by Katrina Otter

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Ways To Acknowledge, Celebrate And Embrace Your Original Wedding Date

Image by Rebecca Goddard Photography.

Well this is certainly not a feature I EVER thought I’d be writing/series that I’d be contributing to, but here we are, navigating our way through a pandemic and dealing with the curveballs behind us, whilst also preparing for those that are yet to come… including impending original wedding dates.

If your wedding has been affected by Coronavirus, then as I mentioned in my last feature (Next Steps Once You’ve Decided to Postpone Your Wedding) I’m here (as Resident Wedding Planner for Coco Wedding Venues) to help… if you EVER need any advice then please do get in touch – you can find my contact details here.

And if you have, as a result of COVID-19, had to postpone your wedding, then I truly hope that you’re ok and that your loved ones are too, and that you’ve managed to postpone with relative ease and have some positive and truly epic plans in place moving forwards… because that’s what we’re doing right, moving forwards.

Now that you’ve postponed your wedding, there’s obviously the issue of what to do when your original wedding date rolls around – whether you’re approaching it with a tinge of sadness, disappointment, reflection, bewilderment, resentment, love, positivity or even excitement, it is a day that’s still worth recognising and it’s important not to let your original wedding date pass you by without at least acknowledging it, honouring your feelings and celebrating your love.

There are of course a myriad of ways to acknowledge, embrace and celebrate the day, from picnics to Zooms, binging on Disney+ (with popcorn, pic n’ mix, duvets and cashmere socks!) to ordering (and of course eating!) your wedding cake… and let’s not forget adding copious amounts of bubbles/cocktails/G&Ts to the agenda!  However, rather than listing 101 different ideas as part of this feature I thought I’d share some of my personal fave ways to celebrate your original wedding date… with several of these ideas being pinched (and therefore tried and tested) from our (postponed) 2020 couples.

Do what’s right for you

Having spoken to our (postponed) 2020 couples, I know that friends and family members may try to interject and offer ideas and guidance on what to do, but it’s not their day to acknowledge, it’s yours.

So, the first piece of advice I can offer is this… listen to how you’re feeling, do what feels right for you (don’t be forced into doing something you don’t want to do) and acknowledge the day first and foremost as a couple.

What makes you happy? What inspires you? What fills you with delight? What makes your heart sing?

Call on your suppliers, and create an intimate and enchanting version of your Wedding Breakfast / Wedding Reception

… because I’m sure your suppliers would love to help in any way they can.

Can you purchase a tablecloth and some tableware in order to create a mini version of your tablescape? If you want to go to town then you can even add personalised menus, light some candles and #makeamealofit.

Can your florist make you an arrangement of your chosen wedding blooms? For some fabulous floral order inspo then I’m currently crushing on the options available from Still Life Flowers and Blume.   

Can you order a delivery or takeaway feast from your caterer (or a local caterer/restaurant/gastropub)? For example, the incredible team at Caper & Berry are currently offering their amazing food delivered to your door, in the form of The Weekender… I just wish I lived closer to Surrey!

Can you pick up your wedding wines and fizz and/or make your signature cocktails? And if you’re based in London then 100% check-out the bespoke cocktail delivery service (complete with the slickest mixologists and ‘Blue Bar Bikes’) offered by The Berkeley.

Can your DJ/Band share any playlists with you?

And whilst you’re at it, maybe use it as a reason to get out of your leisurewear (or is that just me?!) and dress up or even wear white?!

Recreate your engagement, first date or a memorable occasion

A couple of weeks ago I was perusing Instagram and saw that one of our June couples had recreated their Château de Chantore engagement and my heart skipped a beat for the romance of it all.  Think champagne and Ladurée macarons and an intimate (back garden) table for two in the dappled summer sunshine.

But it doesn’t have to be your engagement – can you recreate your first date, the day when you first said “I love you”, or a particularly fond experience or special occasion that you’ve shared together as a couple?

Order (and eat!) your wedding cake

Because why not!

If you’ve been dreaming of tiers of mouth-wateringly tasty cakey goodness and don’t want to have to wait until your new date to indulge, then why not order a mini version in your chosen flavour(s) to satisfy your craving!

Organise a couple’s shoot

Hot on the heels of ‘Doorstep Portraits’ are socially distanced mini photoshoots.

Speak to your photographer about options and ideas, dress up… or dress down, pick a meaningful and memorable place, strike a pose (whether that’s playful and fun or dramatic and romantic) and bring on the romance.

Celebrate virtually

Head on over to Zoom or Google Hangouts and fill your day (virtually) celebrating your love surround by those that you adore most in the World.

Whether that’s a champagne hour with your bridal party, meal with your families or even a cocktail afterparty with your extended guests (complete with those DJ tunes mentioned previously) – it’s a way to share the day, to laugh, to love, to be happy and to lift each other’s spirits.

Exchange vows / commitments

You can do this in private as a couple or more publicly with family, friends and even a Celebrant/Officiant (obviously virtually or with social distancing measures in place), after all, your love for one another is certainly not postponed/cancelled, and an exchange of vows, values, love, promises, resilience and continued commitment to one another is a wonderful way to acknowledge the date.

Take a trip to your wedding venue

As social distancing rules are relaxed, more and more venues (including wedding venues) are now starting to open their doors, so why not see if yours is open and what’s on offer… from laidback luxury and Veuve Clicquot airstreams at Cliveden House, to hampers and picnic blankets at Chewton Glen.

Your wedding venue might also be the PERFECT spot for your couple shoot.

Organise a mini-moon

In a similar thread to your venue (and the fact that the chance of a destination summer holiday is still all kinds of TBC) why not look at treating yourselves to a pre-nuptial getaway… after all you deserve it now more than ever.

A couple of personal mini-moon faves from the Coco Wedding Venues Venue Finder include Lime Wood, Lower Slaughters Manor House, Middleton Lodge and The Gallivant.

Exchange gifts or letters of love

Because everyone likes giving and receiving, right?

Could you exchange the gifts that you’d originally planned to give each other on the morning of your wedding? Or is there something you’ve been talking about that you’ve held off on purchasing?

There also doesn’t have to be a monetary value attached – cards filled with meaning, emotion and sentiment exchanged on the morning of your original date (maybe in bed with a glass of fizz!) are just as, if not more valuable.

Whatever way you choose (to acknowledge, celebrate and embrace your original wedding date) then I hope you have a truly wonderful day filled with an abundance of love, and remember… you’re not alone, YOU WILL get married and it WILL be the most magnificent of occasions.

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Katrina Otter

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Katrina Otter

Katrina is a national award-winning wedding planner who specialises in timeless British luxury weddings throughout the UK and beyond.

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