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This story was told by Nicole Sobel, and has been transcribed and edited from a recent conversation with Madelaine Millar.
My name is Nicole Sobel. I manage fine wine and spirits for wholesale distributor Martignetti Companies, and in December of 2018, I got engaged to my fiancé Dustan. As soon as he asked me to marry him, we started planning. Our wedding date was June 6, 2020. Then coronavirus happened.
I was having panic attacks at night and crying just trying to figure it out. Do we call it [off]? Do we wait? We couldn’t see people being comfortable and happy in June. So we decided that the best decision to protect our loved ones and our elderly [guests] was to postpone the wedding to September.
How do you tell that to 150 people and hope that they’ll be receptive to the change? A lot of people said that they appreciated us making the hard decision for them, because [they] felt pressure to be there when June didn’t feel safe. Still, we don’t know if September is going to be safer. We might have to do this all over again.
We wanted to honor that [June 6] date, because when that’s all you think about for a year and a half, it’s too devastating to have it all taken away. We’ll still have a small gathering outside, so there’s tons of room and we have extra chairs so people can spread out. We also have hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves available, and we’re just going to make it quick and everyone will leave immediately after. It’s really just for us to be married.
Moving our wedding is costing us an additional $5,000, although it could have been much more. Our vendors were available to accommodate the new date. Our venue (the Inn on Boltwood) didn’t charge us to move our date. For the videographer, photographer, hairdresser, and makeup, I’m now paying double for two days. The bridal shower and bachelorette and bachelor parties—we had to move all of that. My fiancé spent months planning our honeymoon in Italy and we had to cancel that too. We have not been refunded by Lufthansa yet, we’re awaiting a $2,500 refund for flights.
I’m 34, so it affects a lot more than just finances and a wedding—we pushed back our plans to have kids right now. There’s a Facebook group called Four Weddings and a Virus, so that’s been a great resource. I feel bad expressing sadness or frustration—a wedding seems materialistic and silly when people are risking their lives or dying [from COVID-19]. I think a lot of people are going through hard things right now. You know, it’s your life, and everything is changing.
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