How Life Has Changed…

How COVID Has “Cheated” Couples from Dream Weddings 

Fingers crossed, one of my sons will finally be wedded to a lovely Irish lass mid-June. In Ireland. 

Unfortunately, it will be two years almost to the day later than what was already planned, and they have experienced heartbreaking delays ever since the planning started, now going on more than three years.

Isabelle, the bride to be grew up in Ireland, and she wants a grand Irish wedding. And who wouldn’t when – once married – she’s uprooting all of that upbringing to be a permanent citizen of the US? 

COVID hit just 3 months before the original and meticulously organized wedding to take place in Dublin, followed by a reception in a lovely manor house named Tinakilly in Wicklow. Everything came to an abrupt halt that month of March, and multiple arrangements have since been rescheduled, then rescheduled, and rescheduled and rescheduled in hopes that travel restrictions would be lifted. 

Isabelle’s parents, still residing in Dublin were unfortunately unable to leave their home within a radius of 5 Km – severe restrictions compared to ours. And they were not allowed to leave the country, despite their own diligence about vaccinations and testing.  

Several attempts to schedule a simple ceremony in the US were not feasible because of this, and so the logistics continued to be complicated. 

Finally, and fortunately with the luck of the Irish, the couple were able to book the same venue for the reception “only” two years later. And all of us keep praying that it will finally come to fruition. 

Guests are coming from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, NYC, the UK, Scotland and even South Africa. Family and friends have had to rearrange travel itineraries, babysitting arrangements, kennel and hotel bookings. But hopefully it will all come together. After an extraordinary amount of time and effort on the couple’s part to try to make it easy for the travelers, we are all a bit silent so as not to jinx them. 

We look forward to finally being witness to a love that spans the Atlantic. Sure, they’ve already bought a house together, adopted an unruly Labrador puppy, have joint bank accounts and do all that they might as well have been married for. It’s just that it’s two years, a long time in young adulthood to postpone the formality of being wed. 

I still have to pack, get my multiple dresses tailored (they are pretty formal about weddings in Ireland), and find a pair of comfortable shoes without appearing too clunky. We still need to get those electrical outlet convertors and plan for jet lag. 

My son’s wedding is by no means the only wedding inconvenienced by the pandemic. We’ve experienced multiple wedding invitations that were canceled – only to have the couple have an immediate family only sort of union.  

I simply feel empathy for those who’s dreams of a picture-perfect wedding have been interrupted and inconvenienced. One type of the very many changes in these harrowing years. So, in the context of this new global adventure we all play a part in, here’s to “Slainte,” and Irish blessings that encourage you to keep the wind at your back. 

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we met again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

traditional Gaelic blessing

And on the hard days, months and years, may you have many memories of warm, blessed days.

(P.S. Next time you call your kids, it’s actually a pleasant thing to leave a voicemail (if they ever check it) to remind them that you are their mother or father. Phones are annoying at times, but they are also a lifeline to our ever-moving family members.) 

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