Didn't expect the marriage proposal — or the pandemic. Now what?

By Makeda Easter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Lifestyles

But I will say Thane gave me the element of surprise, and I was in shock for weeks after. Little did I realize the shock of the year to come and the many, many difficult changes that would be in store as 2020 got underway.

I took a few days to soak in the blissful feeling before telling my family. Over the next few weeks, I told close friends. It would be months before I made an Instagram announcement to the world at large.

In the meantime, I started thinking about a wedding.

I'd never given much thought to wedding logistics and wasn't even sure if I believed in the institution of marriage itself. But confronted with a new ring and a new perspective — the chance to bring his rural, Midwestern family and my Southern family, along with all our friends, together in L.A. — I started to dream.

I had no idea what I was doing. And searching "How to plan a wedding" is an anxiety-inducing exercise. At the recommendation of a friend, I bought "A Practical Wedding Planner," which describes itself as "a step-by-step guide to creating the wedding you want with the budget you've got."

On Valentine's Day, we cracked the book open over some wine and takeout sushi.


The first step, which we found goofy but ultimately helpful, was creating a wedding mission statement — a guiding framework to not get lost in the endless details. Ours? "A unique experience for us and our guests showcasing our time together, our personalities and the way we mesh." Thane wrote that one.

The next urgent steps in the planning process included setting a budget, curating a guest list and finding a venue, as some can get booked more than a year ahead.

For the next few weeks, we worked on just that, scouring wedding blogs and getting insight from married friends while filling a Google doc with ideas. I started a Pinterest board filled with bohemian dreamscapes — undoubtedly way out of our price range — and lacy wedding dresses.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.


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