So, you and your fiancé have been counting down the days, weeks, and months until your wedding - the calendar has been marked since you put down your venue deposit! When planning a wedding, no one ever expects a global pandemic to interfere with their big day. Yet, that is exactly what is happening with brides and grooms all over the world.
With the presence of COVID-19, upcoming wedding plans are requiring some sort of change. Couples are questioning whether to continue on as planned, head to the courthouse, or postpone celebrations to a later date. With many governments placing restrictions on group gatherings, it’s likely that upcoming wedding plans will be altered. It’s a time of uncertainty, yet it’s important not to panic.
There are probably a million questions wracking your brain. Like, where do you even start when it comes to rescheduling a wedding you’ve taken months to plan? We’ve been listening to bride and grooms-to-be like you, and have put together a list of COVID-19 wedding questions you may have!
Navigating Your Wedding During COVID-19 Pandemic
With the help of Willow and Amber, two brides and top wedding consultants with upcoming wedding dates, we’re setting out to help ease your worries and let you know that you’re not alone! Everyone, from vendors to your guests, are doing all they can to support the decisions you and your fiancé will be making. It’s important to have patience during this process, and keep in mind the most important thing - you’ll be marrying your best friend at the end of this!
1. When is your wedding date? Will COVID-19 affect your wedding?
Currently, the CDC recommends to cancel or postpone any gatherings of 50+ planned to take place over the next 8 weeks. So, the majority of upcoming weddings will need to make adjustments to accommodate. That could mean postponing to later this year, or heavily downsizing the guest list to immediate family. However, for early summer weddings, the choice is much more unclear. As a first step, check with your wedding venue to see if they have any updates.
Willow - My wedding date is June 6th, 2020. Although it's difficult to predict how, I believe COVID-19 will have some impact on my wedding. My fiancé and I are already planning on taking extra safety precautions, like having hand sanitizer readily available and ensure guests are conscious of hand washing and covering coughs. COVID-19 may also cause us to have to space chairs further apart. I’m not sure yet if our grandparents will attend. As the wedding gets closer, we may send out a message stating that more susceptible people with lower immune systems should not feel guilty about staying home. We can celebrate with anyone that can not attend the wedding at a later date if necessary.
Amber - My wedding is on 10/17/2020. As of now, I am not as concerned with my wedding being in the fall. As it develops, I might have to do some adjusting. The only obstacles I have faced concerning the wedding is not being able to keep some of my vendor meetings I had scheduled. Those appointments with the vendors will be rescheduled to a later date.
2. Are you planning to reschedule or cancel your wedding because of COVID-19?
Whether you decide to postpone your wedding or completely cancel it will often come down to contracts you’ve signed with your vendors. Amid this COVID-19 crisis, many vendors are bending their contracts to work with brides and grooms. Because of that, rescheduling is the preferred route to take, as vendors are also trying to stay financially afloat. Remember, many of them are small businesses who need your support in return!
Willow - My fiancé and I are taking it one day at a time. In uncertain times such as this, we're finding it important not to stress out about the unknown. Luckily, our venue is allowing us to have a smaller ceremony if necessary and possibly a reception later on.
Amber - At this time we are keeping everything as planned! Since it’s still a few months out, we have time for adjustments and changes if needed.
3. How is your venue communicating with you? Are they allowing you to reschedule?
The consensus is that most venues are doing their best to support you, their client. Many are offering rescheduling options, which vary by vendor. Remember, wedding venues are often small businesses who are doing everything in their power to help you postpone versus outright canceling! To keep their weddings in 2020, some couples are opting for less popular days, like Fridays and Sundays for their new dates. Rescheduling to a non-traditional day may even bring some unexpected positives!
Willow - Our venue is allowing us to have a smaller ceremony if necessary and possibly a reception later on. Since they are doing their absolute best to accommodate our needs, if we asked, I’m sure they would let us reschedule.
Amber - My venue has been in communication with couples that have upcoming weddings, who are more likely to have their weddings impacted by the coronavirus. Our venue is allowing couples to postpone and pick a later date if the date is still available. At this time, my fiancé and I feel comfortable keeping our 10/17/2020 date.
