Real Jewish Brides: Jos on the Coronacoaster

Jos will be marrying Daniel on 1st November 2020 at Hackney Town Hall, London, UK. Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: (1) Before meeting Daniel, Jos was known for her torrid dating tales – so much so that her friends used to call her Bridget Jonestein! (2) Daniel proposed to Jos in the Greek island of Naxos! (3) Jos is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!


Coronacoaster
Verb

The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly weepy with anxiety the next.

“It truly is an emotional coronacoaster”.

My two favourite activities are making plans and making lists. Before Coronavirus hit, I would fill our diaries weeks and months in advance, and like all the other extroverts, this long period of ‘social isolation’ is quite hard. We also made the unsurprising decision to push back our wedding a few weeks ago.

It became increasingly clear that it would be unlikely that we would be able to have our wedding as we planned it, and it was most important to us that our friends and family felt safe celebrating with us. What is most difficult is living with uncertainty. Will things be ok, will we need to push back again, and frankly, how do we need to rethink our carefully laid plans in order that we don’t continuously delay our future.


Despite these obvious setbacks, Daniel and I have fallen into a comfortable lockdown routine. I look forward to our daily morning walk to grab a coffee at Gail’s, a previously normal activity that now sparks immense amount of joy. I have learned to bake sourdough and challah, like the good quarantined millennial I am and, after watching a video by Dr Rangan Chattergee, we have long conversations about what positives we can take from this difficult situation, and what habits we’d like to keep.

On days like that, this situation doesn’t feel so bad at all. However, despite trying to focus on the positive, there are still moments when there is lingering sadness and disappointment, and the starkest of these moments was the week leading up to my hen weekend.  At the time, it felt like my original hen weekend was going to be the first in a series of milestone events leading up to our wedding date that have been ruined by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, if anyone is reading this and they are also dreading big milestone events like their hen, I would love to tell you what a wonderful experience it was for me. I felt nothing but, joy and gratitude as my friends went above and beyond to organise a hen do I will never forget.


Given my penchant for all things organisation, I had the honour and pleasure of being asked to organise  a lot of my friend’s hen dos. The first was in 2010, and over the next decade, I would go on to organise another 15. From spa weekends to, scavenger hunts, trips abroad to life drawing classes, you name it, I’ve planned it.

At one point in about 2014, I had a really comprehensive spreadsheet, the fruits of hours of labour, that I used to send to other hen organisers as well as a rogue box of hen paraphernalia that lived under my bed, that would get recycled and replenished.  So, when we made the unsurprising decision to push back our wedding to (currently) November, my friends were determined to mark my original hen weekend and shower me with love.


What they gifted me with was a full weekend of celebration. My Maid of Honour Claire is equally enamoured with planning and lists, and flanked by two of my bridesmaids, Taylor and Katy, set about ensuring there was not one moment of my hen weekend that I didn’t feel like a bride.

They orchestrated a steady stream of gifts and videos from all my girls (I’m informed there was a spreadsheet involved, so that there weren’t any doubles), not one but two Zoom calls, including a Eurovision quiz, as anyone who knows me knows that Eurovision is my favourite time of the year and, a Zoom cookery session with my favourite chef, Alison Roman who spent nearly two hours teaching us one of her recipes.

We did Mr and Mrs over video conference, we had appearances from babies, we had tech glitches and, most unusually, my fiancé attended my entire hen do.


Yet, it was, without a doubt, one of the best weekends of my life, despite it being less than conventional.

And when I had come down from the high, I realised why I loved it so much, I let go of control and allowed the people that know me best, to dedicate a whole weekend to me! As brides, we spend hours, days, weeks pouring over every single detail of our wedding, and the surrounding celebrations.

Things that would be inconsequential in non-wedding times, like the colour of napkins, suddenly become extremely important as perfection is the name of the game. However, in the situation we are in, we are all forced to acquiesce, calm down, and live more in the moment.


It made me wonder how much more enjoyment I will have in life, if I’m not constantly thinking about the next plan and if people, not things and unnoticeable details truly are what make my experiences. Frankly, it made me think about how much more I will enjoy my wedding when it does happen, if I’m relaxed about how the day goes.

That is not to say that I will abandon my plans and lists altogether, nor do I particularly want to replan our wedding and have something more intimate. I do believe every couple deserves their big celebration if it is what they want.


But perhaps the silver lining of not being able to plan anything, is that everything will feel sweeter on the flipside, both because we will have been released from our isolation, but also, because we will have learned what is truly important in life.

Having a virtual hen helped me truly realise who my friends are, and what amazing people they are. Living through a pandemic feels so unique because there is not one person that it doesn’t affect in some way, yet pretty much all of my friends showed up and made an effort, because at times like these, we go above and beyond to show our care for each other. That to me, is incredibly special.


As I said to my sister in law, I feel truly lucky to be able to find positive, in what is ultimately a seismic shift for society, and a huge global trauma. I hope when this is all over I will remember to enjoy a slightly slower pace of life, and remember how much I appreciated having a lot of quality time to spend with Daniel before we eventually got back to our busy lives.

I know, that when I talk about this period of time in the future, I will remember the deep sense of gratitude that I experienced during my virtual hen weekend, and how it was a feeling that for one weekend, replaced the usual combination of contentment, anxiety, disappointment and joy that encapsulates my emotional state during this time. What a Coronacoaster we are on!


Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.


Jos & Daniel’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:

Venue – Hackney Town Hall
Videographer – Dreamcatchers {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Honeymoon – Abby Taubman of Colletts Travel {offers a travel guide to the chosen destination to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Hair and Make up – Camilla J Collins {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Events agency – WORK HARD / PLAY HARD
Flowers – Alice Vine
Singer – Katie Plus Juan
Caterer – Black Pot
Cake – Belsize Cake
Photographer – Rachel Takes Pictures
Band – Stylus Live
Stationery – Hart Creative Studio
Grooms suit – Drake’s


Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence. Join our Brides Club here.


 

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Real Jewish Brides: Jos on the Coronacoaster