The big question today is how to prepare wedding planning during Covid-19. There is a lot of consideration when planning your big day–regardless of where your wedding date falls on the calendar. But when it happens to be in the middle of this crisis, you may be wondering what you should do–if anything–to prepare a plan B for your wedding plans during Covid-19 which may impact the venue or the attendees.
Now, whether you’re arranging a wedding in the home or overseas, you will find many moving elements surrounding COVID-19–and as this situation is fluid, what it means for your wedding, primarily, really depends upon your guest count, wedding date, location, and length of travel involved.
However, at this point, it is safe to say that any 2020 wedding will look differently, whether it’s possible to happen on a smaller scale right now or as you had dreamed later on. The fact remains that Covid-19 has disrupted many wedding plans and all businesses that help with the event.
To help you prepare for what you need to do–and help if you do, sadly, have to alter plans–we have composed this article to give you a closer look at just how wedding planning during covid-19 is currently impacted, and how to prepare for the coming months. Be ready, follow the news, and keep an open conversation with guests and your vendors.
Please hire a wedding planner so they can help you explore this exciting industry and provide options. Whenever there’s an issue, there is a way to solve the problem. And, no matter your situation, it is essential to keep your eye on the end goal.
As always, take care of yourself. It’s OK to cry. It is OK to sense a range of emotions or to be angry. We like to tell our readers that it’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when. Your day will come, and trust us when we say it’s going to be the most remarkable thing. When we all can come together and celebrate, there’ll be nothing like it.
What To Do If You Are Thinking About a Postponement
When thinking about the right time to officially make the call, there are many variables to remember. Every circumstance is different, but generally speaking, to allow for a procedure with much less stress, we’re advocating that the decision be made approximately three to five months out, meaning if your wedding is scheduled through the summer, it is probably in your best interest to plan for a postponement.
While that timing may be perfect, it may not be possible for you based on your vendors’ flexibility. For instance, while a bride was able to reschedule her spring weddings to prime dates in 2021, she recognizes that the situation has now changed for couples, vendors, and the world. Some couples have managed to postpone without losing much of their investment, while some are sort of stuck in the same pattern based on how far their marriage is. Some couples believe that they won’t return to ‘regular events’ until summertime 2021.
To make the best decision for you and your wedding, and the safety of all of your guests, consider taking the below wedding planning during Covid-19 steps.
Talk to Your Team
Speak with your whole creative team in the same loop–your wedding planner, the venue, catering staff, musicians, photography and video team group, basically anyone involved with the day. Get a pulse on a reliable backup plan and have alternate dates sooner in case regulations or your outlook shifts.
The aim is to have all your loved ones safely attend your big day so everyone can celebrate you. Try to consider changing a date as just that–picking up your wedding and just moving it to a date which feels great for everybody involved so everybody can safely celebrate.
Recognize Your Priorities
When you postpone your wedding, you are first and foremost determining if the hotels and venue can accommodate the new date. Then, you need to reach out to all vendors immediately to see if they can do the same. Chances are slim that your whole plan and the team will have the ability to be carried over with no changes.
You will have to consider any additional fees that may be associated when deciding whether to postpone later in 2020 or move to 2021. Still, generally, you are aiming for the least amount of changes and financial impact as possible.
Speak with your spouse and think about what your non-negotiables are, and they will influence your decision.
- Ready to scale back into a backyard wedding with 50 guests from a ballroom wedding with 250 guests?
- Are you OK with not being able to hug your guests or dancing close to them?
- Is it important that elderly friends and family attend your wedding, including your grandma?
Consider Your Guests
Where your guests are traveling is definitely a huge factor. Just like access to your venue, if your guests have made travel plans, you want to consider how long they will have to make adjustments.
If your guests are mostly local, you can probably make your final choice closer to three months out, but it’s important to remember that invitations should be sent at three months to permit an RSVP deadline of eight weeks before the wedding date.
