Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am 28 and after years of dating I am engaged. I felt so happy to finally have my time, and the chance to plan a wedding where I was the one wearing the white dress. But my wedding is in a week and all that planning seems to have been a waste. With Coronavirus and the danger it brings, my wedding will now take place in our home with only my siblings in attendance. There won’t be a band, dancing, or any of my friends to celebrate with. I cannot describe to you how painful this is to me. After all those years of waiting, I will not have the wedding I hoped for. Please help me see any positivity in this- because I am lost.


Wedding Woes


Dear Woes,

We went on a family trip a while ago, and decided that there was sight that we really hoped to see. We plugged the coordinates into Waze and drove for what seemed like forever. Finally, after taking road after road that lead us through twists and turns, we arrived at our destination. But it wasn’t our destination at all. We climbed outside the car and looked around and saw absolutely nothing for miles and miles. We were in the middle of nowhere, and certainly not at the place we had planned on. We stood there for a while, befuddled and then we decided that perhaps we had to drive just a bit more. Surely, we were close. Yet, again we drove and after circling and then circling again, we found ourselves back at-nowhere. There wasn’t a view to speak of, or something interesting to pose in front of. There wasn’t anything beautiful about the spot, or any redeeming quality that we could see. We blamed our navigation, we blamed the car, and we blamed ourselves. So much effort lost for nothing. Weeks later, back at home with our pictures, we remembered the spot that wasn’t. Suddenly the day didn’t seem so bad, because as one of my children pointed out, it was still wonderful to be together.


A Bend in the Road…

Mazel Tov on your engagement. What a gift to finally have found the person that is right for you after so much time and effort. I am so happy that you found that special person with whom you can build a future with. How incredible upsetting, frustrating, and terrifying the Coronavirus has been for us all. We all pray for the health and safety of our families, our communities, and the world at large. We understand that “life” is the ultimate gift and we remind ourselves that our health is what matters most. Yet, of course you are suffering. Of course, you are sad to lose out on the wedding you always dreamed of.


Is Not the End of the Road…

I’m sure that for many years as you attended wedding after wedding, you consoled yourself by planning yours. You may have noticed a special detail at a friend’s affair, cataloging it away for when it was your turn. Perhaps you planned the music, or who you would dance with, or the menu your guests would enjoy. Now your wedding has been reduced to a small chuppah in your childhood home with a tiny group to document your special moment. Even with a healthy perspective, it is understandable that you would be incredibly disappointed.


Unless You Fail to Make the Turn

I send you my deepest sympathy, because every kallah should only feel deep joy on her wedding day. However, I beg you to remember that the gift that you have been given remains true. You have been blessed with your bashert, your future, and the chance to build a family. This is the ultimate prize, the most precious offering you could have. This gift will still take place on your wedding day. Your future is still available, and we can never minimize the magnitude of that treasure. You will make a beautiful life with your chosson, because you understand that marriage is the ultimate goal, while the wedding is merely the icing on the cake. So, for now eat your small wedding cake, and G-d willing, in due time you will plan a big party with your loving husband beside you to celebrate your marriage.


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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at [email protected] to schedule a phone session.