STAWELL'S Jessie Cowen never thought six months of planning a party to celebrate her engagement to Koby Stewart would all be for nothing.
The couple were engaged in August 2020 and planned a celebration for February 2021, to try to minimise the impacts of the global pandemic. Never did Miss Cowen believe the night, planned for Saturday, would be called off altogether. Last Friday's news of the snap-lockdown sent Miss Cowen into a spin.
"We had to go to Horsham in the morning on Friday to pick up some supplies when I first started hearing whispers about the impending lockdown," Miss Cowen said.
"I kept checking my phone waiting for the press conference and wishing it was just going to be Melbourne if anyone would be locked down.
"One of my bridesmaids from South Australia had made the trip over. We all sat down to watch the press conference and I just burst into tears."
By Friday, the couple had everything ready to go.
"So much money was wasted," she said.
"We had friends and family picking things up from Melbourne and Geelong that we had paid for and were bringing. Friday afternoon was meant to be spent putting all the final touches on everything."
The couple managed to pull together a small event with family on Friday night - something that wasn't planned but a silver lining to what the weekend was.
"I obviously had a bit of a cry and a pout around - for the first hour or so I just didn't know what to do," she said.
"I had a range of emotions from sadness and anger. I obviously had to start calling around and letting people know what was happening.
"It was very overwhelming. I snapped out of it a couple of hours later and decided we should do something on the Friday night. Otherwise I would have just sat at home and felt sorry for myself."
Miss Cowen said the events of the weekend put into perspective how important it was to spend time with people you love.
"Somehow we made some light out of the situation and I have all my friends and family to thank for helping me do that," she said.
"I'm lucky it was just an engagement party. There are so many brides and grooms out there that had to cancel their wedding."
Miss Cowen said as an organised person, she was starting to feel nervous about her wedding day in February 2022.
"I'm well ahead with all my plans and now I'm thinking should I dial it back a bit and wait and see what happens," she said.
"I'm at a crossroads. I've put so much time into some things I think I should just keep going with it all but the events of last weekend have really made me worried."
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