July 17, 2020

A Change of Plans by Lynn Dove

You will have to excuse me, but tomorrow my daughter gets married and I'm just a wee bit excited!  We had been looking forward to this day, July 18, 2020 for well over a year.  The venue had been booked a year in advance, as had the photographer, and florist.  My daughter, Carmen, and her fiance, Jack dreamed of the way the day would go.  They had been meticulous in planning everything down to the finest detail.  I was blessed to be with Carmen when she picked out the gown of her dreams just before I started my chemo treatments last year.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen were selected, engagement photos shot, and wedding invites all mailed out at the beginning of March. 

Then Covid-19 hit and everything changed!

The province of Alberta went into total lock down, as did the rest of Canada.  As the weeks lagged on in isolation, Carmen and Jack faced the reality that their wedding plans had to change.  As out-of-town guests were forced to cancel their flights, and Alberta imposed group size restrictions, they had to make tough decisions.  Reluctantly,  they cancelled the dinner planned for over a hundred guests at their chosen golf course venue.  They explained their circumstances with their wedding merchants to tell them of their change of plans.  Thankfully, everyone was incredibly understanding and supportive of the young couple. They emailed all the invited wedding guests and said, "Due to the current situation, and our concerns for the health of our loved ones, we have decided to cancel our wedding.  We will be eloping on July 18, 2020.  We trust you understand our decision.  Thank you and we send our love and best wishes for good health.  Carmen & Jack." 

With that said, the wedding day they had dreamed about for over a year vanished in a vapour of tears.  

I wept before the Lord about our world situation in general, but particularly I cried out to the Lord to comfort my daughter and my son-in-law-to-be as they tried to come to terms with this huge change of plans.  They were adamant they wanted to be married on their chosen day, but the question was where to have the ceremony and how to celebrate with the tight Covid safety restrictions in place.  For several weeks, they did not know what they would do.  My heart broke every time my daughter texted me.  At first they thought about just driving to the mountains, find a scenic spot with just parents and their officiant being present to see them take their vows, but the provincial parks were closed and officials refused them permits.  They were becoming so discouraged and my prayers intensified for them to think "outside the box" and settle on a plan they could eventually embrace wholeheartedly.  I jumped for joy, literally, when they finally decided to have the ceremony at our home and have a small dinner "reception" at Jack's parent's home. 

It was an answer to prayer.

For the last several weeks we have been in full-scale planning mode.  My husband built their wedding arch and we've been trying to get our small acreage in shape so it will be an almost park-like setting for the ceremony.  The florist and photographer have adapted to the new changes well, and are prepared for the smaller gathering.  Jack's parents have superbly decorated their home for the reception dinner, making the setting as festive and beautiful as it could possibly be.  We hired a caterer, who has impressed us all with her attention to detail, and we are looking forward to the plated dinner, and the sweet treats she has planned to serve.  We know that the day's celebration will be considerably scaled back with only twenty people in attendance, but Carmen and Jack have observed how everything has just come together in so many ways that they are confident their day will be as special as it can possibly be.  I suspect that when the young couple look back on their wedding day in the coming years, they will remember the love of family, and the joy of the day, and they will not dwell on "what might have been", but only remember how wonderful it was!

Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and at lynndove.com   


  1. My niece gets married in two weeks, and they have faced the same thing. Even her parents won't be in attendance, so they will stream the wedding now and have a party down the road.

    I'm so glad your daughter and her intended found a way that will still create a day that's special for them. How lovely to have the ceremony in your own home.

    By the time we read this, perhaps the event has come and gone. Congratulations and blessings to the happy couple!

  2. To me it sounds like the perfect day, and I suspect it will be all the more memorable because of the challenges. Blessings to all!

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    1. Covid has changed many events in the world. As seen through Carmen & Jack even this illness cannot infect true love. Blessings to the young couple, you, Lynn, and the families as you enjoy their beautiful wedding day.

  4. God bless you and Carmen and Jack, and I pray they'll look back with special memories on this day.

  5. John Lennon got it right. Life is what happens while you're making other plans. May the Lord chase Murphy away and everything goes well with the wedding.

  6. What a wonderful story they will have to tell. May God bless you all on this special day. Thanks for sharing with us.


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