There is a lot to think about when planning your wedding, no matter when it is. Having your engagement in the shadows of a global pandemic can feel extra heavy on a couple and could infringe on your planning.

We are excited for you and your engagement and don’t let this take away from your excitement. You have found your forever person. You just are hitting some of those vows earlier in the union than you expected – for better, for worse, in sickness, and in health. 

We reached out to Megan Marsh of Pencil Events for some thoughts and advice for couples who are trying to navigate this moment in their lives. We reached out to Megan not just because she has planned so many weddings and events but because when she isn’t planning special occasions, she is a therapist and she has a unique approach to planning and working with her couples. 

Below are some of our biggest takeaways from our conversation with Megan.

‘Humans don’t like uncertainty, uncertainty is scary’

One word keeps coming up during this pandemic – uncertainty. 

‘It is not possible to be certain in life anyway but this blitz of uncertainty is more than many of us have ever had to handle. 

When we feel uncertain we tend to make more extreme decisions and act differently. We may make decisions very quickly, or we may delay decisions excessively. We may also make decisions based on information that we usually wouldn’t value. Recognize how uncertainty operates in your body and how you react. 

Embrace that we do not know all of the answers. This acceptance and recognizing how you handle uncertainty can help you plan events that are actually richer than they would be otherwise.’ 

Photo: Anne Skidmore Photography

Use this time to really talk to your partner

Honestly, wedding planning can quickly get caught up in the hundreds of small decisions you need to make as a couple. Often couples don’t get the chance to talk about the actual event and what it means to them, they just get whisked away into logistics. You can use this time to really talk to your partner about what you want your wedding to feel like and symbolize and move the conversation away from logistics. 

Megan told us one of the first things she does with any couple is define the ceremony of the wedding. She asks them to what degree is the wedding about the partnership – the moment of joining. Is the ceremony the sacred part of the day where the ritual is done, the promises are made and the guests are the witnesses. Or is the day more about the joining of families and communities and the couple is more there to witness the family joining. 

During this time, as a couple it will be easier to imagine and care about your upcoming wedding when you and your partner know you are on the same page of why you are doing this and what you want the event to be about. If you get solid on what it symbolizes and feels like, the logistics can shift and change and the spirit of the event will remain intact.

Wedding couple playing cards in barnPhoto: Daniel Moody Photography

Share uncertainty with your partner

‘There is so much we don’t know about the future. It can be difficult to talk about what we don’t know, even with our partner. Take the time during this to really discuss with your partner the unknowns, the what-ifs. As a officially forming partnership, these discussions will help both of you understand what the other is made of, where they are coming from, what they are scared of, and what they are excited about.

When we talk about what we don’t know, it is easier to make it more possible to understand why we are making decisions along the way.

We are all going through something right now. There is no way to say that this will not be a part of our stories and relationships. Acknowledge and use that.

Lace window detail shot - Maine barn weddingPhoto: Spring Smith Studios

It is worthwhile to plan a celebration!

Humans need celebration. Megan acknowledges that on the other side of this, we don’t know what other things we will have to celebrate but we will need to celebrate, especially with our loved ones and especially celebrations about love.

In the context of all of this going on, what matters in this celebration is that it is for you – you, as a unique couple. It will be about you, your stories, and a reflection of what is important to you.

‘Tragedy brings humans more joy. Our hearts, right now, for each other and for the world are growing. What is really important to us is rising to the top and we are working together to try to make this better.’

Lights barn wedding - dancingPhoto: Spring Smith Studios

How to talk to your partner about your uncertainty

Couples will be better able to make these decisions with those conversations. As much as the word opportunity is hard to use, you have an opportunity as a couple to use this experience to be more aligned and attuned to who you are and what you want from your wedding.

Megan prepared a few conversation starters that you can try with your partner to start planning: 

“This is an era without a playbook. Maybe it makes sense to pause and really talk about what is essential about a celebration of our partnership. What do you think about that? Let’s take stock together.”

“What are the aspects of our partnership that we hope everyone will be celebrating? Like what are we most proud of? Or what are some of the things that make us us?”

“What are our values about our partnership? How do they align with our plans for our wedding?”

“What are some of the wedding traditions that have really resonated with you? Are there some that seem less important if we prioritized?”

“There are lots of traditions about weddings and we could easily do things automatically. But, if we really boiled it down and did things intentionally, what would we choose to do? Are those things possible?”

Be well – Greg and Deborah

Hardy Farm Rustic Maine Wedding BarnPhoto: Spring Smith Studios