The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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Real Bride Deanna Fuerst: Making the Decision to Post-Pone Wedding Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Real Bride Deanna Fuerst: Making the Decision to Post-Pone Wedding Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Whether it's due to Covid-19, the loss of a loved one, or a natural disaster, it is never an easy decision to postpone your wedding. Guest Deanna "Dee" Fuerst shares her experience in planning her August 2020 wedding only to have to postpone it a year due to the restrictions placed because of the pandemic.

Get to know Deanna:

Deanna Fuerst grew up in Willoughby, Ohio and has been with her fiancé Pauly for 10 years. They got engaged Christmas 2018, with a late summer 2020 wedding planned that got derailed when the pandemic hit. They’re staying optimistic, and feel it’s safer for everyone to reschedule until 2021.

Dee loves traveling, kayaking, baking, yoga, working out, camping, being with family and friends, taking care of her animals, and fine wine.

Follow Dee on Facebook and Instagram!

This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineers, Sean Rule-Hoffman and Declan Rohrs.

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Leah Longbrake:
Hello, and welcome to Weddings Unveiled, the podcast for your wedding planning process. I'm your host Leah Longbrake. We know how exciting and stressful planning the big day can be. And we're here to help providing you with information and advice from industry insiders and those with firsthand experience. On today's episode, we have real bride Deanna Dee Fuerst. Deanna was planning on getting married in late August, but like so many 2020 brides she has had to postpone because of the coronavirus pandemic. We'll learn how planning her wedding has changed during this uncertain time. Welcome to the show Dee.

Dee Fuerst:
Thank you for having me.

Leah Longbrake:
Sorry that you had to have your wedding, unfortunately, postpone this year due to the pandemic that had to be really hard to make that decision.

Dee Fuerst:
It was. It was very interesting because it was March and April. And I was like, "Oh, we'll be fine." Everyone is like, "You'll be fine. It's not until August." And then as soon as May 1st hit, it was let's rethink this. Maybe. I don't know if this is going away and it's just, yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
So when you decided that you're going to move it to 2021, what were the first steps that you took?

Dee Fuerst:
Venue. Venue was immediate because I felt that they were already being bombarded a little bit by everybody. And I knew they were because I had emailed her back in August or no, I'm sorry, August. Got August on the brain. Back in the beginning of May, and here comes my cat, sorry. The beginning of May. And I said, "What are you guys doing?" And she said, "Well, we moved all of our May brides to other Sundays this year. And basically all of our June brides are still scheduled." So it was like, "Oh, maybe this is actually going to happen." So I remember one day it was Sunday and I'm like, "We have to do this, and this, and this." And Paulie's like, "You're a little overwhelming yourself right now Dee, just take a step back." So then I remember it was like... Just that whole two weeks of the beginning of May. I was like, "We got to do this because..." Am I bad?

Leah Longbrake:
No. So restart where you left off.

Dee Fuerst:
So it was the first two weeks in May. I had a friend say she was like, "Well, I have an August bride and a July bride that have already rescheduled, postponed to next year." And I'm like, "Oh my goodness. Am I behind the game here?" I'm a super big planner. So I had to immediately get on the ball and see what options I had. And I felt silly because a lot of the vendors and my venue were like, "You're not until August. Why are you getting ahead of the game?" And I felt, well, I want to be ahead of the game because come like right now, I feel like all the August brides are freaking out a little bit. But we're in an okay place, which is just I don't even know. It's like living the unknown, you don't know what's going to happen. And that was the hardest part I think.

Leah Longbrake:
Because if you did keep your August 2020 date, we're learning as times going on the numbers are still going up as opposed to down. There's still all these unknowns. Some places are opening. Some are not, rules are constantly changing. If you try to hold on, what do you do then. Like you were mentioning 2021's already getting booked up by 2020 brides. Why did you decide though to move it to next year, as opposed to either keeping your date or just saying, "I'm going to scrap it and we'll just do something small."

Dee Fuerst:
Because we just don't know. And I feel like it was better to just see what dates they had next year. So what happened was when we talked to our venue. We had a really good conversation with them. They were freaking out, were freaking out. They had other people freaking out. So we were trying to just work with them and stay on good terms because I love my venue so much. And I really, really wanted to have our wedding there. So I'm not trying to freak out, but still trying to navigate everything. She knew the time of the year we wanted. So she gave us a few dates. And ironically, the date that stood out was August 21st. So it just is literally a year ahead and Paulie and I have been together 10 years. I'm like, "What's one more year." Just to make sure everything is safe and who even knows, but still just to put it off another year was, yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
You just brought up my next point. You and Paulie have been together a long time, 10 years, which is incredible.

