Change of Plans: Hannah Hart Reveals Why She's "Willing to Wait for as Long as It Takes" to Have Her Dream Wedding

"We want to throw a big, fabulous, loving queer wedding for all those who never got the chance to have theirs."

hannah hart
CRISTINA CIANCI/Courtesy of Hannah Hart

As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, couples all over the world are having to make a very difficult, and often heartbreaking, decision to cancel, postpone, or adjust their best-laid wedding plans. To share their stories—and, hopefully, help our readers process this admittedly emotional and fluid situation, we are asking those affected to share their "Change of Plans" stories in their own words. Below, Hannah Hart tells her story from Los Angeles.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being married. Freedom from loneliness, helplessness, added power, strength, security, protection. I could picture that life clearly: a small house, football on Sundays, barbecues on the block, me tending to the needs of my husband—sure to be a great man.

For as detailed as I imagined the life I wanted, I never pictured the day that life would start. I never pictured my wedding day. I never dreamed of “the wedding.” I only dreamed of “the marriage.”

Looking back, I think it’s because I could never picture myself in the dress.

Ella and I got engaged in the summer of 2018 with our eyes on the spring of 2020 for our wedding.

We both plan and produce for a living, so we were in no rush to start planning a 200-person event for all of our closest loved ones and most respected peers. We both put a lot of pressure on ourselves to throw an excellent wedding but in different ways. For me, I focused on experience and aesthetics. For Ella, she wanted to make sure that no one’s feelings got hurt for being left off the guest list. Maybe it’s the Scorpio in me, but I was not as concerned. We’ll burn that bridge when we get there, I liked to joke during our planning sessions.

Additionally, we both believed that if there was room for improvement in ourselves or our relationship, two years would be plenty of time to tackle any glaring red flags and enter into the life we wanted prepared to tackle the rest of our lives in tandem. Sure, we were in love with each other, but committing your life to another is about so much more than love. You better be in love! That’s the easy part. After that, it’s about shared values—personal, spiritual, financial. We wanted to bring our lives together and then be married.

So, we started going to couples therapy to embrace any triggers in our relationship, our families, ourselves, and to begin changes that needed to be made. Ella stopped drinking. I stopped shrinking. Together we’ve never been more functional. I’m happy to say that after a year of couples work—and copious amounts of event planning—we entered into 2020 feeling very confident about our wedding and our plans for the future.

Surely this was the first step to an unstoppable future!

Engagement for us was about declaring ourselves a unit to others, sure, but mostly it was about raising the stakes for us. Our experience was that engagement itself felt like a statement: “Let’s take forever one day at a time.”

For as unique as everyone feels their wedding is and must be, the reality is that there is an incredible pressure to conform to traditions that may not even be your own.

Weddings bring up all sorts of feelings of discomfort. Performance, approval, and conformity. For as unique as everyone feels their wedding is and must be, the reality is that there is an incredible pressure to conform to traditions that may not even be your own. Societal norms put pressure on all of us—to varying degrees. (A dear friend of mine confessed that on her wedding day, she picked the dress her mother-in-law approved of and felt “not like herself” throughout the occasion.)

So, when the world did a 180 and a global pandemic was declared, I didn’t feel the need to cry over this. As far as I am concerned, the hardest parts of planning are over. We have sorted all the food, the flowers, the fun. I let go of my relationship with my father who refused to attend. We figured out the ceremony that suited our beliefs and felt the most authentic to us... and those were all big tasks!

So now the wedding has to be delayed? Indefinitely? Sure. Why not.

I do feel a sense of disappointment, but the strongest feeling I have is a sense of annoyance. The “ughhhhhh” feeling—the feeling when someone takes your parking spot. Nothing major, and depending on the day, nothing of note. At the beginning of the crisis, our wedding planner noted that I had the “white-hot calm” of a trauma survivor.

The circumstances of our lives have changed. This change is beyond our control. It just... is what it is. And will discover that new reality as we build it.

I would say, it’s not so much a feeling of calm... and more like the absence of feeling. The circumstances of our lives have changed. This change is beyond our control. It just... is what it is. And will discover that new reality as we build it.

So, on one hand, my mind is functioning rationally, controlling my decisions and actions, but I will admit that my heart is a bit bruised about it.

Now, what are these decisions? Well, we’ve opted to postpone the wedding by at least a year. Maybe two. The planning is locked and loaded—I can’t say enough good things about Heartthrob Weddings for getting us here—so the event will happen... when it happens. I don’t want to go into detail about what exactly we have planned because I want it to be a surprise for our friends and family. (Yes, that includes you, internet family!)

I struggle with keeping my chin up. There is a part of me that feels like the day may never come. But I think that’s because I haven’t seen a day like ours very much before...

Which leads me to my last point—why we have chosen to wait, why we aren’t paring down the wedding to a close group, or a large video chat. The reason is that I feel an incredible sense of pride and privilege at my ability to throw a dream wedding. Part of why I want to get married in splendor for the generations before me who could never get married at all. We want to have a wedding, not because we want to have a marriage. We will have that no matter what. We want to have a wedding because we want to share in the romance and splendor that love provides.

We want to throw a big, fabulous, loving queer wedding for all those who never got the chance to have theirs. We want glamour and gladness. And we are willing to wait for as long as it takes.

We want to throw a big, fabulous, loving queer wedding for all those who never got the chance to have theirs. We want glamour and gladness. And we are willing to wait for as long as it takes.

The only part of this party that really matters right now is making sure we all stay safe and healthy and sane.

I am someone who lives to share and for me being able to show any little girl who’s dreaming of her life in the future that it can be anything she wants it to be. Even if she doesn’t want to wear a dress.

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