‘I started bawling my eyes out’: how coronavirus wrecked marriage plans | Life and style

J.Jennifer Clymer and Edgar Pablos were in a relationship when Harry met Sally. After meeting on a film set in 1999, the Los Angelenos became quick friends and, through years of unsuccessful attempts to find lasting love, performed the Stand-by-Me Act for each other.

Clymer (48) and Pablos (47) share the obsession with classic 80s cinema. Of course, the bosom fans who say it all have finally switched to full Romcom hyperdrive after starting a drive-in show from The Goonies in 2015.

"Don't forget the ketchup for the waffle fries," Clymer Pablos warned out of the car when he got the snacks.

The way he looked at her, she remembers: "It was like the moment of the princess bride."

As you wish, he replied – with his doggy look.

To paraphrase Meg Ryan: and then they fell in love.

In April 2019, they got engaged and scheduled their wedding in LA for June 20, 2020.

And then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

As a rapidly growing number of cities and states, including Los Angeles and California, imposed increasingly stringent restrictions on assemblies to smooth the curve of the new Covid 19 cases, Clymer and Pablos joined the legions of couples in spring and early summer wedding appointments, in which the plans for their big day have been turned upside down in the past few weeks by the rapid and devastating outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple still maintained a goonies never say die perspective. They emailed their 250 invited guests on Friday saying that they had postponed their wedding indefinitely, but not with a broken heart "because this party does not mark the beginning of our mutual engagement, but celebrates the engagement that we have already received ".

The best man's father called to thank Clymer and Pablos for not forcing him to choose between potentially jeopardizing his health from attending the wedding and not supporting the couple.

Pablos was moved to tears.

• •• •• •

According to The Knot wedding planning and registration resource, the United States has planned 450,000 weddings for March through May alone.

The Knot, with its partner brand WeddingWire, has established a coronavirus hotline and reports that many engaged couples who ask for advice have indicated that they are reducing to a small gathering in their parents' house or are getting married at short notice and are planning a vow renewal ceremony on their first Wedding day.

For the $ 78 billion wedding industry as a whole, the coronavirus fatal blow came on March 15 when the CDC advised against gatherings of 50 or more people in the following eight weeks.

The chaotic fallout involved a great mess to reschedule upcoming wedding dates, which in turn led to intense competition to secure the rapidly disappearing slots, which are especially available for late summer and fall bookings.

Such a relatively short-term rescheduling is based on what might turn out to be magical thinking given the current uncertainty of the US epidemic: this society will ultimately return to a significant normal value within the next three or four months.

For their part, Pablos and Clymer are already used to virus-related delays. At the beginning of last year, the flu she was suffering from compromised his cinematic vision of asking the question during a planned trip to Colorado that would have made a trip to a beautiful snow-covered valley possible. For example, the filmmaker explored a new location in New Mexico near his parents' house in El Paso – the location of their next trip. This provided his ultimate, successful proposal with a sandy backdrop and snow-capped mountains in the distance.

The Cinephiles are still committed to getting married at their original venue, the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement community for Showbiz veterinarians in Woodland Hills, California. Clymer works there and wants all the pensioners she is connected to to attend her reception in her own back yard. (Actress Connie Sawyer, who appeared in the relationship vignette that opened when Harry met Sally, and who died in 2018 at the age of 105, was a dear friend.) Such a gathering is currently impossible because seniors in particular need to be protected of coronavirus.

• •• •• •

The almost instantaneous loss or postponement of an entire busy wedding season turns out to be catastrophic for the 1.2 million people and the nearly 400,000 companies that owe at least part of their income to the marriage industry. Everyone, from wedding planners and caterers to florists and furniture rental companies, was blind.

Emma Gassett and Matt Kunkel become engaged.

