No one could have predicted that the world would practically shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a few weeks ago, a day that brought a slight chill to guests was my biggest worry for my March/April weddings. Oh, how the times have changed!
My heart is breaking for all of the precious couples who’s weddings are being affected by this virus. They have spent months (if not years) anticipating this day, only to have it taken away from them so quickly. As painful as this situation may be, we WILL get through this! Couples WILL be married at the end of the day! Nothing can stop true love.
In order to navigate this situation, we need to do it TOGETHER! Now more than ever, having a wedding planner on your vendor team is SO important. I’ve rescheduled 5 weddings in the past week alone! Let’s do some math… Each wedding has on average 8 vendors with 8 different schedules. If you sent 5 emails per vendor, that would be at least 40+ emails back and forth that would take you hours to determine what the best plan B would be.
By having a professional planner step in to take away this burden, you can save yourself time, headache, and — lets face it — some tears along the way! I wanted to provide some practical tips to navigate this situation if you believe your wedding COULD be affected by COVID-19…
01. Determine if your wedding date has a high chance of being affected
The environment is constantly changing and new regulations are being release, at what feels like, hourly! If your wedding is in April or May 2020 — Please pay attention to this post! I’m talking to you 🙂 June and July brides — monitor this situation carefully. If at any point you feel nervous/anxious, it’s never too early to come up with a Plan B (just incase). Anyone getting married in August 2020 or beyond, I’d suggest planning as normal for now and proceed this way unless recommended otherwise by government and health officials.
02. Reach out to your wedding planner / coordinator (if you have one)!
Your wedding planner is really going to be the best person to help you work through this situation! It’s very likely they have already spoke with your vendors and know their policies/procedures surrounding COVID-19 + postponement! They will be able to help you in the communication process and take some stress off your plate. Voice all of your anxiety/fears and determine if you need to being developing a Plan B.
03. Contact your venue FIRST!
Venues are in high demand, especially when couples are rebooking their spring weddings! Ask your venue what their policy for postponement is and for a list of all available days for 2020 or early 2021. Don’t forget to ask about any associated fees for postponement!
PRO TIP: If your wedding is in late May/early June, you could always ask if your venue would be open to holding the “Plan B” date for up to one month before your wedding to have time to determine if you would like to keep your original date or proceed with the new date! If they are willing to do this, you could monitor the situation and have peace knowing that if you realize the original plan isn’t going to work a little closer to the date, you still have the backup plan secured 🙂
04. Narrow down your dates and send to vendors
Choose 3-4 dates that your venue provides and send that list to your contracted vendors (photographer, caterer, florist, etc.). Figure out their availability and any policies around postponement. This can be done in one mass email to minimize the amount of emails cluttering your inbox!
05. Select your Plan B date
The goal here is to choose the date that works best for you and MOST (if not all) of your vendor team! You hired these individuals for a reason — either you loved their work, fell in love with their process, or connected with them personally! Whatever the reason, I’d suggest trying to secure the date where you can keep your vendor team in tact 🙂 Once you’ve selected a new date, you may be asked to sign an updated contract to reflect the changes.
06. Communicate the new date to your family + friends
Now that it’s official, it’s time to let everyone know of the plans that you’ve made! It’s very likely that invitations have already been sent out. To avoid spending any additional money, I’d send this announcement one of two ways: electronically via Paperless Post OR through a private FaceBook group! Additionally, some invitation designers are offering free “Change the Date” printables that you can put in the mail!
It’s very easy to get caught up in a state of panic, fear, or a feeling of being overwhelmed. Although it may be hard, please remain calm! Unfortunately, we are only able to control certain things. Why worry about the things that are out of your control?
That being said, its OKAY to not be okay. Your wedding is a big deal and changes in those plans are hard. If you feel like you need to, take the time you need to properly grieve the loss of your original plans! You envisioned the day and spent a lot of time planning it perfectly. It’s natural to feel a sense of defeat or sadness. Thankfully, all of that time is not lost — simply transferred to another date. Plus, you WILL be married at the end of the day!
Finally, it is important to communicate regularly with your planner + vendors! Since this is un-chartered territory most vendors are trying to be as flexible as possible. We are here for you!! We understand how difficult this situation is and want to support you in any way we possibly can! 🙂
** Disclaimer: It’s important to note that every situation is unique. Different vendors have different policies, procedures, and contracts so it is important to know what is written in those documents. I am not a legal professional.Please consult your own contracts or lawyer to determine what you need to do in your particular circumstances!