Now that it’s crystal clear that hosting a wedding at this time is just not possible due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re sharing the experiences of real couples navigating the re-scheduling or cancellation process in an attempt to help others make informed decisions and to spread our support to all during this time.
Last May, Amparo and Antonio eloped at The Desert Yacht Club in Joshua Tree, California, but they had planned to renew their vows with a big celebration the next year in Italy. Antonio is from Rome, but they chose Amparo’s hometown of Venice to host their vow renewal weekend. The ceremony date was set for May 29th at the famed art museum on the water. And they had also planned a boat day, recovery lunch on a nearby island, and an intimate gathering in the crypt of the Basilica di San Marco.
The couple was in communication with their contacts in Italy for two weeks before making the final decision on March 8th. “The uncertainty and high stress, given the recent developments in the spread of the outbreak, quickly made us recognize that we were facing a state of ambiguity that was difficult to navigate and foresee,” Amparo says.
They then took a week to call close friends and family, and announced on the 15th to everyone that the vow renewal celebration would not be taking place or rescheduled. “Our friends in Italy are in complete lockdown, and travel for our guests from New York, California, and the Philippines has become impossible under the circumstances,” Amparo explains.
As for the future of the event, they may decide to plan a celebration in Patmos, where they frequently spend their summers—“The island is where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation,” she says. “Telling for our times?” But as the situation in the U.S. isn’t looking great, on the date of their anniversary, they’ll likely be at home celebrating.
Taking a moment to reflect after announcing the cancellation, Amparo and her husband haven’t looked back. “The increasing number of victims and weight of the situation has made our celebration secondary. Our priorities and sense of self have shifted in this strange and temporary reality. We are reminded that nothing is urgent and that the wellbeing and health of our loved ones is of utmost importance. My husband and I are living in our apartment in South Williamsburg and enjoying the little things in each day,” she says.
This whole experience has only made Amparo appreciate weddings more. “It has made it even more meaningful—marriage understood as a union, not only between the two of us but also with our friends and family.”
“We hope and trust that Italy, and the rest of the world, weathers this storm with success, Amparo says. “And we extend our warmest thoughts to the people whose lives have been deprived of normalcy due to the heightened state of emergency.”