It’s been a difficult time for our wedding couples, and one of our own Showtime family.
As the pandemic hit, we knew immediately that it would have a devastating effect on our many weddings. Showtime Event Group host over 150 weddings a year across the State Library, Old Melbourne Gaol, Showtime Events Centre and Cargo Hall. In the initial lock down we needed to postpone up to 60 events due to take place. As restrictions were extended, it began to impact our spring weddings, and with the latest stage 4 restrictions, it’s started to impact our summer weddings as well. It’s been a difficult time for all of our couples.
As the team of wedding producers work tirelessly with their couples to postpone and find new dates, one of them was facing the same experience. Colleen Haggarty joined the Showtime family earlier in the year as a wedding producer based at the State Library, and was due to get married on the 12th June this year . . . in Kentucky, USA!
‘It was around early March when COVID started to really make an impact here in Australia. I remember getting an email from Qantas saying that our flights may be impacted. So that’s when I started to think there’s a possibility that we weren’t going to the States to get married.’
An American Wedding was looking very unlikely
‘We had booked a venue in Kentucky, where I am from, and this wedding was going to be very special. This was the opportunity to bring together our family and friends from Australia to meet our family and friends in Kentucky. It was going to be the first time our parents were in the same room together. We had 80 guests from Melbourne travelling over and we were going to ensure that they got the full Southern ‘Blue Grass’ experience. Think horses, bourbon, and amazing Southern Food!’.
‘Once the borders started shutting in the US we knew it wasn’t going to happen. Initially we postponed to 2021 and we were really thankful that our vendors, including the venue, florists and makeup artists were so accommodating with the postponement. Now we are probably looking at 2022, potentially 2023 due to travel restrictions and getting everyone over there. We know there may be a few credits that potentially won’t extend that far, so we will look to gift those to others in Kentucky as a way of supporting them.’
"My advice is to embrace the day still. Make it a date night, do something virtually with family and friends. Still own the day"
‘When it all happened I was angry. I was angry with the world. Then I realised one of the silver linings that I didn’t need to fit into my wedding dress, so I ate a lot of chocolate and enjoyed happy hour at home with the gyms closed! As the 12th June was looming, it was hard, as I knew that it was meant to be a day that something positive and amazing was meant to happen, and its wasn’t. We were dealing with the fact that the day was coming and we weren’t celebrating the way we had planned it. Our good friend decided that we should still own the day, and organised a dinner for us. By this stage restrictions had eased a little and we were allowed to have 10 people in the home. We celebrated with 6 friends who all brought a bottle of champagne (my favourite!), and we ate homemade lasagne. Comfort food with Cristal, it was great. My advice to a lot of the couples I’ve been dealing with is to embrace the day still if you have postponed. Make it a date night, do something virtually with family and friends. Still own the day.’
There are a few positives to postponement if you try to see the silver lining
‘If you look, you will also see there’s some positives to come out of a postponement, for starters, you have a bit of time to save. There may be something that you skipped on the first time to stay in budget that you can add the second time around. For me it was a veil that I loved, and now I’m going to get it.’
‘Other than the venue, I’ll probably look at scrapping all my plans and starting again. Who knows what new fashions there will be, what colours will be popular, and what the new trends are. I don’t want to try and create the same thing again, I’ll embrace what comes.’
‘The venue is a really special place to us. It’s a larges horse sales venue in Kentucky with multiple places and has a lot of heritage and connection to horses. Southern folklore says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and groom are to be married it won’t rain on their wedding day, and bring good weather. According to many believers, the bottle must be completely full, and it must be buried upside down to ensure maximum weather persuasion. There is a bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon Grant and I have to dig up and celebrate with on the big day, whenever that may be!