Love in the Time of Coronavirus: COVID-19 and Your Wedding

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: COVID-19 and Your Wedding

May 11, 2020

Update 7/11/20: Please see my Covid-19 Action Plan and Resource Guide for all of the most up-to-date info on governmental guidelines, my policies for weddings and engagement sessions, rescheduling details, and helpful resources.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you were planning your dream wedding in 2020 and it was impacted by COVID-19. If that’s true, I feel for you. I’m so bummed about all of this, and I know that your disappointment must be through the roof. I understand there is a lot at play – emotions, logistics, and potentially even finances. I want you to know that no matter what, I’ve got your back and I’ll do whatever I can to help you.

So whether you’ve hired me as your vendor, or you’re just searching the web looking for guidance on how to navigate COVID-19 and your wedding, I hope this blog offers you some clarity, encouragement, and (dare I say) excitement as you make decisions about your wedding. That’s right, I said excitement; because even though you may not be able to have the wedding you’ve envisioned, you still have some wonderful alternatives.

My Hope for You

Before I dive in, I want to take a moment to help you center and get into a positive headspace.

Connection

This is the perfect time to look proudly at your relationship and to appreciate your partner and all the comfort they give you during this time. This is also an opportunity to meditate on what you want your marriage to be and what’s most important to the two of you when it comes to your wedding. If you can get through quarantine together, you can get through anything!

Simplicity

I hope you take this time to focus on what’s most important to you as a couple. Think deeply about each aspect of your wedding. From decor, to venue, to guest list, to ceremony, to reception, ask yourself:

  • Did you make that choice because ‘that’s just what you do at a wedding’?
  • Did you make that choice for your family or friends?

And finally…. 

  • Did you make that choice for yourself and your fiance?  

In my opinion, that last question is by far the one that matters most. If many of your decisions were made for other people, this is a great opportunity to shake those obligations free and recalibrate your wedding to be exactly what you and your fiance want it to be. 

Self Care

Your number one priority is to keep yourself healthy, mentally and physically. Whatever choices bring you peace and excitement, those are the right choices.

Creative Wedding Ideas

Being a wedding vendor, I’ve spoken to many couples over the last few weeks about their change of plans and have been impressed time and time again by their creativity! Here are a few awesome coronavirus-friendly wedding alternatives.

Same Wedding, Different Date

If you can’t imagine saying ‘i do’ without hundreds of family and friends gathered to Ooo and Aaa at your first kiss, let loose on the dance floor with wild abandon, and throw confetti at you as you depart on your honeymoon, you may want to postpone your wedding. 

This is a great option for couples who can handle the suspense of another year or two if it means having the wedding they’ve been dreaming of. 

Tips

  • Plan ahead: Make the call to postpone as soon as possible. The earlier you give notice, the higher chance you’ll have of scoring the venue, vendors, and date you want. 
  • Talk to VIP guests: Think about the people that are most important to you and ask them if they have any prior commitments around the time you plan to reschedule. Black these out on your calendar before you book your new wedding date.
  • Talk to vendors: If your venue is most important to you, start there. If you care most about your photos, talk to me first. Start with the most important vendors and compare calendars to reschedule your date. Know that some of your vendors will be booked and you may have to find replacements. 
  • Be flexible on your date: Know that you may have to choose a different month, day, or day of the week the following year.
  • Budget accordingly: Be aware that prices may increase due to profit losses from 2020 and increased demand for dates. Understand that rescheduled weddings from 2020 AND newly engaged couples are all competing for the same vendors. 

Last of all, but perhaps most importantly, I highly encourage you to find the positives! Make a list of things that you’re excited about with your new wedding date. This will help you reframe the situation and focus on all the exciting things on the horizon. 

Pros 

  • You have another year to save money and that means you’ll be able to afford your dream honeymoon 
  • Your friend or relative who RSVP’d ‘no’ before can now attend
  • You get TWO bachelor/bachelorette parties. Because, why not?!
  • Your sister will have her baby by then and be able to drink with you at the wedding
  • You have more time to get to know your fiance’s group of friends

However small they might seem, spend some dedicated time writing down all the ways postponing your wedding will actually make it better. Putting a positive spin on it will help you look forward to your new date and sustain your feelings of excitement.

Same Date, Different Size

If your priority is to get married to your person this year – nothing is stopping you from doing exactly that! Don’t get me wrong, I love a big party, but small weddings and elopements are my absolute favorite. There is something so romantic about two people in love just going for it. Whether you choose to spend this day with only your fiance, or you surround yourself with your closest friends and family, small weddings and elopements are just as special as big celebrations. 

