Bride-to-be, Ana Brasil on how it feels to reschedule her wedding because of Coronavirus.
In a parallel universe, I am leaning on the side of an infinity pool, looking over the most perfect sunset and admiring my other half (Keith), now my husband, who is snoring away on a bamboo chaise longue after having way too many mojitos. In what we call reality, I am instead crammed in a one bedroom apartment with my fiancé, the only person I’ve been with (literally) for the last two months. I’ve been cheated from my amazing honeymoon and (you guessed it) I’m mad as hell. And sad.
Have you ever watched Sliding Doors? I saw it years ago, but the movie stuck with me. In one version of the story, Gwyneth Paltrow leaves work early and finds her boyfriend cheating on her when she gets home. In the other, she misses her train and finds no other woman in her house when she gets home. The difference a couple of minutes can make stuck in my mind. I think about it when I decide not to get on the jam-packed tube at rush hour while I sit and wait for the next one. What adventures and other lives is the version of me that got on that train experiencing? Right now, I feel like there is a version of me away in Bali in that infinity pool having the time of her (my) life.
“Cut off from the outside world, we’ve been together even when we did not want to be and learned boundaries inside a small, hot, one bedroom apartment. But we have also realised that we can do that and survive troubled times. We are each other’s rock and soft pillow to fall back on. If ever a test was needed, this was it.”
I was never one of those girls that dreamed about her wedding day. Instead, the idea of getting married was an unexpected treat from the gods. First it giveth, then it taketh away? No, I am not drunk, but I wish I was.
Keith proposed on my birthday so I thought nothing of the fancy hotel, the afternoon tea with prosecco and the strolls by the English countryside. When he handed me an envelope, I thought it was a birthday card. It wasn’t. And when I looked at him in awe, he got down on one knee and asked me in my native language (Portuguese) to marry him. I should have been expecting it (we’d been dating for over four years), but I wasn’t. I guess I didn’t think he would be the type to ask–he would get really uncomfortable if anyone even mentioned marriage! And maybe I didn’t think I would be the kind of person who got happy endings, the ones with engagement rings and houses with gardens, picket fences, cute dogs and kids.
+ Photographed by Ana Brasil
Since the day we got engaged I worked hard to believe I was worthy of all of those things. As we picked the invitations, as I bought the shoes and started getting confirmations from some of my closest friends and family, I started to see the wedding unfold in my head. My friends would meet my brother for the first time, and so many friends from back home would meet new friends and my new family would come together in a perfect full circle of love. We would have professional photos of this oh-so special day that I would cherish inside a luxurious leather photo album and show it to our kids every Christmas around a fireplace and cute cups of hot chocolate with soft marshmallows floating on top.
Well, that did not play out as planned! Yeah, sure, we rescheduled the wedding. But is it going to be like the dream I cradled in my arms for the past year? No, that’s pretty much the only certainty we have in these very uncertain times. It’s going to be different.
“I am not going to go on about the lessons we learned during this pandemic. I don’t want to embellish the pandemic or the lockdown that came into effect because of it. Any personal growth that came from this time was necessary to surpass it, to keep the storm outside. It sucked. But it’s going to pass, like all dark clouds do.”
That inner circle of friends who can make it is going to get cut down. Grandma doesn’t feel safe to come and uncle George isn’t welcome anymore after not replying to the original invite on time (please act like you care, sir!). There’s financial uncertainty, some people lost their jobs, others do not want to step onto a plane before 2021.
I, for one, cannot wait to get on a plane with my new husband. We’ve had our dreams shattered. We cried together and sobbed on the 15th of May, that was meant to be our special day. Cut off from the outside world, we’ve been together even when we did not want to be and learned boundaries inside a small, hot, one bedroom apartment. But we have also realised that we can do that and survive troubled times. We are each other’s rock and soft pillow to fall back on. If ever a test was needed, this was it. ‘For better or for worse?’ Is so last season. 2020 is all about ‘For worse or for better?’
I am not going to go on about the lessons we learned during this pandemic. I don’t want to embellish the pandemic or the lockdown that came into effect because of it. Any personal growth that came from this time was necessary to surpass it, to keep the storm outside. It sucked. But it’s going to pass, like all dark clouds do.
We are going to get on that plane. My best friend is going to walk me down the aisle to the sound of “Be my baby” and I will be leaning on the edge of that infinity pool, looking at the sunset and Keith sleeping. Now that I am getting better at dreaming, who knows what other cinematic landscapes I have up my sleeve? The dream is dead, long live the dream.
Last modified: May 27, 2020