2020 brides and grooms what a ride it has been so far! Please know I am thinking of you and praying for you during this unprecedented time! Today (March 23. 2020) Governor Holcomb issued a stay-at-home directive in Indiana through April 7th. When you began planning your wedding several months ago, the thought of a global pandemic was almost unimaginable. Now, if you’re getting married in the next few weeks, or even months, you are facing the possibility of postponing your wedding because of COVID-19. Wrapping up final wedding preparations is wonderful, but also stressful on its own. The current social gathering restrictions make it even more so.
This situation is evolving rapidly and changing day by day. Be sure to check your local guidelines for the latest information in the area of your event. Like everyone, I’m hoping and praying the virus situation is resolved quickly and we can all begin enjoying each other in-person again! However, it’s better to be proactive and at least create a back-up plan for your big day. Here are a few tips and things to consider.
Sit down with your fiance`, take a deep breath and remember you’re still getting married! No one could have ever anticipated COVID-19 and the impact it would have on our everyday life. I’m so sorry this crisis is happening during your wedding season! Your wedding may need to look a little different than you originally planned, but you’re still getting married. You have options and can you still have the wedding you’ve been dreaming of and working so hard to plan. As you consider your options and how you would like to move forward, remember the most important thing is to keep your friends, family and yourselves safe and healthy.
I connected with my first bride of 2020 today about the possibility of postponing their wedding. They have the most beautiful attitude! She shared that through all of this they have had “a lot of peace and very little stress about these decisions because we know in making them, we are keeping the people we love safe (especially grandparents and older family members).” What a beautiful attitude to keep things in perspective!
First contact your venue and photographer, these are the two biggest vendors and the ones that typically book the farthest in advance. Let them know you may need to reschedule due to the corona virus’s gathering restrictions and ask what their rescheduling policies are in the current situation. Most photographers I know are doing all that they can to be flexible and make this time as easy as possible for their couples. Request a list of alternate dates that your venue and photographer have available. Now you are able to start making informed decisions.
One of the most popular options I’m seeing lately is couples keeping their original wedding date for a small ceremony and celebrating with a full wedding day celebration later this year. I personally love this option! It allows you to still get married on the special day you chose, while keeping the health and safety of your guests as a top priority. You also get all the benefits of living together as a married couple just as soon as you had planned!
Of course, postponing your wedding day to a later time is also an option. It will be a bit longer until you’re officially a married couple, but you will keep your wedding and celebration all on one day.
If for some reason you are unable to postpone your wedding or celebration, get creative. Look into the possibility of streaming your wedding for family and friends. This would allow them to be a part of your big day while still following local guidelines and keeping them safe and healthy.
Be sure to keep your guests and vendors informed that you may be postponing your wedding because of COVID-19. If you haven’t made a decision and are starting to get questions, give a date that you plan to make a decision by.
In communicating with vendors, realize that many of them are small businesses and that the wedding/event industry has been hit very hard by the outbreak. It’s your big day, the vendors I know want to make every couple feel special and give them their very best. Deposits may be non-refundable even in this situation, as for many, the work starts as soon as you become a client. They may be losing several big events, and income that feeds their families, for reasons beyond everyone’s control. Being empathetic toward your vendors will go a long way. At this time, I’m not charging any rescheduling fees for my couples who need to move their date because of COVID-19. Each business is different. I think it’s okay to ask your vendors, “What is most economical way to move forward?”
Once you’ve decided to change your wedding plans, let your guests know as soon as possible. If you are planning a large wedding I suggest breaking your list down between three or four people you know will follow-up with guests. Besides calling, texting, email and social media you have a few other choices. Electronic invitations with RSVP capability can be sent through:
Evite has free and paid options
Paperless Post you can send 200 e-invites for around $30.
Several sites also offer free wedding websites where you can communicate to all your guests in one central place. A few are:
Basic Invite also has beautiful customization wedding invitations that you can match to your wedding website. Their site is super fun to play with! 🙂 More about that in another blog post, but you can contact me for 30% off their printed products.
The Knot is a great online wedding planning resource.
Wedding Wire another great online wedding planning resource.
We’re all in this together. Keeping your loved ones safe and healthy is of utmost importance. Let your guests know you’re changing your event with their best interest in mind. Also, reassure them that it’s ok if they can’t be there and that you understand. Great wording suggested by Paperless post:
“I wanted to update you on [event] as in light of the current outbreak; I’ll be postponing it until [date] and look forward to seeing you then. If you are uncomfortable or unable to attend for any reason, I completely understand, please let me know either way by [date]. I’ll keep you informed if there are any additional changes.“ –from the Paperless Post website.
Everyone’s normal has been changed, and the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and the impact varies by location. When making plans and decisions, be sure to check for the latest local guidelines in your event area. A few resources are below.
WHO (World Health Organization)
This will pass, and you’ll be able to look forward to a wonderful celebration with your family and friends.
Recently engaged? Check out wedding planning tips here: Top 5 Things to do When you Get Engaged and The Next Steps: What to do After You Get Engaged
To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here: The Wedding Experience