May 16th 2020. That was the date of our wedding. We were supposed to start the ceremony at 2:30, photos shortly after, a three-course dinner and a lot of dancing afterwards. We knew this wasn't going to happen two months in advance. On March 14th we went on our 'STEN' Do and I was so anxious about going. Lockdown still hadn't been announced and Andy was still going into work every weekday. We went to play bowling, arcade games, and pool with our Groomsmaids and their partners. We followed this by a lovely meal and for me, some mocktails. I've pretty much given up on drinking alcohol now thanks to the amount of medication I have to take for my chronic illnesses. Anyway, one of the first things Abbey said to us was "what do you think will happen with your wedding now?" and we had rehearsed this response ahead of time. We knew we would have to postpone because the virus was only spreading further in the UK.

Within a week we had rearranged our entire wedding. We had contacted our venue and asked to postpone for the following year, as my Dad had advised me not to have it later this year due to how bad the virus was spreading at this point. The venue said no, that the wedding was still going ahead. We clearly were not happy with this. Not only would I not be able to go to my own wedding, but some of both of our families wouldn't be able to attend due to being in the at-risk group, whether it down to age or medical conditions. I was not having this, absolutely not. So we asked them again for the following year, and they said no, but it could be postponed to Autumn/Winter 2020. I'd had enough. After this email, I immediately started enquiring with other wedding venues and asked our photographers what dates they had available for Spring 2021. Although our original date 'weekend' was available with the venue we chose, the photographers had a wedding booked in. And because the venue price had jumped up, because let's face it, we were definitely settling on the previous venue due to price, we couldn't afford the extra cost. It was an extra £1,900 ish to have a May wedding, so we settled for March. Now it will be colder unless the environment continues to get worse and we have another late Winter/early Spring heatwave like we did in 2019. But because our venue allows you to rent out outdoor heaters, we've agreed to fund this extra cost to keep guests (and me) happy.

Since we've had to move venues, we've also been in limbo about how we're getting legally married. We gave notice on January 27th of this year, therefore our notice is valid until January 2021. So not only did it run out too early, our venue is now in a different county. So do we cancel getting married by a Liverpool registrar and choose a Cheshire one, or keep the Liverpool one and get married in the Registry Office? We chose the latter. I'm not revealing the date, because as of yet only 2 witnesses would be allowed to come with us and due to unfairness, we have decided it would be 2 friends because it's not fair on our families, who are both divorced, to pick between who gets to attend. But we are getting married in Liverpool City Centre sometime this year, to still have a 2020 marriage date.

We've clearly had to make some tricky decisions. Due to this, we've decided that the Registry Office 'wedding' is just going to be a formality for us. Not our real wedding. We're not going to wear out wedding rings until the real 'do', we're also not changing our names until after the real 'do'. Although I will technically be Mrs Hadley from this date, we will both be Mr & Mrs Hadley-Smith come March. Now this was a decision we made during University once we had started dating. Andy doesn't like how frustrating it is to have common his name is and how his email addresses all have to be like 'andysmith18472' because so many people have the address already. I really like my name, and Hadley means a lot to me (fun fact, if my Dad hadn't had changed his name to his Mum's maiden name after his Dad left, I would have been a Clark), but at the same time, I wanted to have Andy's name. He seems to really like my name, so we've decided to double-barrel it. Oh and I forgot to add, we need to find a Celebrant now since the second 'wedding' won't be a legal one.

If it wasn't obvious, this isn't a 'woe is me' type of post. I've lost a pet during this bloody virus who I was only allowed to see once during this whole thing, and I know to some it's not the same as losing a person but I'm genuinely heartbroken. But moving a wedding is not the worst thing ever. Yes, we are down about £4,000 and are desperately trying to get some money back from our wedding insurance because we clearly do not have that amount of money sitting around, but it is not worth crying over. If you've had to do the same, make sure to contact all vendors and try and come together for a good date you can all do. Luckily, all of ours have been wonderful.

I do think it's a bit amusing that we've actually booked our venue without seeing it aside from photos and videos (and Abbey toured it when looking to book her wedding venue) and also chose our caterer and the food we're choosing without tasting it. It really is okay. We can have two wedding dates. We did actually celebrate our original wedding date which you can read about here.

Stay safe everyone.