Married During The Coronavirus Outbreak & Cancelled Honeymoon

Yesterday marked 3 weeks since we got married, back on that rainy Sunday 15th March. It feels like a lifetime ago and it’s absolutely mad to think how much has happened and changed within that short amount of time.

Now full disclaimer, we know how lucky we are to have been able to get married and we are grateful to both be in good health. Many around the country are not as fortunate, some have postponed or cancelled weddings and too many people are losing loved ones to this awful virus.

Steph proposed almost 4 years ago, on 24th April 2016 in our favourite place, Disney World. It’s safe to say we had been planning our dream wedding way before that, knowing we would spend the rest of our lives together, months before getting engaged we’d been browsing rings we liked and discussing what type of setting we could see ourselves saying ‘I Do’.

When we got engaged we were still living at my Mums, saving for our mortgage deposit. After saving for almost 2 years, we moved into our flat and immediately began saving hard for this wedding, which we booked on my birthday in July 2017. Along with the wedding, we planned our once in a lifetime honeymoon, back at our favourite place where this journey started, in Disney World. We booked a 12 night stay at our dream Disney resort, plus a 3 night cruise sailing on the Disney Dream from Florida, a first for us both as we had never been on a cruise ship before.

I distinctly remember discussing the coronavirus outbreak at length with my Mum and our concerns of the impact it could have. This was on the first weekend of February, whilst shopping for her mother of the bride outfit in London, even then, it seemed a little scary, like this unstoppable apocalypse was on it’s way.

When the Disney Parks in Asia started closing, we began to get that sinking feeling that our honeymoon would be cancelled. Then the Diamond Princess cruise ship was stranded off the cost of Japan and the numbers infected jumped from 10 to over 700, which completely terrified us.

After receiving numerous emails from the Disney Cruise Line regarding the changes on board, we got an email the week before the wedding informing us that as we were due to sail within the ‘high risk’ time period we are able to change our booking for a later date free of charge. This was a big red flag for us, as Disney do not willingly make offers like this lightly, Steph had dreamed of sailing on one of the Disney ships for nearly 20 years, so with a heavy heart we postponed our cruise to February 2021.

We were closely following the news on a daily basis, which in all honestly was pretty draining, then the week of our wedding Trump put out the European travel ban and on Thursday 12th March Disneyland put out a statement that the parks would be closing that weekend due to the growing numbers in California. Knowing the Disney company well, we knew Orlando and Paris would shortly follow and the UK would soon be added to the no fly list.

I woke up on Friday 13th March (typically) at around 5am, I couldn’t sleep and just had this feeling that something had happened… Disney had recently announced that all parks and resorts would be closing on the 15th. So just like that our honeymoon was cancelled. We know ‘it’s just a holiday’ and so many more pressing and horrid things were happening, but we were sad, we had been saving and planning this trip for so long, we had not been on a holiday abroad in years and we were just looking forward to spending those first moments of married life together, making memories at our favourite place.

Planning a wedding is stressful and the lead up to a wedding, that stress increases. But those couple of weeks leading up to the wedding, none of that seemed to matter, we suddenly didn’t care about getting decorative items finished and planning those last few details. We just wanted reassurance that we could actually get married. One of us (or both) practically cried every day for the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding, and I was desperate for some romantic, relaxing time away with my soon to be wife. So I quickly booked a last minute trip to Centre Parcs for the weekend after the wedding… typically days later this was also cancelled.

After lots of phone calls and emails back and forth with the venue, we got reassurance that our wedding would be going ahead, just. Basically because we were getting married on the Sunday it would definitely be happening, as Boris Johnson was due to give the next meeting the following day and if it had been from the Monday 16th it would have been up in the air and most likely cancelled. A week later the venue did close. Cutting it fine much?!

However, despite the virus, the rain and last minute guest drop outs, our wedding day was beautiful. It was everything we had dreamed of, Steph looked unbelievably stunning and the day was full of love, laughter and a handful of (happy) tears.

Finally after many hours on hold, we’ve finally been able to rebook the honeymoon, across the Disney packages and flights, it’s costing us a 4 figured sum to rebook, which really sucks, but better than losing everything.
We have managed to rebook the Disney World part of our honeymoon to coincide with the already rebooked cruise trip, we will now be flying out to Orlando on Wednesday 27th January 2021 for the 12 nights, then the cruise to follow from Monday 8th February. We have also been able to rebook our Centre Parcs trip to October this year.

It was such a shame to change the countdown from single digits back up to over 300 days, but we are so grateful that we are married and have been able to rebook our honeymoon, and now at least we’ve got something to look forward to, once all the madness ends.

How has the coronavirus affected you? Have you had to postpone weddings, holidays or big life events? Let me know.

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