In the midst of these uncertain COVID-19 times we have come together as a nation as never before and there have been moments of celebration too. Maybe not the weddings we had planned,bbut moments of joy nevertheless.
Yesterday we paused to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the day WWII ended in Europe. Millions celebrated this momentous day 75 years ago and we did again yesterday – albeit at an acceptable distance. The day also gave me the opportunity to remember my amazing grandparents. My paternal grandparents spent the war in Asia. My grandfather was in service in the Indian Army in various locations across Asia while my grandmother spent her time in India raising my father and aunt while waiting for Grandpa to return home.
My maternal grandparents both served in Europe during the war. My Grandad passed while I was a toddler but over the years my mother would tell me stories about him. We didn’t know too much about his service as he kept a lot of his work as a physicist quiet. We have since found out that he was a part of the allied forces who helped liberate some of the concentration camps at the end of the war which must have been horrific and I can now understand why he didn’t share his experiences. My Grannie-Mum served in the WAF delivering messages all over the Greater London area and beyond as far as I can tell! She would tell me about some of the parties that they had during the war and remained close to several of the women she worked with during that time. Grannie-Mum and Grandad were married shortly after the war in Europe ended – in July 1945. By all accounts it was a simple but joyous wedding in Marylebone, London.
Fast forward 75 years to today and here we are in the weirdest of times. While we don’t yet know when weddings will be able to start again, we can still take time to celebrate love. I should have been presiding over Hayley and Michelle’s wedding today. Theirs is the 8th wedding this year that I should have taken by now and there are a more over the next 10 weeks that have all been postponed to later this year or next. COVID-19 has been devastating for everyone – just as WWII was all those years ago – loss of life, loss of business, loss of celebrations. We are all working hard to accommodate changes and ensure that these wonderful couples are able to have the day of their dreams once we’re able to resume.
I think back to my grandparents who married during difficult times in a post war era when rationing and many other restrictions were still in place. Grannie-Mum once shared with me that what was important about their wedding day was the love that they shared. They let the rest of the arrangements for their day unfold without an agenda.
Hayley and Michelle are marking today quietly. For others, its an opportunity to connect with their wedding guests virtually via Zoom or Skype (I wish I’d bought shares in Zoom!) and think about the celebrations to come. Weddings of some sort of shape or form will return – not sure when but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. To all my 2020 couples, just drink in the love you share – that’s what’s most important!
Stay safe and stay at home. I’m always here for a chat to discuss your plans and support you all the way to your big day!
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