Back when life in the Hudson Valley was normal (read: before the coronavirus outbreak), weddings in the region were the stuff of dreams. Held inside charming country barns or atop hillsides boasting breathtaking local views, local ceremonies were picture-perfect occasions of moving romances, heart-melting meet cutes, and lasting love. In short, they were fairytales with a real-life twist.
Yet when COVID-19 spread its way across New York State, the wedding industry had to hit pause. Like with festivals and restaurants, weddings in the Valley are in a state of limbo as brides and grooms scramble to reschedule their ceremonies for a later date or switch gears and tie the knot quietly instead.
To help couples cope, Michelle Edgemont, of the Hudson Valley’s Michelle Edgemont Design event décor and floral company, touched base to share her advice. Here’s what she had to say about making the most of rescheduling, plus what soon-to-be brides and grooms can do right now to ease the waiting time.
Watching what should have been one of the most magical days of your life come and go is a tough pill to swallow. Yet just because it’s not the day you envisioned doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to celebrate all the same.
“Your baker might be able to provide you with a mini version of your wedding cake,” Edgemont hints, adding that Nine Cakes in Hudson is a delicious spot for grabbing sweets to go. “A virtual champagne toast with your loved ones over Zoom could mark the occasion, too.”
Did you spend hours perfecting your “save the dates” for naught? Use the calendar change as an excuse to exercise your creativity and get your guests excited about the day when they’ll finally be able to gather in celebration once more.
“We could all use a little joy in our mailboxes now,” Edgemont observes. To generate anticipation, she recommends looking beyond go-to templates in favor of unconventional formats (concert poster, anyone?) and eye-catching colors (neon, please!). “Take this chance to bring a smile to your guests’ faces.”
“Now that you have more time before your wedding, it’s the perfect time to tackle a DIY project that you might have wanted to try,” Edgemont enthuses. For couples who dreamed of bringing those Pinterest crafts to life but never had the hours to pull them off, now is precisely the period to get them done.
Depending on theme and color scheme, projects could be as simple as a wooden welcome sign or as involved as handcrafted wedding favors for every guest. Need inspiration? Scroll through our Hudson Valley wedding headquarters online.
“This situation is the pits,” Edgemont declares. “Having to reschedule your wedding, a day that you’ve been planning for a really long time, is gut-wrenching.”
Yet as painful as the situation may be – and as headache-inducing as the struggle to reschedule every little thing likely will be – the key to coping is to remember that it’s OK for it all not to be OK.
“Make the decision in your mind to accept the situation, even though it’s really bad,” she says. By making this radical acceptance, it’s possible not only to feel more at peace with the situation but also to move forward in a positive way. After all, your wedding will happen…even if it’s a few months after you anticipated.
As a quick scroll across social media reveals, small businesses in the Hudson Valley – and across the nation – are hurting right now. Because of this, couples should check in on their vendors to see if they’re doing alright and, if possible, support them during quarantine. Edgemont notes that many Hudson Valley vendors are temporarily shifting gears to adapt to the situation as best they can.
“Your caterer could be delivering family-size meals. Your florist might be able to drop off a pretty centerpiece to liven up your home. Ask your DJs if they could put together a dance party playlist for you to enjoy,” she says.
At the end of it all, Edgemont reminds, don’t forget that your big day will come. Even if you had to switch seasons or change location, you can still find ways to look forward to what may have originally felt like a wrench in your plans.
“If you are now getting married in the fall, search photos from your venue during autumn weddings,” she advises. While the new season might not be what you originally envisioned, it’s an opportunity to work with your florist on arrangements of assorted hues or get crafty with your caterer to incorporate in-season ingredients.
Last but not least, “display the new day in your home somewhere that you can see it every day,” Edgemont says. It’s a sweet little reminder that quarantine will end and yes, you will say “I do” in the Hudson Valley.