Written by: Myndee Corkern
Photos by: Sarah Alleman Photography
Earlier this month, instead of finalizing the last minute details for her long awaited big day, Chelsea Richard found herself trying to decide whether or not she should take the risk of ordering flowers for a wedding that might not take place. Earlier this month, Chelsea didn’t even question whether or not she’d get married March 21, 2020. She got engaged last year. She found “the” dress. All the vendors were secured. The invitations were sent out. RSVPs were coming back. The honeymoon was booked. Chelsea was ready to walk down the aisle. After all the anticipation and planning, her wedding was right around the corner. She was in the home stretch and as far as anyone could tell, no one had any reason to believe her wedding wouldn’t go off without a hitch. As of March 7th, everything was right on track, and her biggest concern about her wedding was the weather.
How quickly things can change.
Within days, Chelsea was making the first of many difficult decisions surrounding her wedding. Chelsea said all her vendors have been amazing through this process, keeping the lines of communication open and working to find solutions which are beneficial to everyone. At first, she was having to decide whether or not to order the flowers, then she had to consider trimming the guest list, and finally, she had to decide whether or not to move forward with the wedding at all.
Suddenly, news started to circulate that large events across New Orleans were cancelled. People had mixed reactions. Were we overreacting? Would small gatherings be okay? Chelsea and Wesley weighed their options, but didn’t know what they should do.
Once she received the call that her grandfather wouldn’t be able to risk attending the wedding due to his recent kidney transplant, Chelsea knew it was time to call it off. She couldn’t go through with her wedding if it meant people who mean so much to her couldn’t be there. She and her fiancé painstakingly decided to postpone their wedding.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the smartest decision.” Chelsea told me, wiping a tear from her cheek.
Time has shown Chelsea made the right choice. Back on March 11th, which now seems like a lifetime ago, no one quite knew what was coming. Yet now, thousands of couples across the country, and the world, are left with no choice but to postpone their weddings.
There’s a lot to grieve right now. And it’s okay to grieve. We are grieving with you. Our city, nation and world is experiencing something unprecedented. We at New Orleans Weddings Magazine have been in contact with several couples and vendors, and we know how hard this is. We are all in this together, and we will continue to bring you the best and most up-to-date information and resources to help you as you navigate these unchartered waters.
Chelsea remained focused on the positive as she recounted the events during our conversation, pointing out how grateful she is to both her mom, for being her biggest cheerleader, and her fiancé, Wesley, for being so laid back and supportive. While this has been a difficult time, it is important to keep a healthy perspective. “It’s gonna be okay. We will get married. Just not this Saturday.”
Turns out, that wasn’t exactly true. The wedding will take place at a yet-to-be announced date, likely later this year, but Chelsea and Wesley were able to say their I do’s on their original wedding date while practicing social distancing.
Congratulations, Chelsea and Wesley, on your marriage! We are looking forward to sharing the story of your wedding when the time comes! And the time will come, not just for Chelsea and Wesley, but for everyone out there working to re-plan their weddings. Your wedding date may change, but your love story will not.