As if wedding planning wasn’t stressful, now brides are juggling the challenges brought upon by a global pandemic. Making the right choices and navigating this new and constantly changing period has proven to be difficult for many. At the end of the day, couples and vendors are both trying to find a way to stay healthy and safe without sacrificing their wedding day desires. It’s also important to remember you are not alone. So many couples have postponed or altered their original wedding plans. Lucky for you, we’re committed to helping you through the ups and downs. We’ve put together our best tips and tricks for wedding planning during COVID-19.
Whether you just got engaged or you’ve already postponed you’re wedding date… first things first remind yourself that your day will come. Your day will come and it will be the most amazing day you could have dreamed.
What to Do If You're Considering a Postponement:
If you’re considering postponing your special day, there are variables to keep in mind. Every situation is unique, but generally speaking, to avoid unneeded stress we recommend making the decision three to five months out. This timing may be ideal, but for some couples, it also may not be possible. For example, many couples struggle with vendor flexibility. In order to make the best decision for you, your wedding, and the well-being of your guest, consider the following.
- Determine Your Priorities: Odds are, not every single piece of your original plan will be carried over to your new date. The reality is, you probably will have to face at least some changes. This is why it’s important to determine which vendors or aspects of your day matter most to you. Reach out to your highest priority vendors first about changing your date.
- Consider Your Guests: Where you live, where your wedding will be, and where your guests are traveling from can be a huge factor. Just like the importance of vendor availability, you should consider your guests’ travel plans. If your guests are largely local to the area, you can get away with making a decision closer to the wedding date and vice versa if you have most guests traveling from other states or flying.
- Recognize Your Non-Negotiables: Talk to your spouse-to-be and together decide what your non-negotiables are. For example, is it important high risks groups, such as your grandparents are able to make it to your wedding day? Are you willing to scale back your 250 guest list to a small intimate gather of 50 guests? Whatever your non-negotiables are, allow them to guide your decision-making process.
What to Do If You’ve Decided to Postpone:
Regardless of how you arrived at the decision to postpone your wedding, know that you do have options. Remember that your friends and family are there for you and they want to see you happy.
- Review Your Contracts: Take some time with your partner to review your vendor contracts to understand what your options are how they will affect you financially. When it’s time to speak with your vendors about postponing, start the conversation light and avoid harsh or obtuse language. Vendors are far more open to working with you on a postponement rather than a cancelation.
- Hire a Planner: If you haven’t already, this is the time to hire a planner. Now more than ever, the help of an expert with experience can help immensely. If you’re having issues fitting a wedding planner into your budget, reach out to planners to see if they offer a-lar-carte services such as a few one-on-one meetings or consultants.
- Move Quickly: As everyone knows, time is of the essence these days. Be prepared to move quickly. Remember that many couples are in the same boat as you, so stay flexible and optimistic! With countless couples postponing their weddings just like you, vendor availability may be more limited than ever. Moving quickly may also help to alleviate some of the extra fees brought upon by postponements.
What to Do If You’re Sticking With Your Original Date:
Maybe you have extenuating circumstances that don’t allow for a date change or maybe you just don’t want to change your date. Regardless of your reasons, keeping your original date is possible, but be prepared you will likely need to face changes or take extra precautions.
- Follow CDC Guidelines: As your date approaches, pay attention to the guidelines and advice released by the CDC and other experts. Also, speak with your venue, see what they are allowed to do and what they are doing to ensure guest safety. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and it’s a time for celebration, but it’s important to prevent making your guest sick.
- Expect a Smaller Guest Count: Be aware of your guests’ travel plans and understand that some guest will choose not to attend your wedding or pre-wedding events. Guests may fear flying or large groups amidst the pandemic. It might also be necessary to reduce to the guest list in order to meet guidelines set by the CDC or your venue.
- Consider a Virtual Wedding: For guests who are elderly or part of a high-risk group, or simply those who choose not to travel, consider streaming your wedding. Modern technology offers many options to live stream your special day for those who can’t be there in person. Some states have even gone as far as to make Zoom weddings legal.
At the end of the day, the goal of a wedding is meant to be a celebration of the couple and their love alongside their family and friends. We encourage all couples planning right now to keep going. Though at times it may seem hard, be flexible. Stay hopeful and optimistic. Regardless of when your day comes or how it ends up looking, it will be a celebration to remember and one of the best days of your life!