We are all about four months into this “new normal” surrounding the global Coronavirus pandemic. The world has changed drastically, especially in terms of the events and wedding industry as social gatherings have been shut down and deemed fairly unsafe. So, where does that put couples that are planning to get married in 2020 and 2021? You are likely in an unprecedented predicament and searching for answers on how to safely and happily have a wedding. I’m happy to offer some insight into some popular questions that couples are asking as they plan a wedding during Covid-19.
I would first suggest reaching out to your core vendors (venue, planner, photographer/videographer, caterer, florist) about their rescheduling options and availability. If you’re hoping to reschedule and keep the same team of vendors intact, you want to be sure that they are available for your new date and have rescheduling options that fit your budget. When you establish a new date that your core vendors are on board for, inform any other vendors as well as your bridal party so that they can plan accordingly. After that, begin sharing the new date with guests and make arrangements for a new honeymoon, bachelor/bachelorette party, etc.
It depends! Most vendors work with non-refundable deposits, meaning the amount you pay to initially book their services will not be returned in the event of any future changes. This allows for vendors to not go completely bankrupt in situations like a global pandemic! Some vendors, like makeup artists, are paid after their services are complete, so you can change your plans and not worry completely about losing money in that sense. The best way to answer this question is to reach out to your vendors specifically. Many are able to move your wedding date without charging a fee, but some require a new contract and new booking fees entirely.
There are many options for couples rescheduling their wedding due to the Coronavirus pandemic:
Cancellation: Couples can completely cancel the wedding and get married in a courthouse. This option is rare, but may be ideal for couples that have other priorities and still want to become husband and wife.
Ceremony Now, Reception Later: For a lot of couples, their original wedding date held significance or was years in the making and they want to hold on to that specific day. To do so, you can choose to get married with an intimate ceremony on your original date and plan for a large reception and celebration later in the year or next year. The wedding industry has dubbed this a “mini-mony,” which I love! This way, you don’t have to wait any longer to officially be husband and wife, you can have a small group of your loved ones there to witness, and you still have a big, fun party to plan for later.
Reschedule Entirely: If you have no trouble with patience, you can postpone your wedding to a later date and choose not to get officially married until that new date. With this option, all of your family and friends will be able to come together and witness your official union!
While we have no idea what the future holds in terms of this pandemic, most engaged couples are anticipating having a “normal” wedding next year—that is, worrying less about social distancing, capacity limits, and travel restrictions. The safest thing to do as you’re planning your celebration next year is to ensure that all contracts you sign now include attention to rescheduling agreements, health and safety measures, and cancellation wording that you are comfortable with. It’s also very wise to invest in wedding insurance in the event that your plans do need to change.
There are so many creative ways to let your guests know that your wedding plans have changed! A fun way is by making a quick video with your fiance and emailing it to your invite list. This way, your guests get to see your faces and hear the news as if you’re in the room with them. You can also send a standard email with the new date and a way for them to update their RSVP. Sending a new physical invite and/or save the date in the mail is another great option, so that guests can display the new invite in their homes. Whichever way you do it, be sure to give your guests plenty of time to both cancel their original plans and plan for the new wedding date.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that your marriage is more important than your wedding! Focus on the way you and your fiance want to celebrate your love and commitment above all. The only “right” way to go about all of this is to make each other the top priority. All other plans will fall into place from there. Happy Wedding Planning!