BEN It’s kind of crazy that every twist has worked for both of us except the pandemic. Our first date was at the end of high school. We went to what quickly became our favorite restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, saw a movie, and went to this beautiful Orange County vantage point. It was a starry night and kind of a quiet, secluded neighborhood – it was really romantic. I decided that if we ever get married or engaged it would be cute to propose there. So five years after we started dating, we came back to that point of view and I surprised him there – and it was really cute.
MATTHIEU It was an easy yes. It was April 2019 and we started planning the wedding almost within a month. We had planned for September 2020. After finding the venue, we started making a guest list and tried to find food and everything. Our ceremony was to take place on a grassy hill just above the ocean. Since we’re both from Southern California, this would’ve really caught us. We wanted it to be casual.
BEN Around March of this year, my medical school told us our term would end remotely and Matt learned he would be working from home. But at that time, it didn’t really seem imaginable that the pandemic could last for months, certainly not until marriage. So in March and a bit of April we were still planning, to the point that we had drafts of our invitations. We even held our wedding tasting and had to cancel it. Around April or May, it became pretty clear that it just wouldn’t be safe.
For us, marriage was really about celebrating with friends and families of all ages, and we wanted it to be really special. Dancing six feet apart didn’t seem like what we wanted.
MATTHIEU We were able to postpone it for a year, but given the evolution of this disease, the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. We may have to make a decision by May of next year, so hopefully by then we will have made a lot of progress in the fight against this disease.
One of these days it will happen. We will have a vaccine, we can take our lives back, I’m sure. If I’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s to take stock of what you have and be grateful, because so many people have gone through it much worse.
BEN I remember the beginning of September, with the date coming up and I realized that it was the day we were to get married. This week has been really hard for me and for us, but it’s also been a new excitement as it’s a whole other year to reflect on how lucky we are to have each other, a whole different year to celebrate our love. I hope other couples can find comfort there.
It is completely normal to have feelings of disappointment, sadness and loss. You are wasting a great time. Your friends and family were supposed to come together and shower you with love – literally. But in the grand scheme of things, you have to take a step back and realize that a marriage is just a marriage. It’s the union between two people that really matters, and you don’t have to have a marriage to have that.