Dee Fuerst:
I know.

Leah Longbrake:
How long have you been engaged?

Dee Fuerst:
A year and a half.

Leah Longbrake:
For being 10 years together, engaged a year and a half, what's another year at this point? Right.

Dee Fuerst:
I know. And a lot of these brides and grooms, so sweet. They're doing the Zoom weddings. People are actually doing an adorable good job at this. But I just feel like I want our friends and family to be there. I want it to be that wedding that I've seen all of my friends and family have for all the years we've been together. And I want that. I want our families to see us get married and I don't want to do... What's one more year.

Leah Longbrake:
Absolutely. Now Paulie had the sweetest proposal for you. Tell us about it.

Dee Fuerst:
Aw. Yes. Oh my gosh. I always said don't do it on no Christmas. You can't do Christmas. Everybody does Christmas. So of course, what does he does? He does Christmas. He and my mom always put me on scavenger hunts growing up. So Paulie put me on a scavenger hunt, and he's actually done it a few Christmases before. It's always in the back of my mind, but I kept thinking, "Oh, maybe it's a trip. Who knows?" He had me outside. I'm like, "Oh my goodness." So then I came in and the last clue was in the Christmas tree, and I looked at it and it was blank. Then I was like, "What?" And I turned around and he knelt down. And it was perfect because I'm just a very private intimate person.

Dee Fuerst:
I hate big crowds staring at me while he's proposing. It can be cute because then all your family and friends are there, but I just love that it was in our home that we bought together in our living room. And so what he had did was the year before he saved the trunk of the Christmas tree, and he made the box that the ring was in out of the trunk of the Christmas tree. It was a heart shaped and it twists open. And then he had the nail holding it together it was a nail just from our house that he engraved as a heart. I know it's just-

Leah Longbrake:
It's so incredibly romantic. I love that.

Dee Fuerst:
I did not expect that. And he just told me a full story about it. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, you put a lot of thought." And then he asked my parents too, he went to both of them separately a week before Christmas and asked. And then we went to our families after Christmas morning. So it was like, I still got to celebrate with everybody and also do it on my terms. So yes, Paulie, he did a good job.

Leah Longbrake:
I think Paulie has made a lot of men have to step up a little bit in their proposal game.

Dee Fuerst:
Anther thing though is I waited for 10 years. I was like come on. He had to bring it good.

Leah Longbrake:
So with your relationship with Paulie, obviously, you've been together a long time, but planning a wedding already tests some couples. But during COVID, you're quarantined together, you're having to go through all of these last minute quick decisions. How has it impacted your relationship?

Dee Fuerst:
I feel that it has brought us closer together only because we kept telling each other, "If we can get through this, we can get through anything." I as a bride, I'm organized. Even in life we're organized and we know what we want. Even April, I'm just freaking out late nights, couldn't sleep, mornings. And finally one day it clicked to him and he's like, "Oh crap. We might have to really think about this." And I'm like, "Yeah, see." Okay. So I think that there was some obstacles, obviously. It's like he's probably getting so tired of me talking about it that he just wanted to... We have to do this. We have to postpone it. For our sanity and for his sanity, it just honestly, it worked out. Thank God.

Leah Longbrake:
So before all the coronavirus decisions you had to make, what was the most challenging, difficult part of the planning process?

Dee Fuerst:
Just pulling the trigger sort of thing. Like, do we hold out? We were scared. People would be scared to come to the wedding. We have a lot of friends that are pregnant right now that they are not going to want to be exposed to anything. I feel that just pulling the trigger was one of the most difficult tasks to do. Because it was so many emotions, you're happy that this can actually be moved. And then you're also so sad at the same time because it feels like we waited so long, and then now it's just being taken away from us and it's very stressful.

Leah Longbrake:
But before all of that, before the coronavirus decisions, what was the most challenging or difficult part, planning process?

Dee Fuerst:
Oh, before corona.

Leah Longbrake:
Before corna.

Dee Fuerst:
Okay.