Emma Gassett and Matt Kunkel become engaged. Photo: Unknown / Studio 27 Photography

"The pandemic could change the industry," said Olivier Cheng, president of Olivier Cheng Catering & Events in New York City, a metropolitan area that has emerged as the epicenter of the global pandemic this week. 17,853 tests were positive for coronavirus and 199 people died of Covid-19 as of Wednesday morning. "Our business model may need to evolve to survive."

As the entire event industry has come under pressure as a result of the widespread loss of jobs for companies and non-profit organizations, the economic damage has only affected other sectors.

"We as an industry employ more Broadway actors than Broadway," said Carla Ruben, president of New York City and Miami-based catering company Creative Edge Parties. The company has already postponed 20 weddings until July – the lion's share of annual earnings.

Cheng reports that he will sign a two-week bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars in high season – money that he knows supports the artistic ambitions and families of hundreds of workers.

"One of the reasons I'm so proud of my business is because I make a living for people," says Cheng. With his wages down to less than $ 10,000 in the foreseeable future, he reports that he is suffering from a father's heartache because he is unable to provide for his large working-class family.

"On the plus side," says Ruben, "there are still people who get engaged because they are all stuck together in their homes and realize that they are with the people they want to be with."

Matt Kunkel (24) and Emma Gassett (25) know the feeling well. The two New York theater professionals postponed their Long Island wedding, which was originally scheduled for the end of the month, to July. In the meantime, they are accommodated in their cozy Manhattan bedroom.

"The greatest test of a marriage is the survival of the quarantine together," says Kunkel. "But there is nobody with whom you can go through all this better than your best friend and the love of your life."

• •• •• •

Interviews with dozens of engaged couples and industry professionals suggest that flexibility is broadly the game's new name for wedding venues and providers when it comes to rescheduling. As best they can cope financially, they tend to observe a sense of goodwill and overlook contract terms, known as, in the face of a general crisis Force majeure – this would normally impose a financial penalty on displacement for couples.


Small businesses that rely on recommendations also want to avoid potentially spoiling their reputation by charging customers in need of change in their wedding plans under the exceptional circumstances.

The newlyweds Amber Matlock (30) and Teyanna Noren (26) from Tacoma, Washington, benefited from this generosity after the original venue for their planned 100-person wedding had to be canceled in eight days due to new government restrictions Crowds.

"I started screaming my eyes," Matlock says.

Fortunately, the couple quickly found a new, delightfully idyllic spot for their reduced vows: an indoor and outdoor venue called The Five2Five in the rural town of Buckley, located at the foot of Mount Rainier about 30 miles south-east of Seattle.

"I started tearing up several times when we were at the venue," recalls Noren, "because it looked like this:" We have hope again. "

The original reception center, Lake Wilderness Lodge, refunded the full amount to the couple. And despite the fact that their reservation at The Five2Five was at a higher price, the new company allowed them to pay no more than originally.

Matlock and Noren's wedding planner, Bianca Mattingly, helped make arrangements between the venue, caterer, DJ and photographer to hold a short elopement ceremony and first dance last weekend, with the promise of a full-fledged wedding ceremony at the same Place to return in a year. Nobody charged extra.

Witnesses at Matlocks and Noren's wedding.

Witnesses at Matlocks and Noren's wedding. Photo: Krystal Switzer

In keeping with the guiding principle of her industry, Mattingly is a bitter advocate for maintaining romance – now more than ever.

"People are afraid, they need some hope," she says.

The typical Kurmudgeonian Pacific weather gods in the northwest further strengthened Matlock and Noren's spirit and blessed them with an atypically warm and cloudless day last Friday so that the joyful brides could get married in the afternoon.

The 25 guests – just close friends and family – were each one meter apart. There were lots of hand sanitizers and lots of tissues.

As for Clymer and Pablos, after 21 years of friendship it is no problem for them to wait another year for their marriage. Because when they realized that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they realized that the rest of their lives had already started.

(tagsToTranslate) Life and Style (t) Weddings (t) US News (t) Corona Virus Outbreak

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