Dear Premier: Would-be bride’s desperate plea
Would-be newlyweds have been jilted at the altar by Queensland's sudden reintroduction of COVID-19's social distancing regime for the Greater Brisbane area.
Couples have been forced to cancel or cut back their wedding plans just as some were about to march down the aisle.
Shocked and heartbroken brides and grooms were left scambling to make alternative catering and venue arrangements, and even to tell guests the nuptials were back on-hold in the wake of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's shock edict delivered on Saturday.
Under the new restrictions, private wedding services in public areas in the restricted areas may only have up to 10 people gathered - including bride, groom and marriage celebrant.
Private wedding services performed in public areas and spaces not within restricted areas can have a maximum of 30 people attend including the bride, groom, wedding party and marriage celebrant.
Sharron Turgeon, centre manager at Jindalee-based My Bridal Centre, said her showroom doubled as a wedding venue for one couple who had organised a home wedding last Saturday.
Merely hours before they were set to say "I do", the couple were warned off.
"Last weekend was yet another game-changer for the wedding industry," Ms Turgeon said.
"Just as we were beginning to feel the excitement bubbling for weddings and events again, the goalposts were moved - literally overnight.
"Brides and grooms were stranded with absolutely no notice, and multiple suppliers affected by immediate cancellations."
Bride Haylee Glanfield, of Kallangur, was due to tie the knot with her finance, Reese Daniels, this coming Saturday.
But for the second time, their wedding plans have had shredded like confetti.
Ms Glanfield sent an e-mail to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk outlining the disappointment she felt over the boom being lowered without warning - especially after the couple had put in place safety measures for their big day.
Even after "purchasing bucketloads of hand sanitiser" and advising all guests to RSVP in the negative if feeling unwell - not only to comply with pandemic protocols, but also because Haylee's elderly nana would be a special guest - her wedding plans were reduced to tatters.
"Now, I know there will be many people who will hate on this because the restrictions are in place for a reason - to stop the spread of COVID-19 - and I, along with everyone know this, and I am in no way saying these restrictions shouldn't be in place," she wrote.
"What I am proposing is some notification of these restrictions, like all the other times.
"Give Queensland some time to adjust; some time for those who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars - again the second time on their dream wedding day - to be able to actually go ahead as planned.
"Because myself and my fiance now have the mammoth task of replanning and changing a wedding we have spent the past four months on, in the next six to seven days."
After originally deciding to put their wedding plans on hold at the beginning of the year because of COVID-19, Cody Glasby and her fiance, Timothy Auld, started planning a small ceremony for a beachside park on Bribie Island next month.
The couple had already whittled the guest list down to 15 of their closest family and friends - just in case of harsher restrictions - but even that now isn't enough.
They have received a call from the Moreton Bay Regional Council to say they were permitted to have no more than 10 in their entourage, including bride, groom, celebrant, their son and the photographer.
"This means we have to cut our list completely down," says Cody.
"It's such a hard time, but we completely understand why we have to do this."
A spokesperson for Brisbane City Council said park bookings and consents are given with special conditions for COVID-19 which stipulate that the consent is subject to all Australian Government, Queensland Health and Local Government directives in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is the responsibility of the consent holder, in the case of weddings, the celebrant, to stay up-to-date with, and adhere to all, current directives.
"There is no State Government directive to council to make contact with consent holders or 'police' events."
Haylee Glanfield's letter to the Premier
Annastacia Palaszczuk MP,
I want to start this letter off to say, I, and everyone I know would like to commend you on your work and dedication to our state during this unpredictable and unprecedented time. What you do and what you give to our state and country would never be matched by anyone else and we say thank you, thank you for the endless nights planning and prepping speeches on how to best notify and discuss the issues at hand, thank you for putting our state above all else and protecting us the best you can against this illness.
My name is Miss Haylee Glanfield, however, on the 18th of April 2020, I had planned and prepped to become Mrs Haylee Daniels and marry the man of my dreams. Now, for me to explain my experiences and feelings in a way that I hope others would kindly understand and realise why I am, along with so many others may be upset about this most recent restriction update is to start with my nan. My amazing, caring, selfless, best short bread baker, and lover of plants nana, Lurline, is currently 84 years young and late last year was diagnosed with Dementia. This rocked my entire family, as well as anyone who have ever had the pleasure of meeting her.
My fiance of 5 years, Reece, and I decided at that point that we needed to be married while she was still here and of sound mind to be able to remember and enjoy it - because of this we booked our wedding at the soonest date possible, which was in April. Now as April came closer COVID obviously knocked our country and state to its knees and weddings were banned until the last of the road map to easy restrictions - stage 3 on the 3rd of July and 12pm.
We, like many others postpone our wedding. Some postponed till 2022, some until 2021, and others like ourself until the end of 2020 in the hopes we would have some relief to the outbreak of COVID. So we postponed our wedding until the closest date all our vendors were available - this in it self was a feat and I know many other bride and grooms can agree - which is 29th of August.
Now, planning a wedding is a huge accomplishment- some say the biggest - and I have a new appreciation for wedding planners and their jobs as well as an appreciation for all bride and grooms who had the pleasure of wedding prior to us. However, having to plan a second time with the enormous stress and black cloud of COVID over our heads is a whole-nother story. There have been multiple sleepless nights, multiple break downs and countless tears trying to organise everything all over again with a new date. But we were on the home stretch ... 7 exact days from our dream day... reimagined due to COVID. And another round of restrictions were handed to us... but not like other restrictions, not with any notice, not with any consideration of those who have done everything in their power to do the right thing - purchasing bucket loads of hand sanitiser, advising all guests to please decline if unwell, not just for COVID but also because I have an unwell elderly nana that I also need to protect.
Now, I know there will be many people who will hate on this because the restrictions are in place for a reason - to stop the spread of COVID - and I,
Along with everyone KNOW this. and I am in no way saying these restrictions shouldn't be in place - what I am proposing is some notification of these restrictions like all the other times.
Give Queensland some time to adjust, some time for those who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars - again the second time - on their dream wedding day to be able to actually go ahead as planned, because myself and my fiance now have the mammoth task of replanning and changing a wedding we have spent the past 4 months in the next 6/7 days.
Now I know what you and many others will be think... 'just postpone again'. But for me and my family this isn't a likely and possible choice due to my nan's health. She is meant to be the one, along with my dad, to walk me down the aisle and I would give my life to be married this Saturday 29th August as planned with my nan and all family and friends (below the 100 threshold of course) but with a dance floor, with a cake that I can serve to my guests, with a grazing table, with buffet catering and an open bar, all as previously planned.
This letter is for you Premier, as well as all the other bride and grooms out there that feel the same sadness and frustration as I do and I know COVID is not your fault, however, I need to write this to release some of the anger and emotions I have and to also hope that you may understand that although these restrictions benefit our state greatly to stop the spread of COVID that there are people out there struggling, business struggling with yet again another change in the way they run their business and many cancellations they would now be getting. As well as weddings just days away needing to replan so many aspects of what they had hoped would be their 'dream day' surrounded by the people they love, dancing and celebrating what is good in this now crazy and unpredictable world.
#covid #covidwedding #covidbride
Originally published as Dear Premier: Would-be bride's desperate plea