The two are hoping to have their wedding in August rather than May to avoid having to change too much of their original plans.

 “We thought about still getting married in May and having a small ceremony with immediate family and then having the reception later on,” Perry said. “But there were already so many things we were excited for that we had already planned out and we didn't want to throw them aside.”

Perry is concerned about the future of the wedding, but has said that he is lucky.

“There are many other couples going through the same thing we are right now, and there are a lot that haven't gotten as lucky with their venues and vendors the way we have,” Perry said. “It's a confusing and frustrating time, but Emily and I know that it's for the best right now.” 

The two have also had to cancel their honeymoon to Jamaica, though they received refunds on their flights and the resort they were going to stay at. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress for these to-be brides and grooms along with their families. They have had to plan their weddings despite the real possibility of having it all change later down the road or have already had it postponed.

“We'll still have our wedding. It'll be at a different time and it may be smaller but as long as we can still have our day surrounded by people who care about us, we’ll be happy,” Perry said.