It's hard to plan a wedding, let alone do it in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. You're faced with unique challenges that no one has ever gone through before. You can't even go out to meet your vendors or do a suit or bridal fitting.
We know you have a lot of questions in mind right now, like how are you supposed to get past all these, or should you cancel your wedding instead. It's overwhelming, but don't fret - we're here to help you take the stress out of planning by answering those questions and providing some expert advice. Everything will go smoothly, maybe just not as previously planned. Here's what you need to know about wedding planning during the pandemic:
Postponing and Rescheduling
It seems like the easiest way around the problem is to postpone the wedding to a later date, but that presents many challenges as well. You have to give out postponement announcements, cancel supplier orders, and maybe refund airfare tickets and hotel rentals, especially if you're having a destination wedding. Not to mention choosing the right date to hold your nuptials is quite difficult as well. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's hard to say when people can attend social gatherings again.
So, don't cancel your wedding just yet. Besides, for all you know, the situation may get better before the big day. The more practical and cost-efficient approach to the problem is calling your wedding planner first and coming up with a contingency plan together. It allows you to act quickly once more information about COVID-19 and government mandates come in. It also gives you a lot of time to plan on how to postpone the big day if you really have to do it.
Keeping in Touch with Vendors
The COVID-19 breakout has hit the wedding industry pretty hard, and a lot of people think that many vendors had already closed down. But, the key players in the industry just do what they do best: provide creative solutions to unexpected situations. After all, it's the only way to keep their businesses afloat. The majority of these suppliers are still running their shops, so continue reaching out to them. Just inform them what dates you can commit to, and they'll do their best to prepare for the big day.
Many vendors had switched to e-commerce for the meantime, taking bookings and orders through the internet. Even bridal boutiques offer virtual appointments where a consultant helps you choose several dresses from their collection, discussing things such as cut, style, and fit. Once you're satisfied with your pick, then they'll arrange a curb-side drop-off delivery service to let you try the dress on.
Canceling Bookings and Orders
You're lucky if you had your wedding booked towards the end of the year because you have a lot of time to adjust. But, if you're doing it around June or July, then you're in a tight spot and it looks like you have to postpone your wedding. It's a hard pill to swallow, but these times may call for it. You have to cancel your bookings and orders, particularly perishables like flowers, food, and drinks.
However, you can't expect vendors to accept the cancellation quickly and fully refund any payment you've previously made. It's not because they don't want to, but simply because can't. They may not have a pandemic clause in their contract, but they must've also made a down payment to their suppliers already. What you can do is talk with your wedding planner so they, together with the vendors, can whip up agreeable cancellation policies on deposits.
Whether you're postponing or pushing through with the original schedule for your wedding, you definitely have to make some changes so everybody feels safe amidst the whole COVID-19 situation. The virus isn't going away anytime soon unless the experts find a vaccine and a cure, and no one knows when that time will come. The last thing you want is risk spreading the illness on your big day, so you need special measures to keep your guests protected.
One major step you can take - and we firmly believe this is important - is to cut down your guest list. We know you may have had already sent out invitations, and think the guests would be offended if you cut them out. But, your news may be better received than you previously thought. Some of the guests might not be comfortable attending mass gatherings but they're hesitant to tell you.
Cutting the guest list isn't easy, but you can do it politely. Start by giving out a survey, asking your invitees if they're comfortable attending your wedding given the situation. The key is letting them decide for themselves if they want to attend, instead of simply cutting them and telling them they're out.
Just think of the COVID-19 outbreak as another challenge in your relationship. You can go through it as long as you're working together. With clear thinking, proper planning, and effective communication with the key people in your wedding, you can successfully plan your big day amidst this pandemic. Your marriage rites will definitely be one for the photo albums.