What to Do If You Have Decided to Postpone
Whether you are forced to postpone the wedding or decide to the out of precaution, it is good to remember that you have options!
To help you navigate wedding planning during the Covid-19, see the complete step-by-step guide to postponing a wedding. Get started with the below.
Hire a Planner
If you do not have a planner, then enlist the help of an expert with some one-on-one consulting. Many planners provide this on an a-la-carte basis. Some will give it out of the goodness of their hearts.
Review Your Contracts
Start with this step as a couple—to know your options and investment. Do not lead with all the paperwork when it comes to negotiating a cancelation or postponement with your venue and sellers.
Vendors are a lot more inclined to work with you on a delay than a cancelation. Initiate the conversation softly and avoid obtuse language.
Choose a New Date
This step involves two layers–talking with your family and your VIP guests and sellers. Work your way down from the least in search of your date from the vendor.
It’s easier to focus on a year, versus a month or day, to be able to garner the best results. Before affirming the new date, +have 80 to 100 percent of your sellers confirmed. Why? If you can find your hair and makeup artist on board, it is seemingly best to lose that $500 advance deposit and reserve the date that you like the most.
Expect Extra Fees
Be ready to pay extra fees or lose some of your investment. This pandemic continues to influence all parts of our economy, vendors, and venues will possibly become more rigid in their policies.
It is no secret that time is of the essence right now. Be ready to move quickly. Other couples are your competition here as so many are in the same boat. This requires flexibility and optimism!
Oh, and if you decide to postpone till 2021, make any significant decisions as soon as you can and then take a good long planning break!
If Your Wedding Is Planned Overseas in 2020
Because of travel restrictions and the expense of travel associated with destination weddings overseas, having a backup plan as part of wedding planning during Covid-19 is crucial for all couples, their families, and teams.
Those in this boat have two options: 1.)postponing the wedding or 2.)moving the destination entirely.
Postponing in Your Primary Destination
Couples getting married in any area where they have requested you limit travel to in 2020, should work out deals with our vendors where they can possibly postpone if they have to. We’ve been through a few ‘natural disasters’ now, and we all know that if a venue can not fulfill its contract, you’re OK there in that you can likely change places, but you need to attempt and find out whether the vendors you are hiring will be amenable to changing the date or venue (according to their availability) in case an emergency requires it.
When rescheduling a destination wedding, you’ll also have to consider a change in guest accommodations. Have you booked hotel rooms, and if so, will they allow you to postpone rooms to another date? What other functions are happening in the region you’re getting married that week? Will the prices stay the same?
Picking a New Domestic Location
To prepare yourself, consider a beautiful domestic place as a backup for a weekend or week-long wedding getaway in the U.S. The majestic islands in Washington State are stunning, Napa Valley is full of rolling hills and grapevines, San Diego’s beaches are incredible, upstate New York is so rustic and serene. New England in the autumn is simply stunning. All gorgeous locations might be a spectacular substitute for your original ideas.
A place that means something to you both, and your families, that you did not think of before such as the lake house you’re engaged at or the mountains where you grew up hiking with your loved ones, or the shore where you holiday with your friends every summer.
While having a domestic wedding might appear different, you are still able to roll with the same vision for having an elongated weekend and get your guests excited. It may open up for more guests that were not able to make the international trip before.
What to Do If You (or Your Guests) Are Booking Travel
Whether you’re making a booking for your honeymoon or asking guests to travel for your special, weddings involve some travel. It’s essential to understand travel options for both you and your guests until the situation gets normal.
Know Cancellation Policies
First of all, anyone with travel arrangements should check the CDC’s and WHO’s websites daily and ask their doctor for advice. Couples must mark their calendar of cancellation deadlines to determine when they may lose a deposit (or more) instead of making an immediate decision when it may not be required and may not affect them financially.
If you would like to make, changes consult with the resorts or cruise partners on reservations or flexible policies, which will allow them to move dates without an extra cost.
