Welcome to the New Columbus Weddings

This story first appeared in the fall/winter 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, which published in August 2020.

Back in January, I had a draft of this letter all typed up. It, like our usual June distribution and so many wedding plans, had to be scrapped when COVID-19 forced the world to reconsider how it does … well, everything.

As I write this in late July, the country is still grappling with the ongoing pandemic, not to mention the issues highlighted during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and a painful economic recession. Yes, the world certainly is a different place now than what we thought it’d be when 2020 began. And it’s made each of us different, too.

For instance, I stopped wearing my wedding ring during “quarantine.” I am accustomed to removing my engagement ring at the end of a day in my “get comfy at home” routine. But one day in March, for a reason I can’t remember, I replaced the band my husband, Matt, had placed on my finger with a cheap silicone surrogate.

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I haven’t worn my wedding set in four months now. The diamonds, like heat styling my hair or carefully coordinating an outfit, are vanity. Much like a wedding, it’s really more for other people than it is for me. Sure, your wedding is about you and your partner—but the accoutrements (the food and DJ and Chiavari chairs) are for your guests. Marriage in isolation, like personal vanity, is stripped bare.

But we will rejoin the world someday. I will don my rings and makeup. You will have your wedding cake—and you’ll eat it, too. It’ll be delicious, regardless of whether you’re enjoying it on your actual wedding day or the belated celebration of it.

Until then, we wait. And while we wait, we dream and we plan.

***

When Monte Durham was the celebrity guest of the Columbus Weddings Show in 2018, the Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta star gave attendees a piece of advice that’s been stuck in my head since: When you start planning, grab an index card and write down the three words you want to describe your wedding. Distill all of your ideas down into those three concepts. Keep it in your wallet or purse. When the time comes to make a decision—and there will be many such times—refer back to that index card and ask yourself, “Does this choice reflect my three words?” If it doesn’t, you’ll know you need to find something else.

While planning the massively complicated undertaking of redesigning a magazine—one that had largely the same structure for 20 years—art director Alyse Pasternak and I used Durham's tip to guide us. The three words we chose? Elegant. Upscale. Informative.

We think we’ve hit the mark in this issue. That’s thanks in part to the extra weeks of production we gained by shifting publication from June to August to help our advertisers, most of whom saw their incomes reduced or eliminated as an effect of Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-home orders—a topic we explore on Page 20 of the issue. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the insane amount of work that Alyse put in during the redesign. No detail was too small for her careful consideration, a fact I only realized when she began showing me options for everything from color palettes to fonts to dingbat symbols at the end of each story. Because of her, the magazine you hold in your hands is so beautiful.

We made less subtle changes, too, shifting the magazine’s focus from article-heavy content to one that’s full of inspiring photos, a few choice stories with helpful information and our newly expanded listings. Now, in addition to our nearly comprehensive roundup of ceremony and reception spaces—formerly the Reception Guide, renamed the Venue Guide (Page 63)—we have The Essentials, a curated list of partner vendors and editorial recommendations for virtually every vendor category (Page 85).

Perhaps the biggest change we’ve made is how we accept submissions. For the first time ever, Columbus Weddings is inviting local newlyweds to submit their wedding photos for consideration directly at cbuswedmag.com/submit. We made this change for a lot of reasons, the biggest of which is that it empowers us more than ever before to showcase the beautiful diversity of Central Ohio. That change is in effect as of this issue, which features photos from 31 weddings submitted by the couples who hosted them. Don’t miss our new Real Weddings features on Page 49!

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Best of Columbus Weddings readers’ poll, which we launched late last year. Learn about the winners and see a stunning celebratory photo shoot featuring many of them on Page 27.

Wishing you health, safety and happiness,

Emma