How to Plan When Natural Disasters Strike Your Wedding

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The government shutdown has claimed another innocent victim: weddings. Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le are just one of the couples faced with a difficult decision that they never could have seen coming this late in the game: “Um honey? Where the hell should we get married?” The two had planned to be married this Saturday at the Washington Memorial, the site of their first date in 2009. Now, nearly at zero hour by wedding timeline standards, they are desperately trying to decide on an alternate venue. In recent history couples have been faced with similar dilemmas during both the Colorado floods and Hurricane Sandy. It’s the kind of fabled disaster that couples hope exists only in wedding planners’ fever dreams.

But disaster does strike and the show must go on. If you’re one of the unlucky couples facing complete wedding overhaul, we have these thoughts to offer you.

Remain Calm

Acceptance is the final stage of the grieving process, and the sooner you land there the easier it will be to move forward. Yes, the Grand Canyon is beautiful. and you’ve been dreaming about this day for ten years. The day is going to be magical no matter what, so take some deep breaths. Turning into Bridezilla and Frankengroom isn’t going to make the situation any better.

Write a Strongly Worded Letter

This is the perfect opportunity for some civic engagement. Tell your members of Congress how much their inability to keep the government afloat ruined your special day. Maybe you’ll get a free tour of The White House or a campaign T-shirt! Turn this shutdown into shutdown-ade. (Actually, never mind, don’t drink that.)

Divide and Conquer

Anja Winikka of TheKnot suggests going ahead with the reception, but not the ceremony or vice versa. Just because you have to reschedule doesn’t mean that you have to reschedule everything! If the date was picked for sentimental reasons, go to the courthouse and put a ring on it with little fanfare. You can have the party at a later date. If everyone has flown in for the reception but you REALLY had your heart set on the Washington Monument, have a big party with your loved ones, let them toast you, and drink to your love. You can do the deed when this all blows over.

Document This

This sucks now, but it’s gonna be a really good party story. You’re part of history! Maybe you can even get a Good Morning America appearance and a free trip to New York out of it.

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