COVID may have thrown already-booked brides and grooms for a loop this year, but it hasn’t put a dent in the engagement game. Couples are still locking things down (despite the months spent in lockdown), and it’s a really awesome thing to see. But now that we’re all social distancing (have been and will be for the foreseeable future), fêting a friend who just got engaged isn’t such a no brainer. Since “yaaaas girl, congrats!!!” hugs, happy hour, and ring show and tell won’t be the standard post-engagement gathering for quite some time, we thought we’d round up a few ideas on how to keep your bride-to-be bestie’s spirits up when the just-engaged afterglow starts to wane, but wedding planning is put on hold.
Remember, after she’s got a ring on that finger and once all the social media congratulations, texts, calls, and ‘we’re sooo happy for you two’ hoopla is hushed, a bride can usually jump into wedding planning fast and furiously without feeling any kind of post-proposal letdown. Engaged-during-corona fiancées; however, can’t really proceed in the same way, because as much as they’d like to get the ball rolling on picking a date, lining up vendors, going dress shopping, etc., the wedding world needs to bounce back to business as usual following a severely disappointing 2020 'I Do' season.
If you have a friend who just said “YES,” then make sure she’s still feeling her #bridetobe status.
You can do it by:
Zooming with solutions.
Maybe your friend had her whole wedding imagined way before her ring was a real thing, so it makes sense if she’s having serious WTF feelings about a pandemic just rolling in and completely pressing pause on all social engagements until TBD. In this case, the best way you can be there for her is to simply be available - as you would even if we weren’t under remain-six-feet-apart caution - answer her phone calls, respond (maybe even more quickly than usual) to her tizzy texts, and offer to help with anything from vendor research to virtual venue scouting.
Organizing a happy Bride-day (when you’re getting married, every day is bride day, but let’s just say Friday) drive by.
MOH, you’re up! Send out a text or email, gather the girls, jump in your cars, and parade her way with balloons, flowers, sweet, congratulatory signage, all the wedding planning books and magazines she needs, and some delicious dessert (her favorite indulgences, too) to eat along with it.
Sending treats just because.
Brides planning weddings - especially during a totally unprecedented outbreak like COVID - can use any excuse to treat themselves. So, don’t wait for a ‘special’ moment during her engagement to surprise her with sweets, do it out of the blue. Send chocolate. Send flowers. Send booze. She’s probably not making the same daily Dunkin' Donuts runs as she did pre-coronavirus, so either look into coffee deliveries or spend some [valuable] time figuring out exactly how to recreate the taste of her favorite morning (or mid-afternoon) caffeinated beverage and send her the recipe… Maybe even ship her or do a doorstep drop of the ingredients. #Bridesmaid1COVID0.
Making her feel safe.
This is a weird time for everyone. We’re all feeling COVID’s effects in different ways and having anxiety about different safety thresholds. But if your friend just got engaged and - like whiplash - then found herself holed up at home, you can imagine how she could get bummed out in a hot sec. And the fact that social distancing has forced us all to start appreciating ourselves without painted nails, highlighted hair, and on-trend AF fashion is a good thing, really, it is, but you can’t blame a girl for wanting to feel like her best self (if she’s mourning the loss of going to the salon, don’t judge her, because we feel the same way) when she’s got a sparkly new bauble and #feyonce upgrade to show off.
Our advice? If she’s been lusting after a mani to complement the piece on that finger and she’s comfortable venturing out now that businesses are starting to open up, then do some recon to find the safest salon around - call ahead to make sure they’re taking ALL the precautions to keep their customers safe and make her an appointment. Maybe even coordinate with her fiancé to make sure she has a ride to and from and a place to wait (other than a salon lobby).
You can also help out if she’s been itching to go dress shopping, but totally at a loss for how to go about it. Research bridal boutiques or gown ateliers that are doing their part to flatten the curve, but also providing options (virtual bridal styling appointments, intimate dress fittings, at-home try-ons, etc.) for every bride and her entourage to shop safely.
Photo Credit: Korie Cull on Unsplash
Helping her escape.
It’s the summertime, so your newly-engaged friend might have had big plans for the season - traveling, spending time outdoors in the sun, etc. - and now they’re cancelled. To help keep her mind off of stressful things, either send her some books for summer reading (wedding planning books work!) or bring an oasis to her. If she has a deck, stagger staging with the rest of the girls in the squad and each of you bring a different festive element to fancy up her staycation. Pretty plants, a hammock, a mini fridge stocked with rosé.
She’s engaged, guys! Don’t let her bride sparkle fizzle out, she needs her friends to help keep it fun even while social distancing…