How a Corona-Cancelled Wedding Highlighted What Really Matters
“The most important thing is that you’re together, you’re in love, and you will get married. It’s something we’ll tell our grandchildren, or talk about in our wedding speeches: ‘It was a crazy time - but we got through it.'"
All around the world, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced brides and grooms to take the difficult decision to postpone their big day. Among them is Mel, who had commissioned Page & Bloom’s signature paper flowers for her May wedding to partner Dan. We caught up with Mel - over Zoom, naturally - to talk about her unplanning experience, why it’s OK to grieve, and how a tough situation helped highlight what really matters.
By early March, Mel and Dan had everything in place for an intimate London wedding: a registry office service (“the one at Marylebone Town Hall is just gorgeous!”) with 30 of their nearest and dearest, followed by dinner and drinks at a Maida Vale pub. The Page & Bloom team were busy putting the final touches to paper table decorations, bouquets, and buttonholes all inspired by wild flowers in a palette of gold, cream, lilac, and indigo.
“I remember telling a client that I was getting anxious about coronavirus and them saying not to worry, everything would be fine,” recalls Mel. “That same day I emailed the venue to ask about safety measures with regard to serving food and drink - and that evening I had someone come over to practice my wedding hair. We all told ourselves it was going to blow over. But literally within four or five days, we made the decision to cancel.”
After a two-year engagement, it was a huge disappointment for the couple. “It was really crap,” explains Mel. “But once we’d decided to cancel, it gave us some peace of mind: my dad’s elderly, I didn’t want my Mum traveling to the UK and putting herself at risk - plus we had certain cut-off points where we could get refunds from suppliers.”
Page & Bloom were able to deliver Mel’s paper bouquets and buttonholes, and arranged a delayed payment and delivery plan for the venue flowers. “They’re so beautiful! And it’s great that I can literally just store them at home until we’re ready.”
Our paper wedding flowers matched the couple’s vision to a tee, and Mel fell in love with the blooms’ possibilities for customisation, sustainable credentials, as well as potential reuse.
“It’s not this throwaway thing; it’s something we could one day give to another bride, or our children on their wedding days.”
More important still was the social enterprise’s mission of supporting women rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked in or alongside charities. When I discovered Page & Bloom, I was working as a digital strategist with various organisations, including one of their partners, Hestia. It felt like lots of different pieces coming together.”
With her flowers taking a backseat for now, how did the couple mark what would have been their wedding day? “To be honest, we didn’t know how we’d feel,” explains Mel. “But it ended up being a really lovely day because so many of our friends did really lovely things for us!” That included a movie montage of friends getting wedding-ready; a care package of sweets and booze; and from Mel’s maid of honour, a delicious chocolate cake.
“It was all really sweet. I just remember thinking, Wow, we’re so loved, we’re lucky to have these people in our lives. Of course it’s horrible that the day didn’t go ahead, but you don’t often get the chance to feel that much love - it was just amazing and I’ll carry it with me forever.”
Although Mel and Dan don’t yet have a confirmed date for what we know will be a GORGEOUS wedding day, the pair do have advice to share with other couples in a similar situation. “First, don’t feel guilty that you feel sad about this with everything else going on; allow yourself to grieve,” urges Mel.
“There really is no frame of reference for this situation, so allow yourself to feel how you feel.”
“One thing that’s stuck with us throughout this whole situation is something my Mum has always said: ultimately, it’s a day for me and Dan. All that matters is that we do what we want, and that we get married. Keep that in mind, and try not to put yourself under too much pressure to set up this perfect day again. We're viewing this as is an opportunity to revisit things we’d like to do differently or that we didn’t get around to. Now we’ve got that chance!”
It’s been our pleasure to work with Mel and Dan, and so heartening to hear how the love shared between them, their family, and friends has carried them through their wedding upheaval. Above all, we’re thrilled that Page & Bloom will play a small part in the couple’s big day: “I love the idea that when we do get married, people will be talking about these flowers, asking about them and who made them,” says Mel. “I can tell them that they were made by a group of really strong women.”