So it seems COVID-19 has put your happily-ever-after on hold? Unfortunately, couples around the world are now experiencing the frustration and headache of having to plan their wedding in the midst of a global pandemic. Whether your special day was supposed to be in Summer 2020 or Spring 2021, the experts at Inspired Events are continuing to do everything in our power to take the stress out of wedding planning and ensure you a day full of celebration, happiness, and love. No one could have possibly expected a crisis of this magnitude to happen and that’s why we’re here to offer guidance and solutions during this difficult time. There is no way to make this virus disappear. So let’s just try to relax and start to explore the alternatives.
Staying informed about COVID-19
We are wedding professionals, not doctors or health experts! Please pay attention to updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The information is changing rapidly so it is important to stay up-to-date.
My wedding is next month – what should I do?
Unless you’d like to hold a virtual ceremony, the only thing you can do right now is to postpone your wedding to a later date. The government has banned large gatherings that are not deemed essential. This policy is likely to continue well into the summer. Postponing your wedding is not only the safe thing to do, it’s the only legal option you have as well.
We understand the stress that comes with planning a wedding without having to deal with social distancing, masks, gloves, and the coronavirus. There is no shame in grabbing a glass of wine and crying over your wedding invitations. It is totally normal to feel disappointed and frustrated in this situation. Just know that we’re here for you! Not only that, but your family, friends, wedding party, and especially your partner are all here for you too. There will be difficult decisions ahead, but in the end we promise that your dream wedding is just on the horizon.
Keep in mind that it is important to contact a few different people when it comes to setting a new wedding date. Obviously check with your partner, but also your immediate family, your wedding party, and your vendors. This will ensure that your new date works for everyone involved!
Of course, there will be some weekends which are simply out of the question. Check in with everyone to nail down a few new possibilities. The next step is to contact all of your vendors with your new dates. Keep in mind that if you’d like to keep your wedding in 2020, many weekends will already be booked for the remainder of the year. You may have to consider a weekday option as well as moving the wedding to an entirely new season. This could have an impact on whether the wedding is indoor or outdoor, your color palette, and even which flowers are available for your bouquets. If you couldn’t possibly imagine not having a spring wedding, talk to your vendors about postponing your special day until next year.
Scratch ‘Save the Date,’ updating your guests is easy! Just send a Change the Date card with all the new information they’ll need. Have you set up a website for your wedding yet? This is a great way to inform your guests of new updates as soon as they happen. You can even include a QR code on your Change the Date cards and give guests a way to sign up with their email address.
What happens to my deposit and the contracts I have with my vendors?
Sometimes these contracts can seem like terms and conditions for a website. You may not have read through all the details, but it’s time to pull those out now. There will always be conditions spelled out in the fine print regarding postponement and cancellations. Your venue should be the first vendor you contact in order to avoid additional costs or penalties. Don’t worry, they are more likely to work with you given the circumstances.
You might be feeling like you want to give up and just cancel the wedding all together. We feel that in most cases, postponing is the way to go! This way, you won’t lose your deposits and all of the time and effort you’ve already put into planning the wedding. You’ll probably be much happier by not cancelling your celebration of love tool.
From what we’ve seen so far, most vendors are being hit extremely hard by the pandemic. Many of these small businesses are offering a credit rather than a refund, which can then be put towards other services such as a photo shoot or a birthday cake, for example. However, that is only in the event that you decide you absolutely have to cancel the wedding. If not, many vendors are happy to put your deposit towards the new date without any additional fees.
Make sure you have a back-up plan. You should reach out to all of your vendors right away to discuss a new date because there are countless other couples in the same situation. Like we’ve spoken about briefly already, consider a weekday date for your ceremony or an off-season weekend. Confirm that your deposits will all be transferable and try not to leave any questions you have unanswered.
One of those important questions you should ask is about cut-off points. Your supplier including your caterer and florist probably have a deadline by which orders must be placed and they have to charge extra. Check their cancellation policies and how they differ from one day out, a week out, or a month out. Vendors are more than likely happy to work with you one-on-one to come up with a plan and explain all of the details.
