Spring calendars are usually flooded with cheerful events celebrating our loved ones’ big milestones. Family vacations, baby showers, weddings, graduation parties…a time to get together with friends and family after our long winter hibernation. Of course, no one could have predicted the isolating circumstances that came with an unprecedented pandemic. COVID-19 has certainly turned our worlds upside down and forced us all to take things one day at a time. But what do you do if you have a big event coming up? Will you be forced to reschedule due to the coronavirus?
The state of Wisconsin has already extended its stay home order until May 26. The 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, which takes place in June, was canceled. Should you reschedule your event, too? Or, do you wait it out and see how long the stay home restrictions stay in place? How long before the economy reopens and what will that look like? Here are some tips to help you make the decision.
You’re faced with a decision that isn’t going to be easy to make. In this situation, as in any, it’s important to acknowledge your grief, your frustration, your sadness. As compassionate humans, we have a tendency to feel guilty for having feelings because, well, “someone out there has it worse than me.” But whatever it is that you’re feeling, those feelings are valid. Yes, there are others who are experiencing different kinds of loss at this time but that doesn’t make your loss any less painful.
Once you’ve identified and fully acknowledged your feelings (hey there, anxiety) do something that brings you peace. Go for a walk, meditate, take a bath, pray about it. The good news is: you’re not alone. Countless people across the country are faced with the decision to reschedule their event due to the pandemic.
Not knowing when travel restrictions would be lifted, my family and I were forced to cancel a much-anticipated vacation that was almost a year in the making. My husband and I haven’t been anywhere since our honeymoon five years ago and we needed this getaway. Rescheduling could mean a different vacation rental, a different location, different activities. But I wanted the vacation we had originally planned!
Expectations are the root of disappointment. I know, you’re due in June and there’s no other time to have a baby shower before your little one arrives. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of a May wedding and there’s no way you can wait until next year. Try to shift your perspective and think outside the box. Turn your baby shower into a sip-and-see and throw a party a month or two after the baby is born (they don’t need much those first few months, anyway). Start to imagine how beautiful a fall wedding could be. Once I let go of how my vacation was supposed to look, I made room for creative problem solving and excitement for our new vacation.
Sit down and look at a calendar with all stakeholders.
This could include your partner, your parents, your guest of honor, and the venue where your event is booked. Visualizing the dates together can help make the decision a little more manageable. Maybe June is too soon, and July is already booked with other obligations, but August would be suitable to reschedule your event. You won’t know those specifics until you sit down and discuss the possibilities with all involved parties. Once you identify everyone’s availability, narrow down some alternative dates that work for everyone. This all may seem overwhelming– repeat steps one and two.
When in doubt, reschedule.
The truth is, none of us know when the stay-home order will end. Even when it does end (and it will) there will likely be a restriction on what opens first or limits on the size of gatherings. Since we don’t know exactly what that looks like yet, why not just play it safe and reschedule your event? It may be better to do it now than to spend the next few weeks agonizing over the decision. Instead of stressing about it, spend that time getting your ducks in a row. Plus, the more notice you can give to your guests, the better they can plan for the change.
Stay calm, be flexible, and remember you are not alone. We are all together in not knowing exactly what next month, this summer, or this fall are going to look like. We will get through it!