Delawareans postpone weddings due to pandemic

Large gatherings are the number one thing to avoid, in fact prohibited by the governor’s coronavirus emergency order.  But it happens to be wedding season.

“Having to postpone our wedding was very upsetting for both of us,” said Kieley Hines, of Dover, who was set to be married to her fiancé, Aaron Marvel, May 9. “It’s a day we’ve been planning for over a year and everything had finally fallen into place. Then, with just a few weeks left, we had to change everything.”

Chelsea Crumlish and Mark Richmond of Bear are holding onto hope that they won’t have to postpone their wedding. It’s scheduled for June 14 at White Clay Creek Country Club.

“If we're allowed to have the festivities in June, we plan to, even if half the guests don't come,” Crumlish said. “Our venue won't let us change the date unless we have to without losing our deposits.”

However, Sherri Messick, of Milford, has already postponed her June 19 wedding for an entire year. She has been with her fiancé, Matt Messick, for 12 years and has already changed her name.

“We came to the decision because most people are out of work and the stress of maybe having to buy an outfit and a wedding gift ... I didn't want people to stress over my wedding. Another reason is my maid-of-honor is pregnant and I didn't want to put her at risk and her have to make the decision to not come,” she said. “It was a very sad day when we actually said it out loud. This is something I've waited for.”

Seaford couple Lindsay Shallis and Kevin Grunden were scheduled to get married in Delmar, Md. April 16. When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan limited gatherings to 10 people March 19, they made the decision to reschedule their 137-guest wedding.

The future Grundens haven’t lost any money, other than the new invitations they plan to buy. In fact, their venue is throwing in some extra amenities and their honeymoon cruise line, Royal Caribbean, refunded 125% for a future cruise.

But it still stings.

“Having to postpone actually made me very upset. I felt like I lost a huge thing. Even though it wasn’t gone I felt like it was ruined,” Shallis said. “I also felt very pressured in March … so many people were asking me questions and almost demanding answers. It made it even more stressful.”

Stephanie Walker, of Wilmington, is an event planner. She and Brian Snead, of Newark, planned to wed May 16 at Saint Dorothy’s Roman Catholic Church in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

On Feb. 29, Walker’s bridesmaids went to order their dresses, only to find they wouldn’t receive them for months due to problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in other parts of the world. In March, as the effects of the virus began to ripple through the United States, the Delaware County office that would have issued Walker and Snead a marriage license closed indefinitely. Then the bridal shower venue canceled. When both governors issued stay-at-home orders, she threw in the towel.

“March was a whirlwind of emotions,” Walker said. “As an event planner, it was harder for me to have to tell my brides we needed to reschedule their big day than it was for me to accept my own.”

Walker and Snead’s new date is July 24.

“We may just be giving sanitizer and TP out as favors though,” she said.