Another scenario to consider would be scaling back your wedding. Many couples are deciding to go this route and inviting only close friends and family. This could lower your costs but will also have a negative impact on your suppliers. Make sure to explain that this decision has to do with government measures and ask if there will be any penalties as a result.
You should also ask about their policies dealing with not being able to fulfill orders from their side. They may be able to point you in the direction of other suppliers and they likely have a large network of contacts who would be more than willing to help out if this happens.
Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve put together all of the steps you need to take to postpone your wedding.
First of all, you’ve got this under control and it will all be worth it in the end! The experts at Inspired Events have put together a list of all the necessary steps to make any postponement as smooth as possible. Think of this as an opportunity to make everything perfect and reflect on all of the decisions you’ve already made. Your special day will be a memorable one, even more so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One day, you’ll be sitting with your partner on your honeymoon and laughing about all of this, we promise.
First, you should contact your wedding planner if you haven’t done so already. Call them to start putting together a to-do list and deciding who should take responsibility for each task. It’s much easier to have more than one person working to find solutions.
Lock down your new date and confirm this with your venue and vendors. Make sure everyone is able to work with you in terms of availability and additional fees or penalties. Ask for a new contract if necessary and ensure that the new payment schedule is clear. Suppliers want to make this process as easy as possible for you and for themselves. Be open to having a conversation and come ready with any questions.
Should your supplier not be able to fulfill their obligations on the new date, review the cancellation policy with them and consider speaking to your insurer about paying for these costs. This may be something your wedding planner is better able to deal with. Also ask your vendor if they have any recommendations for other suppliers that can offer a similar service.
Head to the mailbox with your Change the Date cards. Contact your guests by email or phone to let them know. You do not have to worry about upsetting your friends and family, they will most likely be sympathetic to the news and thankful they aren’t in your situation. We recommend only sharing details once they are confirmed by all parties. For example, if you know you have to postpone your wedding but haven’t found a new date, simply tell your guests that and update them as soon as you have new information. Just as vendors will be willing to work with you, your guests will too.
Now you’ll have to go over the legal aspects of your marriage. If you’ve already given notice to your officiant, that will most likely expire before the new wedding date. Call your local council with your wedding planner to make sure everything having to do with your marriage certificate is corrected.
Next, you should contact your insurer if you have wedding insurance to let them know about the postponement and all the new details of your ceremony. Don’t have wedding insurance? Don’t panic, this is something a lot of couples don’t think about or don’t think is necessary. After all, no one could have predicted a global pandemic would impact their special day. However, now is the time to make sure you are insured for your new wedding date, provided that this is more than six months out. Make sure you’re choosing a policy that covers everything and that you’re not being taken advantage of in this new situation we find ourselves in.
Were you happy with all of the details for your wedding? This could be a time to choose different colors, dinner options, flowers, or even a new theme altogether. Maybe you could even tie COVID-19 into your celebration in a fun way.
How will social distancing affect my wedding plans?
Keeping a safe distance will become the new standard for the foreseeable future. If you don’t want this to hold you back from marrying the person you love, consider postponing the ceremony and still marrying over livestream! Believe it or not, this is a fun new idea that’s becoming more common. You could send an invite for your guests over Google Hangouts or Zoom, have your wedding party prepare their speeches and even pour their own champagne for a toast! Spotify is available as your DJ too.
Once everything is settled down, you’ll be able to hold a proper reception. However, you should not let this global pandemic get in your way of eloping with your true love and a virtual wedding could be something to think about.
Regardless of the outcome of planning your wedding during this difficult time, just remember to remain calm, try not to panic, and remember that everything will eventually work out. Try to focus on the bright side and keep in mind that there are people around you to lean on for support. Communicate with your vendors, focus on not losing your deposits, and always have a back-up plan. With a little extra effort, your dream wedding will be all the more worth it and a ceremony full of beautiful memories.