Planning a wedding is already stressful. But planning one during a pandemic takes the cake.
For Alyson Mulloy and Dylan Doucette, the last few months have been one thing after another. First, Mulloy had to postpone her bridal shower. Then, the pair had to find a back-up date for their wedding, in case their July nuptials are disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak; they chose August, hopeful they wouldn’t have to postpone beyond the summer.
Amid all the wedding planning, Mulloy and Doucette were also preparing to move in together. They found a house they wanted to buy and were ready to close on it — until the sellers backed out at the last minute.
“Before this all happened, Dylan and I were big planners,” said Mulloy, a 25-year-old child-life specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, who is currently living in Tewksbury with her family. “It’s opened our eyes a little bit, and it’s taught us to be flexible.”
It’s taught them to make the best of the situation and have a little fun with their stress, too.
To get the news out to family and friends about the potential change to their wedding plans, the couple created a mock newscast on Youtube, dubbing it the “Quarantine Wedding Channel." They used the hashtag #IDOU6feetapart, a play on Doucette’s last name and on social distancing guidelines.
The video is a playful look into how Mulloy, Doucette, and their families are keeping their sanity as they create backup wedding plans. Doucette and Mulloy’s fish, named Pico and Guac — their owners really love Chipotle — sit in their aquarium on the mock news anchor’s desk as the couple reads their newscast.
Later in the video, Mulloy is chugging a bottle of wine (filled with water for recording purposes). Doucette is curled up in a sleeping bag, napping in the garage. Mulloy’s mom accidentally pulls the microwave handle off the kitchen appliance and screams in agony. Mulloy’s grandparents, who live in a home attached to her own family’s in Tewksbury, also make an appearance, captured by drone waving in their window.
And of course, being the New Englanders they are, Doucette got a Tom Brady reference in the video, too.
“The idea [for the video] kind of came a little naturally, and we were like, ‘You know what, if we’re going to do this, we may as well have a little fun with it.’ It’s not like we’re doing anything else,” Mulloy said.
Mulloy shared the video with friends and family, as well as other brides-to-be in a wedding-planning Facebook group. Many who watched the video online complimented her and Doucette for using humor to get through a difficult time.
Doucette said he’s “just thankful we can all laugh about it.”
“The priority was the positivity, hoping that people would have something to laugh about,” he said.
Mulloy and Doucette have known each other for about 10 years. They met at a retreat through St. William Church in Tewksbury, where they plan to get married, and they were best friends for years before — as Mulloy jokingly puts it — Doucette finally “woke up and asked me to marry him.”
Doucette, a 26-year-old physics teacher who lives in Methuen, said the stress of planning and re-planning a wedding has been “unprecedented.”
Like any other engaged couple, it’s forced them to consider all options. Should they get married this summer with just their immediate family, and then have a larger party later? Or should they postpone the entire event if it can’t go on as planned?
“[Weddings] can definitely be overdone with the cost and the stress… It’s kinda a cool opportunity to sit back and realize what’s more important,” Doucette said. “But we’ve also realized that this wedding is worth celebrating as big as possible. It’s such an incredible event. I’m so excited to marry Alyson, but I’m so excited for the whole tradition of that event, too.”
Mulloy and Doucette are still holding out hope for their July 24 wedding date, and if needed, their August 23 backup. But they know that regardless of the decisions they’ll need to make this summer, they’ll find a way to keep smiling.
“Our marriage is going to be way more important than the wedding, so whenever that is, I’m excited,” Doucette said. “It is one day, one event, and we’re going to have years and years and years together that’s not all about those eight hours.”