Tips

  • Follow CDC recommendations: This is so SO important! From elopements to small weddings, COVID-19 recommendations are changing every day, so stay up to date and plan your wedding accordingly. 
  • Make it your own: From venue, to clothes, to decor, to officiant, to food, there are no rules to a wedding, take only what you want and leave the rest! The more personal, the better. 
  • Focus on the possibilities: Intimate weddings open you up to endless options – What might not have been possible when planning for 200 people is absolutely possible when planning for 20… or 2! 
  • Go virtual: Livestream your wedding or elopement to friends and family. It’s a great way to include people while maintaining safe social distancing guidelines.  

Double the Weddings, Double the Dates!

I lovingly nicknamed this option, ‘Have your (wedding) cake and eat it too’ 😉 

If you can’t decide between getting married this year or throwing the party of your dreams, this is the best of both worlds! Live out your mountain top elopement fantasy this year and throw your wedding on your wedding anniversary. 

  • Lean into the positives: You might have felt silly throwing two weddings last year, but in 2020, anything goes! Being legally married this year won’t make your future celebration any less special. 
  • Double up on what’s most important: If walking the aisle or exchanging vows in front of guests is important to you, don’t let being legally married stop you! When the time comes for your celebration, wear the dress, book a second honeymoon, renew your vows… or go all in on throwing the most epic dance party. Make your future celebration exactly what you want it to be. 

Navigating COVID-19 Challenges with Vendors

However you decide to move forward with your wedding, your vendors are here to help you! We will do everything we can to help you navigate this new chapter of your engagement. 

Many wedding vendors are small businesses (like me) which means that we rely on a lively wedding season to keep us afloat. With suddenly empty calendars, it’s important, now more than ever, for all of us to work together to bring your wedding to life while also advocating our own needs.

That’s why I put together this short list; to help couples and vendors work through this together. 

How to work with vendors:

  • Don’t try to do it alone: You don’t have to have all the answers before you schedule a call with me. In fact, I’m here to validate your feelings, calm your nerves, and walk you through all of your options, so don’t hesitate to reach out! 
  • Be flexible: I’ve said this once before, but it bears repeating. With so many variables at play, it’s so important to stay flexible and lighthearted about the less-important details. 
  • Communicate your needs: Your feelings and your needs are valid, so don’t be shy about asking for what you need, whether it’s an upfront commitment or a custom payment plan. 
  • Consider a weekday: There are only 16 Saturdays in a typical wedding season. Most vendors (including myself) offer big discounts and perks if you book your wedding on another day of the week because it allows us to book more dates and make up for lost revenue due to COVID-19.

In addition to these tips, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that, like those of us in the wedding industry, you may also be affected financially by COVID-19. If you have lost your job, had your hours reduced, or been financially impacted in any other way, it is so important to communicate this with your vendors. I can’t speak for everyone, but with an entire wedding season canceled, we are all impacted, and many of us are willing to work with you to help you through this time. Personally, I have implemented a pay-what-you-can-model that locks in 2020 wedding pricing if your finances and wedding were affected by COVID-19. Many vendors have developed their own solutions to help couples in need during this time.

Lastly, many of you have so graciously reached out to ask how you can support me and other wedding vendors during this time. If you have the means and you’d like to help small businesses in the wedding industry during this time, here are a few ways you can do so:

How to support wedding vendors:

  • Offer to pay on the original pay date. This helps stabilize our cash flow this summer. 
  • Offer to pay next year’s prices. 
  • Buy gift cards. Buy a gift card to your caterer’s restaurant or your hair salon, pre-purchase a wedding album.
  • Leave reviews. Review your vendors and brag about how helpful they’ve been to you during this time. Recommend us to your friends and family for future events. 

Get Excited! 

Just ask any couple that has been rained out on their wedding – The biggest disasters can become the fondest memories. Everyone is in your corner and rooting for you and your love to have the most carefree, personal, and memorable wedding day that’s even better than you could have ever planned.

I’ll be here, sending you lots of love, and reminding you to think of how special it will be to celebrate your marriage safely after everything settles. Every hug, warm embrace, and moment of laughter will be that much sweeter! I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

If you’d like to know more about your options related to COVID-19 and your wedding, contact me!

  1. […] my last blog, Love in the Time of Coronavirus: COVID-19 and Your Wedding, I shared a few wonderful alternatives to throwing a big wedding this year. Among those was the […]

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