With recent restrictions on gathering sizes throughout the US and abroad, many couples are coming across difficult decisions surrounding their quickly approaching wedding dates. Let's be clear, the increasing dangers of the Coronavirus are real and can affect anyone, and with that in mind, folks are going to have to make some serious decisions.
The Wedding Industry, though often very complicated, is also one that thrives on having good relationships with the people for whom they work. Vendors, venues, and planners tend to really want what's best for their clients and their client's loved ones. Your vendors should let you know that what's best for you is ultimately what's best for them too.
Of course, contracts and such from your vendors may be clear around line items like retainer fees, cancellations and rescheduling stipulations, but it never hurts to ask what solutions can be made available to you.
Here are 3 options with the planning of your wedding in the wake of the Corona Virus:
Especially if your wedding is in the next few months, and with the unknowns of the future
surrounding CoVID 19, it may be best to begin rescheduling your wedding. Understanding
that it may be hard to know what the future holds as far as potential gathering, it may be best to schedule for as much as a year later, especially if you have a larger wedding planned and you absolutely want everyone to be there. This is also true if you have your heart set on a more popular venue as it may be hard to find space at the venue in the near future. This is definitely a tough decision but there is a bright side to it; your family can attend safely, more time to plan, and a lower likelihood of travel restrictions for your loved ones and for that fabulous honeymoon you have in the works.
If you're thinking of rescheduling, the first thing to do is contact your venue and see what options you have for dates and rescheduling. You may even ask for two options, one a few months away and one in the next year.
Once you've found a new date with your venue, the second thing to do is contact your other vendors. Reach out to each vendor (you may do this as a group email to save time and stress) and ask what options you have for the rescheduling of your wedding date. Many vendors are already thinking about ways to help out and keep you as their client (they love you) so most vendors will be able to accommodate or offer alternatives.
Once you know what vendors you can keep and which ones you need to replace (hopefully few if any), you can finally find your remaining vendors. If you've lost a couple vendors along the way, now is the time to go back to those second and third choices and see what they have available.
Rescheduling a wedding is daunting for sure but you've really done most the leg work already, it's just plugging in a few alternative elements and holding on for the ride. Your wedding is going to be beautiful regardless.
As of right now, March 17th 2020, the CDC is suggesting not to gather in groups more than
10 and this may last longer than we think. If you're set on keeping your originally planned wedding date you may need to minimize (by a lot) the amount of people on your wedding day. With modern tech this may not be as hard as you may think. Google Hangouts, Zoom, and other conferencing options could allow it so that even people who couldn't travel previously can actual be at your wedding virtually.
I recognize that this is not the dream that you had in mind for this date but there are a few advantages to this kind of wedding... you'll save a bunch of money on food, venue and the like, you can always plan a larger event on your first anniversary, you can make it super special with your 8 favorite people in the room, it could be quite romantic and lastly, what a story for the grand kids!
If this is your route, a few suggestions for keeping it safe: limit your small guest list only to folks under 60 and without any pre-existing respiratory, heart or kidney issues, provide lots of soap, sanitizer, masks and disinfecting wipes, require that anyone who is sick or who has recently been sick to not attend.
3. Cancel with a Commitment Ceremony
This isn't as bad as it sounds. Sure, you may lose some money in retainer fees and such but this option allows you time to see what the world is going to look like in the next few months. And once you know what the future holds as far as vaccinations and statistics you can make an educated decision on how to move forward.
In the meantime, light some candles, make dinner together, write out and share all the things you love and cherish about one another and make a commitment to be quarantine partners in life... Eventually you'll make the same commitments in public AND with your loved ones present and accounted for.
We will survive this trying time and your love will grow because of it. Take care of yourselves.
Joseff & Samee
Zen Orchid Photography