Real Jewish Brides: Maggie on Planning during Covid-19

Maggie will be marrying Danny on 6th June 2021 at Stone House of St. Charles in St. Charles, Missouri. Click here to read all Maggie’s planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: (1) Danny proposed to Maggie on his birthday! (2) Maggie is in the process of converting to Judaism (3) Maggie is a member of STG Brides Club!

Blogging Bride Maggie and Danny

Planning During COVID-19

Planning a wedding is known to be one of the most stressful times for a couple besides having a child or buying a home. This becomes even more stressful when you add a global pandemic that leaves one of you unemployed and unable to work for at least 3 months. My heart does go out to all the brides who have had to postpone their wedding, booking new vendors for your wedding in 2021 is not easy either.

We are getting quotes from caterers and supposed to put a deposit down without ever trying their food. Florists deal with technical difficulties for meetings where it’s hard to pull out your Pinterest to show them what you are thinking. Danny and I are big believers in hiring vendors who we can relate to. Thankfully for us we were able to attend some bridal shows in January and met some people from each of the vendors we are looking at. The real event caused by COVID-19 that sent me on a crazy breakdown was having to postpone saying yes to my wedding dress. 


Planning without my mom

I know one of the other featured brides wrote about planning without her dad; planning without your mom is a little different. I still have an amazing support system: my mom’s sisters, my future mother in law and future sister in law have all been incredibly supportive when I ask for their help. They all live out of state, so it is a little rough to get them all together for things such as bridal shows or vendor meetings. However, they are all coming into town for when I pick out my wedding dress. My bridesmaids that are local have also been a great help coming to bridal shows and when I am trying on wedding dresses.

It’s tough sometimes to go to bridal shows and see brides and their moms walking around, or when I’m trying on wedding dresses and all the other girls have their mom with them, I think the worst one was when I took a class with a place in St. Louis called the Wedding Workshop. This place is designed to help brides who are planning their own wedding with resources and advice.

This class was a calligraphy class and in the class were a mom and her daughter doing it together. They talked about all the planning they did together, and her mom gushed about her engagement pictures (because we have the same photographer). It is a very painful feeling that I think will just get worse the closer I get to things.

Like many women, I have been dreaming about my wedding dress since I was a young girl. My mother and I had many talks about my future wedding dress and what my wedding would look like. She envisioned my wedding dress to be like hers: an A Line with sleeves, lace in the bodice and into the skirt of the dress, and a medium size train. I argued with her that I would have a strapless ballgown or off the shoulder that was like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. I planned to wear a simple veil that clipped to my hair with pearls sewn throughout it.

Well my mom passed away in January of 2013 long before I met my fiancé, and my ideas of my wedding started to shift to what my mom has envisioned all along. After many attempts to find a dress that is against what my mom wanted, my perfect dress is exactly what she described. My mom was right after all.

My mom passed away from ALS with frontal temporal lobe dementia. I was only 21 at the time so she has missed out on a lot of my life so far. She missed my college graduation, my move to Florida and my time at Disney World (which she loved), adopting my dog and many more little things that you would want to share with your mom. Every event in my life will forever be a bit bittersweet because she is no longer around.

Danny says that it’s very Jewish to acknowledge the sadness during a happy event, similar to breaking the glass at the end of a wedding. The times that hurt the most are the times she had planned for me, my wedding, a house, and a family. I will always be sad that Danny will not get to meet my mom.  I like to think he gets a good idea of the person she was from me and my brother. At the wedding, I plan to have a few things to remember my mom by; I am wearing her veil, her favorite flower will be placed on what would have been her seat at the wedding, and there will be a table that pictures of her along with my grandparents, my uncle, Danny’s uncles, and Danny’s grandparents to remember those who cannot be with us for our wedding.

Life events so far

Due to COVID-19, I have had to suspend my meetings with my sponsoring rabbi for my conversion until it is safe to meet again. I have still been studying though and finished my Introduction to Judaism class that was put on by the Reform synagogue that took place from January to April. 

For anyone who is either looking to convert or is marrying someone Jewish, I highly recommend trying to find a course like this to get a basic understanding of what Jewish life is like, the history and traditions. Hopefully, as Missouri starts to open, I will be able to get a meeting with my sponsoring rabbi and get the process started again.

In other exciting news, Danny and I bought a house! We had planned to move this summer as we wanted to live together before we got married. We started looking at the end of April because mortgage rates were good, and we thought most companies were taking 60-90 days to close. We wanted to move at the latest in July, so we got approval and started looking right away. What we did not expect was the second house we looked at to be our first home.

Well we put in an offer and ours was accepted against 3 other offers. The sellers requested us to close in late May which worked well for Danny as his lease was up at the end of May, but we did not know if our lending company could do it. Well it was done, and we did a curbside closing on May 20. Now, Danny is living in our home and I will be spending half my time there and half my time at my dad’s house helping to assist my brother. 

Vendor Love

During the quarantine, I was unemployed so had lots of time to reach out to potential vendors. We picked our florist as we got a chance to meet them at an open house right before everything was forced to close. They do flowers exactly as Danny likes (he likes more greenery than flowers) but while also incorporating what I want as well (lots of flowers!). Roses and Mint was also a recommended vendor for our venue so we know they will make it look beautiful. For all our paper goods, Ketubah and kippot we are going to be using our family friend Leah E Moss Designs.

She makes beautiful custom pieces and we are excited to be working with her to make our wedding beautiful. Next up is a caterer which we are currently discussing and waiting for some quotes to come back. Thankfully, St. Louis has a large Jewish population so finding a caterer who can do kosher is turning out to be easy. Also saying yes to my wedding dress on June 6 with all my family. I want to have a huge shout out to Mia Grace Bridal. Before the quarantine I went there to try on dresses to help cheer myself up and found my dream dress.

Now my family is coming into town to help me say yes to the dress but with current rules for occupancy they were limiting groups to only 3 guests plus the bride. Well I am having 4 plus a toddler and they arranged for my appointment time to allow me to bring all my guests! I am forever thankful for this as not having my mom around to do this, these people are the next best thing. 

Click here to read all Maggie’s planning posts to date

Maggie & Danny’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:

Photography – Abbie Takes Pictures 
Wedding venue – Stone House of St. Charles
Videography – Sparked Media Collective
Florist – Roses and Mint
Paper goods, ketubah, kippot – Leah E Moss Designs
Bridal boutique – Mia Grace Bridal

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Real Jewish Brides: Maggie on Planning during Covid-19