• Renee Peterson

Not just another COVID-19 postponement story

I met Chelsea and Dan in early February 2020.

They booked Rustic to Ritz Events for their April 4, 2020 Savannah wedding. We communicated through email, text, and phone calls as we booked vendors and started planning their fabulous Savannah wedding event. I even had the privilege of getting together with Chelsea, her aunt, and her cousin after her Hair and Make-up trial at the salon. They were fun and kind, and I was looking forward to spending the first weekend of April celebrating her wedding! COVID-19 saw to it that we had to change their plans.

Dan is in the military, and immediately he was put on a travel ban. He could not travel more than 50 miles from his base until at least mid-May, so an April wedding was out of the question. But when? When do we choose a new date for a Lieutenant and a nurse both on the front lines of this very unusual battle our world is fighting? They thought about June but just weren’t sure that was far enough out. We needed to find a date for the venue, the caterer, and the DJ just for starters. Chelsea’s dream was to be married in Forsyth Park… with so many people moving weddings from the spring into the summer and fall, would the park even be available?

Texting became the primary method of communication between Chelsea and me. We would chat, share a laugh, and hash out the decision they needed to make. With her wedding date a huge question mark, she was discouraged, but her love for Dan and desire to become his wife as soon as possible never waned. Even when there was no information, I would just check in to see how she was doing. I could tell she was tired – the caregivers are exhausted – so I just attempted to convey some encouragement to her at the hospital.

There was no point in my contacting the other vendors until a new date was secured, so as

March slogged on through “work-at-home” then “stay-at-home” directives, we just held our breath as we worked with the venue finding a new date and agreeing upon a new contract. I would play “would you rather” with her through texts: “Would you rather get married A. at Forsyth earlier in the day or B. at another lovely Savannah square at 5:00pm?” If you’re wondering, she picked B – even though Forsyth was her dream. Then we received some very good news.

“Good Morning, Ms. Peterson, I have rescheduled them for July 11th at the same time in Forsyth Park. I will send updated information as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Be safe.” AHHH! We got Forsyth! I immediately sent a screenshot of the email to Chelsea. It was time to finalize things with the venue. Dan called, worked out a new contract, and we had a new date! I think I was almost as excited as Chelsea was.

It was GO time for me. I called every vendor personally, and every single vendor had July 11 open. We were able to move the wedding from April 4 to July 11 with no changes to the vendor team or timeline as it was when we stopped the planning. Now, that doesn’t happen every time, but it did this time.

I had been praying for them through the process. I had been praying that we could find a new date. I had been praying that every vendor they chose would be available. Now I’m praying that our country and our world moves through the weeds of this virus and comes out the other side very soon. I’m praying that by July, our country is as back to normal or at least as normal as possible.

Compared to the huge, serious. life and death problems that are facing our world right now, changing wedding plans seems insignificant and irrelevant, but to that bride, it’s her world, her dream wedding. Chelsea understood the priorities better than most people, but she wanted her wedding too. Lt. Dan wanted to keep his bride’s dream alive. I just wanted to do my job to the best of my ability looking forward to celebrating the love and the joy of my new friends.

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