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

By Makeda Easter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Lifestyles

In the early days, when we thought we'd be indoors for just a few weeks, we began reaching out to our favorite L.A.-area venues to see if we could tour spaces virtually.

The first virtual tour — a violently shaky YouTube video of a rustic spot in Topanga — left me nauseated. During another virtual tour, we sprawled on our couch, simultaneously talking on the phone with a venue manager and watching a (thankfully professionally filmed) video on Vimeo of a hipster space downtown. We did another tour of a downtown warehouse space via FaceTime.

It was a start, but we agreed seeing the spaces in person was important before making a decision, so that we could move on to the other big steps — finding a caterer, photographer, DJ, dress, flowers and decorations. As well as sending out save the dates and invitations, building a website — the list goes on and on.

As the weeks of quarantine have turned into months, we haven't made any progress. Family and friends ask how the wedding planning is going, and our response remains the same: It's not going; we're stalled.

One wedding planning subreddit I read nearly every day is filled with story after story of couples who have now rescheduled their weddings multiple times this year. Some are expressing disappointment with the process and lack of engagement from their wedding parties or families. Others are heartbroken their venues have gone out of business because of the pandemic, sending them back to the beginning of the planning process and down thousands of dollars in deposits. Some have decided to cancel their weddings and elope.

A smaller group is pushing through despite the spiking cases in hopes for the best.

Although we were planning to have a wedding in fall 2021, the dates at the venues we like are already beginning to fill up from couples pushing their big events into next year.


And although we've now been able to see a couple of venues in person, doing socially distanced tours in masks, we're still stuck. All we have is a slightly more organized Google spreadsheet of ideas. A spreadsheet that hasn't been edited in about four months.

In recent weeks, I've started to wonder what an elopement or microwedding would look like. We've discussed just throwing a big party for our loved ones in 2022. Or maybe saving the money and traveling the world when there is a vaccine.

Who knows?

But when I start feeling anxious about the nebulous state of our wedding, I have to ground myself in gratitude. More than 200,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. alone. We're in a moment of civil unrest, fighting racism and police brutality against Black people.

I'm navigating this uncertainty with someone I love, someone I've enjoyed quarantining with in our cluttered, 600-square-foot apartment, whom I want to spend the rest of my life with. It's totally cheesy but true: We're together, we're safe, and that's what matters most.

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