Getting married during a pandemic

Getting married during a pandemic

Covid-19 can change plans, but it cannot take the love from a wedding

Eve Tilem and Jared Fuller are planning a July wedding. (David Beyda Studio)
Eve Tilem and Jared Fuller are planning a July wedding. (David Beyda Studio)

If you were anything like me as a little girl, then you’ve been planning your big day since you were 3 years old.

Ever since I first saw the end of “Cinderella,” when she was marrying the prince, dressed in a beautiful, sparkly white ball gown, surrounded by roses and hundreds of people, I’ve been planning and dreaming about it. Then I met someone, fell in love, got engaged, and my little girl fantasy was finally becoming a dream come true.

But Cinderella didn’t have to deal with covid-19 interrupting her fairy tale wedding.

I know I’m not alone in dwelling on the plans that could have, should have been. Huge ballroom, stunning chuppah, big dress, long veil. It’s all changed and cancelled, out of nowhere.

The one constant? My Prince Charming, of course.

Yes, I am so in love with my future chatan. And yes, I still cannot wait to marry him, on that same date. What’s most important is the two of us, our families, and the love we all share. I am sure that you all truly feel the same. But this does not take away from the fact that a small, backyard wedding, while still beautiful and wonderful, is not what we all were hoping for. I think it’s important to talk about the plans we had. If we just push them aside, we will bottle up the underlying disappointment, making it hard to be truly happy on our big day.

We should start by openly feeling a little sad and disappointed. It’s especially heartbreaking to not have the people. And I mean all the people. Grandparents from far away, adorable flower girls, neighbors who feel more like family, and random adults who know your name and your life story, even though you have no clue who they are. It’s all super hard, and there shouldn’t be any denying or downplaying that.

After processing all of this, it’s time to start getting excited about the wedding we will be having. Smaller, more casual, but still it will be everything we hoped and dreamed for. Part of starting a family is learning to grow and adjust to life’s changes, no matter how challenging they may seem. We have to realize that our wedding day will still be beautiful and that this is a marriage, not just a wedding. The disappointment is real and valid, yes. But at the end of the day, we are getting to spend our lives together, which is all that really matters.

Our neshamot will still come together as one, and nothing is going to change that. Recognizing this fact will bring that Cinderella feeling under the chuppah, regardless of the setting or circumstances.

I am going to get married on July 2, in a park or backyard, and then do a Zoom with all my friends and family afterward. A friend of mine got married a few weeks ago and she did the same thing. She was so happy to be married, and she still got to dance with her family and her chatan.

No matter what each bride decides, her wedding will be incredible. The feelings of love and happiness do not come from a hall filled with hundreds of people, they come from you and your soul mate. If you bring that joy and love to your wedding, it will in fact be everything you dreamed of, despite the situation we are in.

Eve Tilem lives in Teaneck, with her parents Ellen and Peter, and sisters Leila and Eliana. She graduated from Yeshivat Noam, the Frisch School, and most recently, Binghamton University, class of 2020! She is following her passion and pursuing a career in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and is excited to marry her chatan, Jared Fuller of Great Neck.

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