Leah Longbrake:
You were pretty far along in your planning process before you got hit with that. So you had a whole separate list of challenges or experiences.

Dee Fuerst:
I feel that we didn't have caterer yet. We had all these tasting scheduled in February, not even no March and April. And we didn't have a caterer. And I feel like we started to really freak out about that. We did, we had a lot done. We had the venue, we had the music, we had the photographer, we had a coordinator the day of. We had everything, flowers everything was-

Leah Longbrake:
Your dress?

Dee Fuerst:
My dress. Yes. I know. It's at my sister's right now. I just was there this weekend. I'm like, "Can I go see my dress?" Getting everything together and then having to cater was very stressful. And I don't know why we waited so long on that.

Leah Longbrake:
Was it intentional?

Dee Fuerst:
No, not at all. So this is another thing, why I'm so at peace with this is because we still don't have a caterer. But now we have a whole year to get ready for a caterer. I feel like I have all of the big stuff out of the way. Which I stressed about for a full year, and I felt like I wasn't really enjoying it. And now I feel that we have all of the big stuff. The hotel even we have everything done, just the caterer. And now I can concentrate on all the little things, the accents and just details and I can make it what I... Because I feel like I had to hurry up and do all that in three months. And I feel like now I'd be able to enjoy the engagement. And I feel like that's bringing us a little bit closer together just because it's like we can actually be happy and not so stressed out.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a great point. I think a lot of couples miss out on getting to enjoy the engagement overall.

Dee Fuerst:
Oh absolutely.

Leah Longbrake:
Especially, if you start planning right after you get engaged because you're trying to make all these decisions up until the moment of. That's a great point.

Dee Fuerst:
Absolutely. And it was like the first... In March, and April, and May all of those brides they had to hurry up and figure it out, they had no time to... And they even postponed to later this year. And they're still freaking out. So it's like, "Oh my gosh. They have to postpone a second time." So I think that was another major decision why we wanted to go to next year. Just to be in the clear and wait it out. But it's like all these June, July, August brides they're thinking, "Oh no." We're sitting on the edge of our seats like, "Is this going to go away? What do we do?" Living the unknown was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Leah Longbrake:
I'm sure. And then couples that are September, October, November, December, they're going to be coming up on these issues as well. It seems like.

Dee Fuerst:
Absolutely. And the restrictions on the venues it's just hard to listen to because they can't have table center pieces that people probably spend all this money on. When I go on my wedding resale on Facebook, every single post is, "Well, I had to cancel, I'm selling all this stuff because now we're doing an intimate ceremony." And it's just so hard to read and it's just, who knows. And it's crazy that we're going to look down the road and we're going to say, "We did that. And cheers to us. And we're going to be able to celebrate more anniversaries and it's with people. We lived in the era of the pandemic and try to get married during that time." It's going to be a story for many to come.

Leah Longbrake:
Absolutely. Are there any changes that you're planning on making now that you have time to really look at your wedding?

Dee Fuerst:
Absolutely. Now I have all these ideas for my bridal shower that I could not even... Another thing my bridal shower location. It wasn't even opening up until July 12th or July 1st and my shower was July 12th. So that was another huge thing. I was like, "That's crazy. I just don't want to stress, I want to enjoy this time." And my makeup girl I saw her... I didn't even book her yet. And even though I know who's going to do it and I'm like, "I'm so behind the game, we're in a good spot to postpone." So I don't know. It definitely was. I forgot your question. I'm sorry.

Leah Longbrake:
Changes that you're going to now make going forward.

Dee Fuerst:
Yes. Little details. Just being able to concentrate and focus on stuff that makes us... We can do what is us more in the wedding, and I can focus on that basically. My alterations, his tux, we have so much to do. And now we can do all of that and not stress about the big stuff. So I just think that just making the wedding more us, and not just jumping right into it with all these restrictions.

Leah Longbrake:
Have you heard a lot from your family and friends about their take on you're changing your wedding. Before you even made the decision were they saying that they were apprehensive about attending it in August, or they stayed cool and not say anything until you made your decision?