4. How are your other wedding vendors, like Photographers and Caterers, working with you?
Like venues, other wedding vendors are also doing their best to support couples with upcoming weddings. Each vendor has their own thoughts regarding back-up plans, but many are offering a variety of options. For example, some photographers are offering elopement sessions if their clients still want to proceed with their original date. However, if you’re looking to reschedule, not all vendors will be available on your new date, and that’s ok! There are plenty of others who are willing to step in.
Willow - Although things may change as we approach our June wedding date, our vendors are all still on board as of right now. We will be sure to communicate with them if there are any changes, as they will plan to do the same for us.
Amber - Each of our vendors so far have reached out, and been in touch with us. Being that our wedding date isn't until fall, we are staying confident that our planned vendors will still be a part of our big day. So, as of right now we are keeping everything as planned. We will reach out to them more as our wedding date gets closer.
5. How to keep guests informed on COVID-19 Wedding Changes?
Once you and your fiancé have made a decision to either postpone or cancel your wedding, it is important that you keep your attendees informed! For instant notification, you might consider sending out a mass email to your guest list, or use your wedding website to post updates. If you want to stick to snail mail and send out new invites, ‘Change the Date’ cards are also available!
Willow - If we do decide to postpone the wedding, we will most likely use our wedding website to send out a mass message to everyone. We would also post an update on social media as well, to ensure that everyone gets the news.
Amber - So far, we have sent out save the dates, but we have yet to send out invites. If anything is to change, we will communicate with our guests on our wedding website, or on the invite itself.
6. What is the best way to communicate with wedding vendors regarding COVID-19 concerns?
Right now, it is likely that your vendors are experiencing an influx of messages and concerns from their clients. Although each vendor has their own communication preferences, it may be useful for everyone involved to keep a written record of conversations. Communicating via email will help keep both vendors and yourself organized. Patience is key!
Willow - We have been communicating with our vendors via email.
Amber - Emailing has been the best way for us to keep in touch with our vendors.
7. How should summer brides and beyond continue to plan for their weddings?
While all of this uncertainty may not directly affect your summer or fall wedding date, you still may have some reservations when it comes to forging ahead with your wedding planning. Understand that you are very important to your vendors, so be very patient with them and the process. Stay in contact with your high-priority vendors, like your venue and photographers, to keep your peace of mind. Everything will work out.
Willow - Throughout this process, we have found that patience is the best policy. We have to constantly wait for information from the government, venues, etc. and make changes accordingly. But until we know for sure, we keep planning as if our wedding will take place on our chosen date. We have to remember to still have fun throughout the process, as it's a one-of-a-kind experience. No matter how or when we get married, as long as we have each other we will be happy!
Amber - Each couple has a different wedding in mind as well as different dates. It really depends on when the wedding is exactly, how big their guest list is, and if guests are traveling from out of town. Couples should feel comfortable to freely communicate with their vendors about questions, concerns, and changes. Take it day by day and do what’s best for you and your big day!
8. How can 2021 weddings support their future vendors?
Losing out on a chunk of their busy season can severely hurt wedding vendors. Venues, photographers, caterers, and florists are seeing major cancelations as COVID-19 continues to disrupt wedding plans. It’s important to consider how you can help your future vendors stay in business for your wedding!
Willow - Currently engaged couples for 2021 can financially support their future wedding vendors by considering to put down an early deposit. Or, an easy way to offer support is by recommending and promoting their favorite vendors to other couples via social media. Every photographer, venue, and caterer will truly appreciate any help!
Amber - It’s normal to book a lot of vendors in advance! Venues, photographers, videographers, caterers, florists can sometimes book a year or two out! It’s ok to start planning and booking some of those things now if the wedding is in 2021. That way you also get first picks on your favorite vendors that are more popular! Also, people always like to see reviews! If you love your vendor, don’t be afraid to post a good review about them or why you picked them. This can help other couples that are in the vendor selection process for their wedding as well.
Reach Out to Us!
Do you have other questions, concerns, or ideas regarding your wedding and COVID-19? We want to hear from you! Please leave a comment, and we will do our best to keep our blog updated with answers to your questions.