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To the 2020 and 2021 Brides

To the 2020 brides,

I'm sorry the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing so much disruption for large gatherings, workplaces and travel. It feels scary with the media and public reaction seeming to run nonstop right now. It's true, brides with family members flying from out of the country have already decided to postpone their wedding days in the best interest of their loved ones. What a difficult yet selfless decision to make.

My single bit of advice is to make no decisions for your wedding day out of fear. Our country (our world, really) has a history that proves fear drives isolation, selfishness, justification of crimes and other terrible outcomes, so don't allow the spread of fear to cloud your decisions. Let's look at some documented facts from the professionals who study and manage this viral outbreak at hand.

As of the date of writing this letter, the CDC has reported about 650 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 25 of which have resulted in death. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 328 million residents, so in perspective, the current fraction of the population that has contracted the coronavirus is .000198 percent. While that is an extremely small percentage, I completely understand that no one wants to risk being held responsible for the lives of those around them amid the reported mortalities. However, don't solely take the media's word. It may be worth contacting your trusted healthcare professional to gather a medical perspective on the vulnerability of your elderly loved ones to viruses at a gathering like a wedding before making any final decisions.

Whether you decide to carry on with your beautiful day as planned for 2020 or you decide that some of your loved ones may be put at risk by such a gathering and decide to postpone, you can only win, my dear. Anytime you make decisions based on love instead of fear, that's a big win.

Now to the 2021 brides,

I know the coronavirus craze can feel overwhelming and leave you feeling unsure about how to plan your own wedding day for a year from now. While I have no expert medical advice, I do see an opportunity for you here.

Where 2020 brides, conferences and large events may be postponing or cancelling and inquiries dip low this month, it could open the opportunity for you to have less competition for the 2021 wedding date you want at the beautiful venue you want and reserve the photographer you've always had your heart set on. While the rest of the world hesitates to make plans to travel this quarter or even cancels big events like SXSW in Austin, Texas, you have the advantage of time on your side, so COVID-19 can fade from the media front. Who knows, the coronavirus may get you first in line to book the wedding vendors you want, so I say, charge forward in your wedding plans!

As history has proven with the bird flu or swine flu epidemics that flashed across our screens, the world hasn't crumbled yet nor is it expected to with the coronavirus. Absolutely take reasonable precautions to be sanitary and smart in gatherings or cities with reported COVID-19 cases. Wash your hands. Toilet paper is good. Be kind to others. Be smart. But don't allow fear of the future, with or without a coronavirus, to make you stop moving forward with your life.

If anything, I think this could be the most sanitary time to be interacting with folks-- that is assuming people are actually using all of the Lysol and sanitation products that have vanished from store selves!

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