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Days before her wedding, Lauren Hughes walks around her Columbus Park apartment, beaming with years of pent-up glee. Her outfit, like her sofa, is wavy, cheerful and red. Minutes after I arrived – introducing herself and her cats and showing me a chair in the living room – she reached her bedroom so quickly that I almost missed her.
She returns with a wedding dress, a luxuriously long white dress embellished with lace and pearls. She handles him tenderly, but not timidly. Hughes bought the dress in 2019, and now she knows it very well.
The original date of this marriage is now used as a historical artifact. On the postcard, Hughes wears a simple black dress, holding the hand of her fiancé, Kansas City musician Marco Pascolini.
Pascolini, who has played the role of Mr. Marco in local bands since the 1990s, wears a costume. They smile at each other on a terrace on the roof of the Carrefour. “Save our date,” the card reads. “May 30, 2020.”
Hughes remembers putting down a big stack of these cards in the mail on March 1, just before the Kansas City lockdown. She had been proud of the guest list.
“This guest list had been marinated,” she said. “It was a work of art. It was a masterpiece.”
Within days, satisfaction gave way to worry. The couple paid close attention to the news from Italy, where COVID-19 cases were on the rise – and the groom had family, who were planning to attend the wedding.
They got a glimpse of what the United States might face if the story unfolds here as it does in Italy. “We were like, ‘Oh, we’re going to flatten the curve and get married in October 2020,’ Hughes recalls.
They paid most of their suppliers in full, but Hughes said the suppliers all agreed to defer without penalty. Three weeks after the first postcards, Hughes and Pascolini sent out a second batch, with May 30 crossed out and the new date – October 30 – written next to it.
“I bought a postcard for each guest, forgetting that the guests live together,” she explains with a laugh. “So we had enough postcards. We really thought it would be all over in October.”
Taking her marriage off the books once was actually quite acceptable. To do it a second time was much more difficult.
“We didn’t want to come together if we didn’t feel safe,” says Hughes. “Neither of us could have an event where people are feeling nervous, even in the back of their minds. It was August that we were like, ‘Are we moving forward?’
The couple reviewed their options. Organize a quick little wedding with mandatory masks and no dancing? But they weren’t sure if Hughes’ parents, who live in Texas, could travel, or if Pascolini’s mother, a cancer survivor, could kiss her son on his wedding day. This scenario seemed far too dark.
“So much was taken away from so many people that we had a prospect: it’s a party. You know? We could go to the courthouse, we could have a wedding. It’s just a party and parties can. to take place at any But to have your heart set on something, then change it and change it again … “Hughes sighs deeply. “A wedding seemed sort of trivial. But I allowed myself to mourn it.”
After calling off their October 2020 wedding, the couple did not choose a new date. They did not send another postcard.
“The fact that it’s a big question mark, like just a big TBD, it really stopped feeling real,” Hughes admits.
That’s the problem when it comes to planning right now – and not just weddings. Planning anything. Work projects, back-to-school arrangements, vacations, vacations, even ordinary evenings to attend a concert or a play with a friend.
We’ve been around long enough to know that the near future on which we base our plans may turn out to be a mirage. But, realistically, what is the best option?
We can prepare for the need to adapt our plans and pivot, which barely trails “unprecedented” in this contest for the buzzword-of-our-time. We can go ahead and plan with enthusiasm, silencing the little voice that calls for caution, because that voice is annoying and debilitating. It is, after all, what poet Mary Oliver called our “precious and wild life.” Yes, we are living a pandemic, but we are still living.
The other option is to stop planning altogether. Relax with a book on the sofa for the foreseeable future.
But looking forward to things is not just a desire. It’s a need. So we plan and cancel, plan and reschedule, plan and postpone. We believe less and less in our projects. But we plan anyway, hoping that some of those plans will eventually hold up.
Lauren Hughes and Marco Pascolini planned it all the same, motivated by a vision of clicking glasses and hugs. When you get ready for a three-time wedding, you do a lot of soul-searching as to why weddings are important in the first place.
After being quarantined during a pandemic and spending “obscene time together,” Hughes said their relationship was already very strong. But despite everything, they wanted to carry on the age-old tradition of coming together to bless this union. And for that, they could wait.
By the time this article is published, the Hughes-Pascolini wedding will finally have taken place.
Finally, it was the photographer who forced their hand, the calendar filling up again. The couple therefore chose their third and last date: September 24, 2021.
Over the past few weeks, due to the Delta variant, this triple-planned wedding has undergone a major overhaul. The couple moved the party to the rooftop, made vaccination a requirement, and decided to pack the catered food so people didn’t congregate around a buffet.
They couldn’t run the new date through everyone on the list, and there was no way to completely eliminate the risk, so they had to accept that some people might not feel comfortable doing it. attend. But they were ready. Their third Perfect Guest List would be their last Perfect Guest List.
Hughes’ white gold engagement ring faded after two years of wear. Her wedding ring, which has remained in the box, remains shiny and luminous.
Their marriage is already something old and something new. It is a dream and a reality. And after re-enlisting three times, it’s both the promise and the fulfillment.