Dee Fuerst:
They actually stayed pretty cool. I read a lot of stories where the wedding resale, where brides are like, "My family's really pushing us to move it and this and that." But no, my family was calm, cool and collect. They said, "Whatever you guys decide, we're behind you a 100%." And they were just nervous to ask. I felt like people knew we were super stressed out. So they were trying not to stress us out more, and they knew we would make the... My mom kept saying, she goes, "I know you're going to make the right decision. I trust you. And I know you're going to do whatever is right." And then I saw my family this past weekend and they all were like, "You made a good decision." So it's good to hear, people happy about it.

Leah Longbrake:
Nice they have your support. You have their support.

Dee Fuerst:
Yes, absolutely.

Leah Longbrake:
They have your back.

Dee Fuerst:
Absolutely.

Leah Longbrake:
What was the way you decided to tell your family and friends that you're postponing. Did you put something out on The Knot page. Did you send out a new invitation?

Dee Fuerst:
Yes. We sent out just last week, just a postponement card that says, "We still do." And just saying, out of unforeseen circumstances, we're just going to postpone the wedding. We didn't put our new wedding date on there only because I really want to have a new resave the date. Because I'm creative, and I just like to do fun stuff like that. But most of them know, I told them what the date was just so people can plan. But I still want to send out a cute little, "Let's try this again."

Leah Longbrake:
What has been the most surprising cost in your wedding planning process, and did your budget change with postponing the wedding?

Dee Fuerst:
No surprise in cost. Photographers didn't realize how expensive they were, but not really surprising. I feel like we're being very trying to just keep it at a minimum, still having a great fun wedding, but we have a barn. And I think it's just a little bit more relaxed party than a 200 people. We're only having a hundred people. So I feel like we were pretty good about our budget. Postponing, a lot of our vendors they just put the deposit over to next year. Our photographer we had to just put a little bit more money down on that. But other than that, we didn't lose any deposits.

Dee Fuerst:
We just moved everything over, which like I kept saying in the beginning, we're in a really good boat to postpone because we don't have anything with our date on it. We didn't do any party favors yet. I think we just had to basically make a bunch of phone calls and emails, and then we're good to go. I know a lot of people they had stuff already bought and it's sad at that point, but we didn't.

Leah Longbrake:
You got lucky.

Dee Fuerst:
Yeah. Right. I don't know how to put it. My putting off of things really came in handy.

Leah Longbrake:
You're postponing making decisions.

Dee Fuerst:
I know. Right. It actually worked out.

Leah Longbrake:
Right. Any final advice for couples planning their wedding.

Dee Fuerst:
Like for this year, or I mean?

Leah Longbrake:
In general. In 2020, but in general.

Dee Fuerst:
I know it's so fun because I've never thought I'd be a bride. And I'm finally a bride and I'm just so excited. It's such a crazy, exciting, fun, stressful feeling. But I would say just enjoy it because I didn't enjoy the first year of it. And now I feel like I got a second chance, and I think that it's one day it goes by so fast. And you just have to think about your fiance, and you guys being together and the love that you're sharing. You do you, I feel like I had a lot of opinions and I didn't realize that. When we first got engaged and people were like, "Well, you do you. Do your wedding your way. Don't listen to anybody." And I'm like, "Oh yeah, who's going to say anything?" No.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, they did. Didn't they.

Dee Fuerst:
Oh, yes. Yes. It was very interesting how many people are so opinionated about your day. So it's just do you. No matter what challenges come, and I'm sure there's going to be common challenges. We can get through it, and it'll be that much more magical now that we've put it off a year.

Leah Longbrake:
Dee thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We really appreciate it. And we wish you all the love and happiness, and enjoy planning your wedding.

Dee Fuerst:
Thank you for having me. This was so much fun. I feel like this was good for my soul. Because in quarantine I didn't want to bug my friends too much about it, and I didn't know what I was doing. And my mom's like, "Okay, well, do what you want. You'll make the right decision." But I just felt like it was just me and Paulie making that decision. And it's so good to talk about it and just get it out.

Leah Longbrake:
And I'm sure there's so many brides and grooms out there that feel the same way that you're helping their soul as well.

Dee Fuerst:
Yes. And that was another big thing that kept me sane. Is that I wasn't alone. I knew there was brides out there that were going through the exact same thing and still are. And I'm with them a 100%.

Leah Longbrake:
Thanks for listening to Weddings Unveiled, make sure you subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. So you never miss an episode. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts, a special thank you to Brigid Coyne and audio engineer, Sean Rule Hoffman. Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

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