Consider CFAR Insurance
If your traveling or honeymoon plans are beyond this summer, go forward with plans. Reserve the areas you want to go but reserve flexible cancellation policies if you’re worried and think about “Cancel For Any Reason” travel insurance.
If you are still concerned, get the CFAR insurance. Go with your gut!
If You Are Continuing Your Wedding in 2020
Whether your marriage is set for later this year in the U.S. or you are planning to host a more intimate affair in the meantime at home, it is very likely it will look different. If you continue with your 2020 wedding, you need to be ready to adjust your expectations while continuing your wedding planning during Covid-19.
Besides a reduced guest count, you will have to implement safety precautions like sanitizing station, thermometer scans, face masks, and, possibly, waivers for guests to sign. Letting guests recognize that you’re currently taking these measures will give some extra assurance. Even so, understand that some just won’t attend.
In addition to the advice, we recommend taking the following steps when stating “I do” at this moment.
Follow the Center for Disease Control Guidelines
If you have your venue and date set, focus on what the experts (CDC) are saying and heeding their advice. Pay close attention to what venues are permitted to do and how they can ensure your guests are safe.
Yes, it’s your wedding, the most important day in your life, but the last thing you want in your celebration is to make many people sick.
Anticipate a Lower Guest Count
It is essential to be aware of your guests’ travel programs and understand if some guests prefer not to escort the wedding or some other pre-wedding celebration. Guest counts may fall due to the fear of flying. Lower your guest counts, as you may not get as many people as you considered in the first place.
Consider Food & Beverage Minimums
Couples have a more challenging time meeting with their food and beverage minimal due to lower guest counts. You may have guests that are unable to get visas to travel, air flights canceled, or domestic guests concerned about traveling.
If you are booking catering or a venue for an upcoming wedding or event, ensure that you understand their policies. When can you cancel, what are the charges do you have choices to make up any food and drink minimums. Additionally, if you have had to change your date, consider this before signing any documents.
When you sign your contract, see if your caterer/venue is willing to reduce their food and beverage minimum. This can help protect your investment if you face a fall in the guest count following a postponement.
Keep Guests Up-To-Date
For anyone who has sent invitations out, send a note to guests and update the wedding website page with a message, or any information that lets guests know you are monitoring the situation. When you haven’t gone to print on invitations, and if it’s possible, ask your stationer about the option of paying for quick printing so you can hold off on printing until the very last second.
Be sure you’re designing the invitations with a line item that asks your guests’ email addresses. Be sure you direct them to a website for any updated information.
Having the ability to be in contact with your guests is critical! Another tip is changing designs with less time-consuming print material strategies—flat printing versus letterpress as an example—and making online RSVPs, whenever possible, for reliability and ease.
Decorate With What’s In Stock
These days, it is not possible for your florist to deliver fresh flowers, depending on where they’re sourced. Flowers are sent from around the world that are presently undergoing the coronavirus outbreak, such as Ecuador, Holland, and South America, but we don’t know what the next few months will bring.
And lots of the hard goods that florists use for décor, like vases and silk flowers for large installations, will likely be affected by the virus. If you are working with a floral designer, think about discussing backup plans and choose a design that doesn’t require purchasing new products to create the desired look for your special day.
Source Local Goods
When sourcing items and favors for welcome bags, consider working with what’s available to you—and supporting small businesses! Look for excellent local favors that are produced here.
Practice Extra Hygiene
For now, follow the CDC guidelines such as washing our hands and/or using hand sanitizer each time we touch elevator buttons, open a door, jump onto the train, etc. and avoiding touching our faces mainly when we are in public places. Take precaution to put hand sanitizers to rooms, food channels, and buffets and to request staff members showing signs of illness remain home.
Think about a Virtual Wedding
For people or guests who choose not to travel, think about the live streaming of your wedding. In this technological era, it is quite easy to set up on social media accounts by going live. To help, some states have even allowed Zoom weddings.
So you see wedding planning during Covid-19 is very possible with some extra precaution.