COVID-19 and Weddings; All you need to Know
A real husband and wife stand by each other’s side on good days and stand even closer on bad days, no matter what. – Unknown
By now, the majority – if not every – of the countries have developed measures to restrict the COVID-19 spread by encouraging social distancing and restricting gatherings. Many of our couples and as a result, we are forced to consider wedding days like problems need solving or projects whose management suddenly has a different turn than expected. Many couples in the world are facing the economic, social, and logistical challenges of postponing, reconfiguring, and, at times, replanning their weddings for later dates. The changes in the business are plenty, from shuttering retail shops and closing schools to discouraging large events and even causing a surge in physiological problems. The wedding industry along with couples faces its own set of challenges.
It’s a possible scenario that you might need to make changes to your plans. However, don’t panic. While the coronavirus is something much like uncharted waters, couples should remember that wedding planners and vendors in the industry are developing sound contingency plans for a living. It’s stressful, we know, we feel it too. What we’re positive about is that your wedding planner – whom you hired not only for decorations and the pretty things- is the one who will take care of you and manage the crisis.
One thing that helps us is that nobody is alone in these uncertain times. COVID-19 is a global thing, something that affects us as much as it affects people living on the other side of the world. The uncertainty and fear it’s something that we share. Everyone in the industry is working to develop procedures, and ideas to support couples. All the planners, photographers, and vendors are putting their clients’ best interests first and constantly develop scenarios to help those whose wedding is affected by the events surrounding the coronavirus.
We’re here to help you in navigating what’s currently happening and in sharing with you valuable insight in the industry regarding changes in wedding days.
Postpone, Don’t Cancel
We asked our wedding planner pals for wedding timelines and covid-19. What they all said is that weddings planned for March, April, and May should be postponed. We can’t be sure when the pandemic will be controlled. Couples that were planning to get married from April to June are choosing dates in September through November when rescheduling. The best solution is to postpone than cancel the wedding to avoid losing your deposit. It’s possible if guaranteed that your retainers will apply for your future date. For all the couples planning a wedding from June to August is crucial to work with your wedding planners and photographers on management scenarios, so when it becomes clear that you need to postpone your wedding – if it becomes, we’ve faith it won’t- you’ll know exactly how you will proceed. Talk with your planner and review what needs to be done. Communicate. Keep in mind that this is a global thing, you’re not the first or last couple whose wedding goes through challenges. Many couples and vendors are recalibrating right now. Stop panicking and get informed. Make sure there’s availability for a new date if you must postpone and always keep in mind how your vendors are probably rescheduling with all their couples at the moment. If you are postponing run all your new dates with your friends and family so you have a clearer vision of who is available and who isn’t. Place holds on anything you don’t have to have booked so when you decide the new dates you can get fresh rates.
It Doesn’t Have to Be 2021 If You Don’t Want It to Be
Many couples got engaged the last couple of years and dreamt of getting married in 2020. Even though some of the dates might be already booked or will be booked with the postponements, your perfect date is still out there waiting for you. If you want to get married in 2020 you can. Maybe consider an autumn wedding. Opt for a new date this year, rather than look further ahead to 2021. Be willing to host an event midweek, on off-peak dates or Monday through Thursday. It doesn’t have to be another year if you don’t want it to be. You are controlling this. Also, take into consideration that choosing a weekend in 2021 could leave a venue or a planner’s business unable to support your event come next year. Make sure that 2020 is fully out of the table before consider moving your date in 2021.
Things Are Happening
Isolation, general lockdown, and strict regulations are our friends when battling COVID-19. By committing to the regulations all the countries have put in place for isolation and social distancing, we are accepting that big change to our day-to-day lives. We can use this time for positive thinking, future planning, and self-care, and making sure we are staying safe and at home. We believe that very soon we will be looking at a busy summer and autumn 2020, with lots of beautiful weddings!
