COVID Effected Weddings
There’s no easy way of saying this. We’re in the middle of a pandemic that’s affecting everyone. I decided to write this blog for my clients and or anyone else who be able to benefit from it too.
It’s ok to feel whatever you’re feeling right now. Whether you’re fearful, uncertain, or in shock, know that your feelings are normal and that you are not the only one. People are going to process it differently, and that’s ok.
What Are Your Options?
With stay-at-home orders and travel bans in place, you may need to change your wedding plans. I know this is a tough decision to make. But the earlier you start the process, the better. Talk to your significant other, and anyone else you’re close with who’s involved in your wedding planning.
Wedding businesses are fully aware of the situation and we’re prepared to make rescheduling go as smoothly and stress-free as possible. Also, retainer fees are non-refundable, so you would be losing that money if you cancel.
Keep in mind that most wedding vendors are small businesses. Our businesses are being greatly impacted by the coronavirus situation. We’re sympathetic of the stress you’re feeling and want to help.
If you are having to change please have a few dates available as options to offer all your suppliers and then you can make an informed decision on your changes knowing who is and who isn't available and prioritise from there.
Notify your vendors and decide on a new date
Changing your wedding date can be upsetting, but it might be necessary. Keep an open mind and remember to focus on the positives. You’re with the one you love. You’re still getting married. Your wedding is still going to be awesome, no matter what!
If you decide to reschedule, let your wedding vendors know asap. Our 2020 (and 2021) calendars are filling up with rescheduled events. The sooner you notify us the more dates will be available. I recommend deciding on a general time frame you’d like to reschedule to, and then asking about your vendors’ availability around that time. Consider that Fridays, Sundays, or weekdays will be more open.
Keeping track of everything in a notebook or planner is helpful.
Here’s a list of things you’ll want to discuss with each of your vendors:
· Ask about their available dates asap. ( more than 1!)
· Find out their policy on cancelling or rescheduling due to government-enforced restrictions like the banning of social gatherings/stay at home orders.
· Ask about the details of their cancellation policy.
· Ask about what policies they have in place in the case that they are sick or unable to fulfil their services for your wedding.
Decide if you want to trim your guest list
This is a good time to be intentional about your guest list. You might want to consider the option of having a more intimate wedding, with less than 30 guests or less which is allowed. This could ease some of the uncertainty when it comes to social gathering limits.
How do you tell guests they’re no longer invited to your wedding?
First of all, don’t worry about offending people or upsetting them at this time. Everyone will understand I am sure they have been watching the News, and even though they might seem disappointed, They might be relieved to not have to worry about a large gathering especially for the more vulnerable.
Notify your guests
Once you’ve made the change official, notify your guests. You can send out “Change the Date” with the information they need to know.
Some tips for notifying guests and wording your postponement cards.
Checklist for rescheduling your wedding due to Covid-19:
1. Don’t panic! Remember we’re all going through this together. Look to your partner for support and remember to breathe!
2. Brainstorm with your significant other, and anyone else who’s involved with your wedding planning. Come up with an ideal date range and remember to keep an open mind.
3. Contact your vendors as soon as possible. Start with your planner, if you have one, your photographer, and your venue. Nail down a new date that works best for everyone.
4. Review your vendor terms and conditions. Sign new contracts.
5. Notify your guests of your decision.
6. Check your marriage license deadlines.
7. If you have wedding insurance, notify them of the change in plans.
8. Make any changes needed to your wedding details like signage, website, etc.
9. Remember your decision was necessary and try to dwell on the negatives. Many couples are experiencing the same thing. We’re going to get through this together!
What about eloping?
If you have a wedding planned but are open to the idea of eloping instead, here are some things to consider:
· SOCIAL DISTANCING. It’s much easier to keep a distance from others when it’s only a few people at your wedding. You and your partner can relax and enjoy your wedding day without worrying about coming into close contact with other people.
· GUESTS CAN STILL BE WITNESSES. Couples around the globe are eloping and live streaming their wedding ceremony for all their family and friends to witness! You can even invite everyone to share a toast with you and do speeches via video.
· YOU CAN STILL HAVE A CELEBRATION. You can get married and then have your dream reception with guests at a later time when it’s safe.
Words of encouragement
This crisis is not going to last forever. There will be a time when the virus slows or even comes to a halt.
Let’s keep an open mind and try to focus on the positive. Right now we get to slow down.
Although couples across the world may be changing their wedding plans because of the pandemic, they’re still getting married. You still get to marry each other!
Everyone is in this together. There’s lots of support available. If you’re in need of help for any reason, just reach out!
I am a fine art elopement and wedding photographer based in County Durham UK, travelling worldwide.