By: Louise North – Principal, Framlingham College

“COVID-19 has made me re-evaluate what is important, it’s made me ask myself who I am and what matters to me”

I am sure you would agree that COVID-19 is having an impact on how we behave and on the decisions that we make. For example, there is a forced simplicity to life – with the restrictions on where we can go, what we can do and how we can do it –  that means in some cases, it feels easier to make decisions because the choices in front of us are less complicated.

It seems that weddings are being impacted by COVID-19 too, but not in a wholly negative way. Some wedding organisers have found that they are busier than ever, as couples decide to get on with their wedding rather than wait, even though it means doing things differently to how they might have imagined.

Perhaps the forced regulations of no more than 15 guests and masks all round have made people question what their wedding is all about. What’s the point of all that fuss? Because a wedding during the pandemic just doesn’t feel right – does it? Weddings are about hats, confetti, lots of people, a church with bells ringing, sun shining, photographers, cake, speeches, seeing family members you haven’t seen for years, oohing and aahing at the outfits, what about the reception, the presents, the party, the dancing, the table plan, who am I sitting next to?

Without all that, it suddenly becomes quite simply about the two people involved and their wish to declare their love for each other formally.

Last Monday I received an invitation to a wedding. The date? Today.

“A slot at a register office has come up”, they said, “and we’re going to do it. Hope you can come”.

So I’m off, mask in hand, to stand outside a register office (because only 9 people can fit in this one) whilst my nephew, James, marries his partner. There will only very close family, 15 of us in total, there’ll be no photographer, we won’t be hugging and we will all wear our Sunday best, with masks adding a bit of je ne sais quoi to our outfits.

The fact that my nephew is not waiting for next year to get married suggests perhaps that there are things going on here that are more important than all the decoration, all the frills, all the fuss of a conventional wedding.

Maybe the pandemic has brought that simple truth home to them more sharply.

And what about our lives? There’s a lot of stuff in our lives, isn’t there? Perhaps we should think about peeling back some of the layers of decoration, frills and fuss in our own lives to see what’s really happening underneath. What really matters to you when push comes to shove? What sort of friend are you? What do the choices you make say about you? Without the decoration, frills and fuss, who are you? Now there’s a question.

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