This story first appeared in the spring/summer 2021 issue of Columbus Weddings, originally published in December 2020.  

Ask any magazine editor, and they’ll likely tell you that letters from the editor are difficult to write. Such is the case with any recurring column, I suspect, but trying to encapsulate an entire magazine in a few hundred words only increases the challenge. Add to that the fact that we’re still in the throes of a global pandemic that has changed life—including wedding celebrations—as we know it, and you’ll understand why I stared at a blinking cursor far longer than I usually do when writing my biannual introduction to this magazine. 

So much of our day-to-day in 2020 is unrecognizable from the previous year, and while hope is on the horizon, it’ll likely be quite some time before we start returning to any sense of normalcy. As I write this letter in mid-November, Ohio is seeing its third and largest wave of COVID-19 cases, and the pandemic continues to ravage the country and the world. These facts were on our minds as we planned this issue: How do we celebrate weddings when mass gatherings are still discouraged? How do we offer advice when so much is unknown and ever-changing? 

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In the end, we at Columbus Weddings did exactly what so many couples in the pages that follow have done: We planned, we adjusted, and we made do. We didn’t set out to make “the COVID-19 issue”—I’m sure you, like many of us, are feeling pandemic fatigue—but as the weeks wore on, we realized that such a theme was our only option. And while that theme is a bit grim, there are a lot of bright spots mixed into these pages—moments of resilience and ingenuity that give me hope for the continued success of the wedding industry in Central Ohio and beyond. 

Throughout the region, couples are adapting. This issue is filled with examples, like our recommendations based on real couples’ choices. We also profiled one couple who followed a private elopement with a portrait session, dove into the mechanics of livestreaming your service and asked local pros some of the most common COVID-19 questions we’re seeing. Find inspiration in our Real Weddings section, which includes four couples who married this year, and in a styled photo shoot feature that explores an alternative to the traditional Saturday evening reception—something that may be hard to come by in the next year as 2020 couples who postponed continue to reschedule their events. All this and more will be appearing on our website in the coming weeks. 

Finally, I want to stress the importance of supporting the local economy. The diverse small businesses that make up Central Ohio’s wedding industry need your help. I encourage everyone to book locally based professionals, shop at independent stores and shout out the vendors who serve you well. One way to show them love is by voting for your favorite vendors in our annual Best of Columbus Weddings reader poll, now through Feb. 5, 2021, at cbuswedmag.com/Vote. 

If creating this issue has taught me anything, it’s that Central Ohioans find a way to survive and thrive amid a multitude of challenges. I hope this issue can help you do just that as you plan your weddings for 2021 and beyond.

Stay safe and be well, 

Emma