Plan X - The 2021 Wedding
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Wedding Ceremony | Wedding
Borders being slammed shut in the last
minute of 2020. Allowable wedding numbers yoyo-ing up
and down. It's a wedding planning nightmare. And of
course you have a Plan B in place. But in this
situation a Plan B (and B1, B2, B3, etc) only goes so
far. You need a Plan X (also known in less polite
circles as the O-Sh*t
What is a Plan X and how is
it different from a Plan B?
Plan B is the plan you put in place in case your
original plan becomes impossible on the day for any of
a number of reasons - fire, flood, access to the
venue, for example. It is all about alternatives
to allow your wedding to go ahead as closely as
possible to the original plan (Plan A)
Plan X, on the other hand, is the plan you have ready
to guide you when your wedding, as planned, can't
go ahead on the day because of restrictions
imposed in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
could be universal restrictions, such as a border
closure, or restrictions on individuals, eg mandatory
self-isolation or quarantine after being in contact
with someone who has the virus.
Pre-emptive planning (which I like to call What If
Planning) can significantly reduce your stress levels,
both anticipatory stress and stress should the worst
Your Plan X aka your What If ... Oh Sh*t Plan
should address three important questions
- Will we postpone our wedding or go ahead on the
day with a much smaller guest list?
- Would we be happy to adapt our original wedding
- If we decide to/are forced to postpone our
wedding, how will we mark the original date?
Decision 1: Postpone or
The first decision you need to have in place is your
response to last-minute imposition of restrictions
that would cause chaos with your wedding as planned.
Not only whether you will cancel or postpone your
wedding, or whether you will roll with the punches and
adapt your plans, but what circumstances will trigger
that decision, bearing in mind, that unlike Plan B,
where your decisions will be driven by practicalities,
Plan X decisions are very largely driven by emotion.
So first step is to make a list of people whose
presence at your wedding is all-important to you.
COVID-19 restrictions generally impact on weddings in
one or more of 3 ways
- How many people can be present
- Where those people can travel from
- Where the ceremony can be held
Number 3 is largely a reprise of Plan B so it is a
matter of practicalities. It is 1 and 2 that will
trigger your emotional decisions about whether to
postpone or downsize if any of your all-important
people will be prevented from attending.
Decision 2: Is adapting your
wedding plans an option?
A very wise woman (moi) is in the habit of advising
that when you are faced with the choice of two
alternatives, perhaps you should pick the third.
Actually, I stole that from someone, but so long ago
that I've forgotten who, so it has become one of my
While most people know that you can get married
without having a wedding (often referred to as a legals
wedding), did you know that you can have a
wedding without getting married? So the third option
is to just have a legal wedding with two witnesses and
then, down the track when everyone can be present,
have a non-legal wedding with everything you've
planned except the brief legal statement your
celebrant has to make and the legal statements you
have to make that create your marriage (often referred
to as the legal vows).
essentially your Plan X may be to get legally married
on the original day, with photos, and postpone your
wedding until later.
An alternative option you
might not have thought of
Invoking my when faced with two alternatives
always pick the third
mantra with a twist -
there is a legal step you can take that doesn't
involve getting married, and won't either emotionally
or actually compete with your wedding, and will fit
with your decision if you decide against a two-step
wedding as outlined above. You can register a civil
partnership without having a ceremony.
While it is different from a marriage, taking a
formal, legal, step to register your relationship will
give you some added protection and may help soften the
disappointment of postponing your wedding.
The following information is about registering a civil
partnership in Queensland. The process may differ in
- Registering a civil partnership without a
declaration ceremony doesn't cost you anything
(though you will have to fork out for the
- The marriage of either partner automatically
ends a civil partnership, so you won't have to do
anything extra when you marry
- Except for a 10 day waiting period between
application and registration, you have to do all
the same things that you had to do in preparation
for your legal marriage
- Fill in a form
- Sign it in front of a qualified person
- Provide documentary proof of your birth and
- Provide documentary proof of how your previous
marriage (if any) ended
- You also have to provide proof of your
residential address (not required for marriage)
- The same restrictions as to who you can marry
apply to a civil partnership (i.e. one person who
is not a close relative)
- One of you must be resident in Queensland.
Sending off your application to enter into a civil
partnership could add significance and a sense of
accomplishing something important to the day, despite
your wedding being postponed. Having all of the above
in place, form filled in, signatures witnessed, and
certified copies of documents ready, should you need
to postpone your wedding all you would need to do is
find a handy mailbox.
Decision 3: How to mark
the original day if you decide to postpone?
One thing I've seen during 2020 is the sense of
loss many couples experience when their wedding is
postponed and the original wedding date rolls
round. So I would strongly advise that your Plan X
should include a plan for marking the original
There are many ways to do this. Put you minds to
it and you'll find what will work best for you. It
might be something as simple as a special meal, a
miniature wedding cake, some bubbles, or something
that takes a bit more organisation, like sharing
with loved ones remotely via Facetime, Skype,
Zoom, etc something as simple as a toast, perhaps
a taste of your planned vows, cutting a cake while
they indulge in a matching cup-cake you've
supplied by one means or another. Whatever it is,
make sure you get photos. At your milestone
anniversary celebrations they will be an important
part of your wedding story.
The practical stuff
Because your Plan X involves postponing or
radically changing your planned wedding, make sure
you include in the plan what you have to do in
relation to each of the services you have engaged
for the day, together with how you will notify
- What are the conditions that apply to a
change of venue, postponement or downsizing?
- Who do we need to contact?
- Who will be responsible for making contact,
notifying service providers and guests? You
need to make sure that that person is viewed
as authorised. Many service providers, myself
included, are wary of acting on information
provided by someone other than the marrying
couple. If you plan to involve others in the
notification process it would be a good idea
to include who that is and what decisions they
are authorised to make in your contract.
Applies to Plan B as well.