Dear beloved rockstars, dancers, and dreamers,
It has been a while, and a lot has changed. As many of you know, we moved from Washington, DC to New York, NY at the tail end of 2020 after a seven week road trip that took us through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Upon returning home to DC... it just didn't feel like home anymore. We now reside in an above-ground, huge two-bedroom apartment a block away from the East River with an amazing French bakery on the corner. We have lost full custody of our cat, Zoey, to Mama Sassi, and now share cuddles on a bi-monthly basis. Eric extended his architecture license into Maryland and Meriam has achieved a new travel record: not travelling by plane for over thirteen months. We cannot say we are thriving in these times, but we are thrilled that the amount of time we spend glued to political updates on MSNBC and CNN has been reduced severely due to the new (but truly imperfect) administration. And we've been reintroduced to our love of burpees and mountain climbers.
Alas, the traumatic reality that is planning a wedding in the middle of a mismanaged, unprecedented pandemic remains. Just short of one hundred days of our original date of 20 June 2020, we postponed until 19 June 2021. We were bright-eyed and optimistic about humanity's ability to solve this particular puzzle. But uncertainty remains. The COVID-19 situation remains exhausting, unresolved, and ever-changing. So as we approach the new wedding date, we are writing to let you know that we are postponing our wedding, yet again, to June 2022.
If we were to move forward with a wedding this summer at Firelight or anywhere in New York State:
All attendees would be required to stay on-site at Firelight Camps in either a BYO tent or one of the luxury safari tents.
All attendees would be required to isolate for five days before getting a negative, PCR test. The test results will need to be uploaded into a New York State (NYS) operated database per state regulations around gathering, quarantine in NYS for three days, and then re-test at a PCR testing site in NYS. This second test would have to be taken two to three days prior to check in at Firelight Camps, and guests would have to isolate until arrival. Isolation for us means not seeing other members outside of your household unless they are also guests who have confirmed their attendance of the wedding. We also request that people do not engage in optional recreational activities such as golf, group fitness classes, playdates, or seeing others who have been invited but have declined.
All attendees would then be required to test on-site using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test as part of their check in process to Firelight.
All attendees would be asked to wear masks all weekend, and would not be allowed to hug us or ever leave the "household pod" with which you would be seated... and there wouldn't be a proper dance floor. Each pod would have to dance with masks on in their 36 square foot dance bubble, located six-feet away from the next dance pod.
Sounds terrible, right? We think so. Having a severely regulated wedding without hugs, freedom of movement, or a sweaty dance floor directly contradicts the celebration we had planned which was all about creating intimate moments across the members of our community, bridging our two families, and dancing to a lot of Shakira and Sean Paul in very close quarters.
As we mentioned in our FAQ last year, while we had hoped to invite everyone on our guest list to this celebration, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic which means we will have to reevaluate and reconsider our guest list in order to comply with the regulations in place around gathering. We hope this will change between now and 2022, but we will nonetheless send new invitations to the guests invited to next year's celebration once we know more. In the interim, we really encourage all of you to get vaccinated once the vaccination is available to you as that choice brings us one step closer to resolving this health situation.
We are truly sad we will have to wait another whole year to celebrate with you, but are confident that this choice is the safer, more responsible one given the times. We, as always, encourage you all to get outside on the solstice and soak in the longest day of sunshine. And reach out. We miss you. This process has been extraordinarily isolating and stressful, and we would love to hear from you.
Meriam & Eric
Dear friends and family,
Hopefully many of you have started to receive invitations to our summer wedding in the mail. As we sent them out prior to several of the regulations put in place by New York State, we imagine many of you must also have questions about how to RSVP.
We love all of you, and therefore your health is our priority. We will be following all CDC guidance and complying with NYS law regarding whether or not gatherings may take place by the end of June. Sending mail is a bit slow, so we will communicate any changes to you via email and our website's COVID-19 update page. (Who knew such a page would be a part of a wedding website?! For comic relief, we encourage you to read this section which is best viewed on a computer.)
That being said, we will not be looking to postpone the wedding until we know more. As of right now, we are optimistic that by the end of June, we would have flattened the curve and found better ways to mitigate the virus. We ask that all of you do your part and stay home so that flattening the curve becomes a reality by late May. The more of you that go out into the world, the longer this will continue. It also means more of you precious humans expose yourselves to getting sick. (We also recommend staying away from conservative conferences, apparently a hotbed for virus spreading.)
Despite our hopes, we have been doing some contingency planning. If you have already booked a tent, please note that you will receive a full refund of your deposit up to two weeks before your arrival date should our wedding be postponed - but we would be making a call before that time no matter what. (Please check your other accommodations reservations, though we believe the same is possible with La Tourelle.) We have teamed up with Firelight to identify some laundry options for anyone taking a long trip that would want to wash their travel clothes (though we strongly suggest that everyone drive if within their means.) We have expanded organized carpools to include rides leaving from Florida (in addition to rides from New York City, Baltimore, and DC.) We will let others know as we receive word of others driving from other locations. And, we are looking into sponsorship of our wedding by Purell.
With all of this in mind, please do send in your RSVPs. Let us know if you would still come should the wedding go on as planned from 19-21 June. Let us know if attendance is just not possible for you right now. Let us know if you are just not ready to commit. We hope to send you more information as we have it, and are always available by email, text, phone, post, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Teams, carrier pigeon, etcetera.
Meriam and Eric