You’ve spent countless hours and thousands of dollars, not to mention how long you’ve dreamed of this moment since you were first dating, but now in the midst of a pandemic, things are looking different. The CDC has released recommendations that all mass gatherings be cancelled until the pandemic has subsided and that could mean different things for different states. For some states, this could be simply postponing until the end of summer but for other states, this could mean postponing an entire year. And with most couples choosing to postpone, your wedding providers availability will be limited with everyone trying to reschedule for the same dates, leaving you forced to postpone to 2021 even if you were only hoping to postpone a few months.
To further complicate the issue, wedding insurance policies and force majerure contract clauses don’t cover pandemics and epidemics, so each rescheduling event is being taken on a case by case basis. Insurance typically covers events like a tornado or tsunami but up until now, they typically did not include pandemics. In the future, this will most likely change, but for now many couples are left wondering what to do in the face of COVID-19.
What you Need to know
“If you are slated to marry this May or June and even into July, we strongly recommend you have a discussion with your family and closest friends about the effects of COVID-19 on them and travel and safety for the wedding,” says Aleah Valley of Valley & Company Events. Because even if your state re-opens mass gatherings, you will need to consider the effects on your guests such as travel restrictions, safety and overall comfort.
Rules and regulations vary from state to state, and even sometimes neighboring counties have different protocols in place, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest guidelines in your wedding location, as well as where your guests will be traveling from.
If your April or May wedding is postponed to July or August, there is still a chance you may have to postpone again. With the uncertainty we are facing and the rapidly changing protocols being put in place by government agencies, we are seeing a trend of temporary policies lasting longer than initially anticipated.
Things to consider
- Communicate with Your Guests: Notify your guests immediately if you choose to postpone or cancel your event. Even if you don’t have a new date negotiated with your venue and vendors, guests need to know so they can make their own necessary accommodations. Your notification doesn’t need to be elaborate – phone calls, texts, emails, even a social media announcement will suffice.
If postponing, anticipate having to reduce your guest list. Venue restrictions and social distancing guidelines may mean you cannot have a full capacity wedding. Plus, some guests may have been drastically effected due to the virus that makes it difficult for them to attend either due to the financial burden or health conscious issues. Check in with your guests about these sensitive issues to help decide what will be the best decision for you, your partner and your guests.
- Contact Your Vendors: After reviewing your contracts, begin reaching out to your vendors as soon as possible. Open the dialogue with each of your vendors about rescheduling and refunds or better yet, utilize your wedding planner if you have one to begin the negotiations on your behalf.
Remember, everyone is being effected financially and emotionally by COVID-19, your vendors included.
Don’t lead the conversation with money issues. Start the conversation gently and be sensitive to the issue. Compromise is key. Vendors will be far more likely to work with you to postpone their services than cancel. Most vendors are willing to use your deposits towards rescheduling their services or issue a partial refund, but do be prepared for some to adhere to their contracts and require a postponement fee.
- Identify Your Priorities: Sit down and check in with your partner. What is the most important thing to each of you about your wedding? This will help you decide the best course of action to take that accurately reflects you as a couple. If having a huge party filled with hugs, laughter and friends and family is important, perhaps postponing longer is best for you. If just getting married RIGHT NOW is the only thing that matters, perhaps a cancellation and an elopement suits you best. If you getting married now matters but the idea of not being able to celebrate with friends and family is disheartening, perhaps a ceremony now and a party later is just the thing you need.
Ceremony Now, Party Later
You don’t have to cancel your actual wedding – just the party. We offer a variety of options for couples looking to complete their ceremony from packages for just the two of you to packages for up to ten people to accommodate current regulations.
Instead of having a big wedding, you can choose a more intimate route. Gather your closest friends and family to witness your ceremony and then enjoy dinner at one our recommended restaurants. Our concierge services will help you plan the perfect wedding with your cherished loved ones.
The Show Must Go On
Full steam ahead! Order custom masks printed with your wedding date, set up hand sanitation stations, spread out the seating and get ready to party.