Getting married at the time of the coronavirus: “It’s the rout, the debacle, the rout”

There was a request in due form, joy, emotion, announcement to loved ones, long months of preparation … And suddenly, the coronavirus. The epidemic has come to reshuffle the cards of spring weddings. Testimonies of the castaways of the nuptials between fatalism, hope and worries.

The party did not take place. Éléonore, mother of the future bride, nevertheless believed in it to the end. But the total confinement decreed on Monday March 16 got the better of his hopes, which were cut off as the wedding date, set for March 28, approached. “We had the tents, the caterer, the church, the florist, the jackets. A week before containment was declared, we were starting to understand that we would be 100 instead of the 250 people originally planned. We redid the list, recalled the providers, reorganized the marriage. The day of the announcement of the house arrest, we first understand that it will only be 20 people, then 10, then nothing at all. It was the rout, the debacle, the rout. ” Éléonore, her daughter and her stepson had to resolve to postpone the event which required more than a year of preparation. A scenario that affects thousands of couples at a time when the wedding season is traditionally launched, and which plunges them into uncertainty.

To fight the covid-19 epidemic, the government has gradually banned gatherings – of more than 1,000 people, then 100 people – before opting for general containment. Travel for “compelling family reasons” is tolerated, but weddings are not included. Places of worship and town halls have suspended all ceremonies scheduled until April 15, 2020, with a few exceptions (an “in extremis” union was celebrated in Besançon on March 26, the groom suffering from a serious illness) . “If there is confinement, there is no marriage”, prefers to summarize Jennifer Delahaye-Peyre, co-founder of Ma Vie de Bohème. “We were all taken aback by this decision. The impact is significant, we do not know if the gatherings will be authorized again once the confinement is lifted. ” The wedding planner relies on more detailed government declarations during the first half of April to be fixed on the fate of future weddings.

Foolproof optimism

While waiting for formal measures, the destiny of the bride and groom is played out in the mind. “We are five and a half months before the wedding, we have no worries,” explains Benoît, whose wedding is scheduled for September 12 in Normandy. “Moreover, we are in the process of printing the announcements”, explains the thirty-something who has turned to the Web to find a printer. Adelise, in her thirties, saw her civil wedding scheduled for March 21 postponed at the last minute. “It may be a little naive, but I bought a dress, convinced that it would pass,” explains the young woman. She cashed the first cancellation and remains hopeful for the religious ceremony scheduled for June 20, without thinking too much about plan B. “If I think about the postponement, it will depress me. I prefer to tell myself that it is still possible. ”

Finances and disagreements

For others, optimism is more relative, especially among couples where the question of postponing the union divides. “For the moment, we are maintaining, but I think it would be good to move to September”, explains Kee Yoon, whose ceremony is scheduled for June 27 in Venice. “My fiancé wants to move outright a year, he fears the psychological effect on our guests. It is as if we invited them to party in the cradle of the virus in Europe… Faced with the scale of the epidemic, the postponement of my marriage is not my primary concern, but I still feel responsible vis-à-vis my guests. In October, I insisted that everyone take their plane ticket. ”

In addition to the uncertainty of maintaining marriages, there is obviously the financial question. Because if there is a cancellation of the party, there is subject to the refund of the deposit. “We can lose money, it all depends on the terms of the contract and what we define as force majeure. But providers have every interest in being empathetic, they are the first to be impacted by this upheaval, ”explains Jennifer Delahaye-Peyre.

Postpone or cancel

The most widely considered fallback solution is that of deferral. Professionals in the sector recommend calling the reception venues first to ask for their postponement conditions and the next available dates. However, we must expect some disappointments. “Generally, they do not”, deplores Jennifer Delahaye-Peyre who advises to choose a weekday or to postpone his wedding in autumn or winter, hollow seasons which therefore offer more possibilities.

Others, finally, no longer have the head to the party. “I suffered a loss of salary with confinement, I preferred to cancel,” says Vincent, head sommelier, whose wedding was scheduled for June 13. “The recovery is going to be a complicated time. There will have been a lot of deaths, loved ones will have been impacted… After what we have experienced, we will not necessarily want to have fun. ”

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