After more than a year of planning, Murphy Moyer was set to marry her fiancé May 9 at Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes.
Then the COVID-19 outbreak threw a wrench into the whole thing.
With the governor limiting all gatherings to 10 or fewer people until at least May 15, Moyer’s wedding is now on hold, and what she and her fiancé will do is still uncertain.
“It’s obviously not going to happen,” she said. “I’ve tried a couple times to move it back, but obviously the fall dates are already booked prior to this happening. There were a couple of good dates I’ve tried, but none of my vendors are available at the same time, so it’s pushing it further and further back. At this point, I don’t know when it’s actually going to happen.”
Moyer had already sent out invitations and was expecting a celebration with about 280 people.
Event planner Dana Ferreri of Happy Hour Events said the pandemic has thrown spring wedding season into chaos.
“It’s a situation no one’s ever dealt with before, and we’re all trying to figure it out,” she said.
While obviously disappointed their special day will be postponed, Ferreri said, most of her clients have come to terns with their circumstances.
“Everybody realizes that it’s way bigger than them,” she said. “Everyone’s understanding, and I think that’s the best way to handle it.”
For couples who planned and organized their own wedding, and may be overwhelmed and stressed with the changes, Ferreri is offering free virtual planning services every day through May 30. The goal is to help couples navigate postponing their wedding. It could even serve as a therapy session, she said. Anyone interested should go to www.happyhoureventsde.com/contact.
And as couples have been scrambling to book a new date and organize vendors, wedding venues also have had a stressful few weeks.
Peggy Raley, owner of Nassau Valley Vineyards, says the spring wedding season typically kicks off in May. The COVID-19 outbreak has already forced some postponements, with more likely to follow the longer the virus persists. She said she’s willing to work with couples to reschedule a date.
“I’ve been pretty lucky at this point with these first weddings coming up,” she said. “The couples have been very flexible; they’re not freaking out. They’re disappointed certainly, but they’re looking to move forward.”
Raley compared the current situation to a hurricane. When a storm is coming, couples often move up or postpone their weddings, often last minute.
“They’re not going to lose their deposit with us, and they’re not going to lose the venue,” she said. “We’re doing everything in our power to encourage the other vendors to do as we are doing and help these people just move forward into a date in the future that works for everybody.”
If there is a positive that’s coming out of a frustrating situation, Ferreri said, it’s the collaboration of all facets of the event planning industry.
“Whether it’s catering, planners, florists, rental companies, whatever, we are all doing what we can to work together to make it as seamless as we possibly can,” she said.
For Moyer, her special day will come, even if it’s not when she planned.
“I've tried a couple of times [to move the date] and it just isn't working out, so at this point, I'm like, eventually something will happen,” she said.