The Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted every possible social event you can imagine. Couples who have planned or are currently planning a wedding can be faced with some hard decisions about how they can still tie the knot. While your wedding plans might seem impossible with everyone in forced self-isolation, you can still celebrate your love, say “I do,” and create a special wedding no one will soon forget. It might not be the wedding you dreamed of, but it can still allow you to celebrate your love during difficult times, with a story you can tell your grandkids. Here are some options to consider if you are planning a wedding in the age of COVID-19.
Consider Postponing Your Wedding
In most cases, you won’t have a choice other than to postpone your wedding date. Since city halls are not offering ceremonies and most religious ceremonies are also off the table, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another option. So, for weddings in April, May, or June, contact your venues and see what alternate dates are available. It won’t be ideal and can prove challenging if other couples are forced to do the same, but the sooner you call, the better your chances of securing a new date this year. If your wedding was planned beyond July, still contact your venues to see if you can select a later date and get a feel for how things look. Hopefully, anything planned for the fall will remain as is!
Reset Your New Wedding Date
Once your new date is confirmed, reach out to your guests and let them know about the new arrangements. Be prepared to see a drop in attendance, as people might not be available. Then, do the following:
- Let your venue know about the changes to the number of guests. In some cases, if the drop is drastic, you might have to choose a smaller room.
- Notify all your vendors and try to reschedule their services for your new wedding date. If you can’t coordinate your dates, call around to find an alternative service. Your venue will be the hardest date to schedule, so you might have to make sacrifices for some of your preferred related services such as photographers, florists, and entertainment in order to hold your spot at the venue.
- Cancel your honeymoon travel arrangements or reschedule, based on your new wedding date. In most cases, you should not be faced with steep fees in light of the pandemic.
- Reschedule hotel rooms you reserved for guests.
- Reschedule your rehearsal dinner if you have reservations.
This will take some planning, so ask for help from family and friends to reduce the stress.
Ask Your Officiant
If you are determined to be married as planned, speak to your officiant to see if they would consider a socially distanced ceremony. This can be arranged somewhere mutually convenient, such as your backyard or the steps of your church, but again, this might prove challenging. If your officiant is open to the idea, you can then live stream your video and send information to your guests about how they can attend the ceremony live online. As well, you will have to understand the laws, such as having your witnesses present. You might face some argument from your best man and maid of honour if they feel it is unsafe to attend the ceremony, even if social distancing practices are used.
If you do choose this route, think carefully about what you will be sacrificing. Will you be okay knowing you missed out on the fun and romance of your wedding reception? Will you be disappointing family and friends who were looking forward to the celebrations? Missing out on your reception could have long-lasting effects that will be hard to live with later on. If you still insist on having a reception, you can hold one at a later date. Speak to your venue to see if you can reschedule it and if any money you’ve deposited can be applied to the new date.
Contact Your Out of Town Guests
It can be tricky if you have out of town guests attending your wedding, as pandemic travel bans will vary from location to location. Remember, there is the possibility local rules might remain in place extending into your newly scheduled wedding date. Keep in contact with your out of town guests so you understand their own restrictions and can share your local policies with them. Also, keep on top of your guest list count to share the numbers with your venue.
Check-in on Your Wedding Dress
If you ordered your wedding dress, you could face shipping issues during the pandemic. As well, your wedding dress shop could even be out of business by the time this is all over. Contact your supplier right away to ensure you do not lose out on your dress. If the shop’s situation has changed drastically, you can try to get your money back and make arrangements for a dress with another shop. If you are still shopping, see if you can arrange a virtual appointment to find your dress, as many shops are trying to accommodate their clients as best they can during the pandemic.
With a ban on travel, your destination wedding will have to be cancelled. Speak to your wedding planner or the wedding location to see what they can do to help make new arrangements. Hopefully, the majority of your costs will be covered via cancellation insurance, or can be transferred to an alternate date.
Although making drastic changes to your wedding plans is the last thing you’ll want, the COVID-19 crisis leaves you with no other choice. Make sure your new plans won’t interfere with your dreams and try to make the most important elements of your wedding day your priority.