Dear 2020 Bride and Groom,

As a wedding photographer, it's my exceptional honour and privilege to be able to capture so many beautiful celebrations of love and the coming together of families. I can't think of a more beautifully celebrated milestone than a wedding. My favourite moments on a wedding day would have to be the first time the couple sees each other whether it's from opposite ends of the aisle or during a first look as well as right after the ceremony where the energy and the emotions are high and there are hugs and kisses from the couple's nearest and dearest.

I was, admittedly, looking forward to experiencing those moments on my own wedding day. We were due to be married on the 9th of May, 2020. That date was significant as it marked 9 years of us. I never imagined our wedding postponed and it was a heartbreaking decision that we were forced to make due to the Coronavirus. A wedding that we spent 2.5 years planning and have strong expectations and formed emotional attachments to.

On top of that, Being both a bride and a wedding photographer, I've had to see so many other brides go through the same pain. Pushing back their day, changing location / venue / vendors due to availabilities, or changing their whole day altogether to fit the restrictions. Some of them were also hit by the bushfire at the start of the year. It's heartbreaking.

I wanted to write this post on the day of our almost wedding to reach out to all the couples to help give encouragement. To share and heal together but I couldn't find the words until now. To be honest, I did not deal with it well. The last few weeks have been difficult to say the least. Mostly due to the uncertainty of when we can return to normal life but also at the thought of moving forward with a different vision for our day. I'm still dealing with the possibility that all our extended family overseas may not be there on the day due to the borders being closed. I was disappointed, saddened and at times angry at the whole situation. But instead of letting myself deal with it in a healthy and open way, I kept pushing my emotions back whenever they threaten to come out. After-all, I have allowed myself a cry or two (or six) on the day so I figured that was enough moping around over one day. The most difficult thing for me on the day was not having my WHOLE family around me. It was important to me and it was one of the things I looked forward to most. We contemplated going through with the ceremony and getting married then postponing the wedding to a later date but we both wanted our family and friends there.

I didn't expect it to effect me this much but it did. I kept myself busy for weeks after, not allowing myself to properly grief over this ordeal and throwing myself into projects after projects and work. In hindsight it was the most secluding thing I could have done. Recently, it all came back with a vengeance and it took sometime for me to process it. I started to really deal with it when I had the realisation that I don't have to feel guilty for feeling disappointed or sad. That it's not just a day that I was sad about but the delay of starting a new chapter in our lives. I started to speak about it with my friends and family and what really helped was talking things over with Matt and planning a new future together for us.

I know there a lot of things to be grateful for. I have my health, the health of my family and friends and a roof over my head. I feel lucky to be living where I am with all the support I could ever ask for. I am happy that things are starting to normalise and I am looking forward to what the future holds. Thank you to my Fiancé Matt, my family and friends for their patience, kindness and support during all of this and I can't wait to celebrate with you all on our new date!

To the bride and groom of 2020, it has been a difficult year full of unexpected natural disasters and uncertainties but we will see the end of this together and I hope the second half of 2020 will be a great one. Feel free to reach out if you are going through it too and feel like speaking to an empathising bride. Otherwise, do communicate with your loved ones and surround yourself with people you love and trust and all will be well.

With Love, Thia