Not Everyone Has a Wedding Planner – And It Is Totally Fine
Panning a destination wedding or even a local one without a planner at this point will be a little challenging. However, what we advise our couples is to pick their most trusted vendor and talk with him to understand what is happening. Les Anagnou is here to help, ask us anything you might need and we will do our best to be your eyes and ears on the field. We want to help our couples alleviate stressful thoughts and give you some insight into how we move forward. We were teleconferencing with a planner friend of ours the other day and we all agreed how that’s the moment to really embrace the couples and help them figure their way through this pandemic, especially when they don’t have a wedding planner on their side. Also, if you’re wondering whether you want to hire a planner or not now is the time to say yes. All the planners are ready to help their couples come up with solid wedding plans and ways to have their dream wedding. Hiring a wedding planner will help with configuring, scheduling, and negotiating weekends of events, travel arrangements, and contracts. Talk with a wedding planner on the additional fees naturally recurring from this and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
The Extra Fees – Be Realistic
Of course, each wedding planner offers a tailor-made experience to each couple centered around their needs. However, you need to remember the extra cost that will emerge from replanning your wedding day. It is utopic for clients to think that a business could support planning two events for the price of one. As much as your vendors want to offer you a postponed date without any additional costs, their hard expenses or increased scope of work may demand it. Be mindful when considering a postponement or cancellation. As service providers, it can be easy to assume that this is an easy exchange. Though when the number of work increases and significant changes are made, vendors – especially florists or caterers- should be compensated for their time and expenses as any other product-based business would.
Let’s Talk About Deposits
It is completely understandable – we’ve checked with many professionals on the business- that you should not expect to receive deposits or retainers back. Rather, you can expect that your balance will not be charged until the new scope of work is established and the event is rescheduled. Opt for postponements (ideally within 2020) to repurpose the investments you’ve already made in your wedding event. Please note the following; The deposits are in place because the person you hired has done a solid amount of the work required to date, whereas the balance serves to cover the work that’s left to be done and the event itself. Each retainer and deposit is to cover the cost of doing business. Refunding deposits is not very common within the business. However, talk to your vendor. You need to remember that every person you’ve hired for your event is a small business, who have each hired a lot of freelancers along the way to make sure your wedding day is impeccable. Everyone involved has declined other work as a result of being booked. Funds from deposits are used to keep companies and contractors covered as they work towards your event. Everyone it the wedding industry is a business, as well as a person. Couples must understand and accept that they have asked their vendors to hold one date, and they are now asking them to hold another. You can’t expect them to make two commitments to you for the price of one. We see around 30 to 40 weddings each year; we want couples to be happy! What we need them to do however is to know that vendors are businesses who have commitments, too.
Availability – Now’s The Time to Ask!
Many of the vendors focus their season from March to September. However, due to the pandemic, many vendors now have openings from September to December or they are booking more events. There is certainly availability. We believe that soon this will blow off and we’re going to be overbooked from September till November, with weddings happening on weekdays not only at weekends. That’s a good thing for future couples. It means that there is flexibility in wedding dates and everyone in the industry is willing to expand their hands-on event season for longer. Regarding hotels and wedding venues, talk with each one to ensure new dates, postponing your reservations or rescheduling with new rates in the future. All vendors are going to be willing to accommodate you as best as we can.
Remember Why You Are Doing This
We know it’s stressful and it feels more than a nightmare than an actual wedding but trust us, this will be over soon and you will be left with a story to tell on each Thanksgiving dinner! You are getting married because you love each other and want to stay together for years. Covid-19 may turn wedding days to crises we need to manage but love can’t be canceled or postponed. You are doing this for you and you will find a way to navigate these murky waters. Don’t be afraid and certainly do not panic. You have a whole industry ready to help you and fend for your needs. You certainly have us!
Wondering What You Can Do Right Now?
- Follow and get informed on your local COVID-19 guidelines.
- Check-in with your vendors.
- Consider a smaller guest count.
- Send updates to your bridal party.
- Take care of yourself!
Send us an email and we will be happy to help you in any way we can.
Ask questions in the comments, share your own love stories and helpful advice.
Join us in solidarity as we are taking all measures in making sure we’re fighting the virus.
Stay home and stay safe!