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WEDDING BLOG

Advice For Wedding Planning During COVID-19

August 24, 2020 | morgan

photo by Sydnee Marie Photography, design & styling by Mae&Co Creative

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed researching covid wedding ideas, you’re not alone. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting us all, but especially couples planning their weddings. These couples are faced with unique challenges that are—forgive us for using this term—unprecedented. Our mission at Junebug is to help take the stress out of wedding planning so you can create a celebration worthy of your love. While we don’t have a magic wand to solve these extra complications, we do want to offer some covid wedding ideas and tips for navigating this experience. Let’s take a deep breath and dive in.

Safety Measures During COVID-19

We’re wedding planning experts, not medical experts. For information on staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19, we recommend checking the World Health Organization (WHO)’s website for updates. Stay informed and avoid misinformation by checking in with WHO’s COVID-19 myth buster page, specifically.

It’s Okay To Be Sad

Planning a wedding is stressful enough without a global pandemic in the mix. It’s okay to grieve your original wedding plans in the event that you postpone or even cancel your wedding. Many hours, emails, decisions, and dreams went into the day you thought would be happening soon. Feeling disappointed or frustrated by the lack of control you have in the situation is normal. This is a great time to lean on your family, wedding party, and your partner as you make difficult decisions about what to do next.

 

Choosing A New Wedding Date

Now that you’ve taken the chance to grieve your original wedding date and plan, let’s get to work. First, you’ll need to choose your new date. Here are the first people you and your partner should check in with before setting a new wedding date:

  • Your vendors. Get in touch with your vendors as soon as possible. If your heart is set on a certain month or season you may need to be flexible about what day of the week you tie the knot as many vendors have filled up their Saturday openings. Keep in mind that your date change may impact the seasonality of florals and foods available and you’ll want to discuss your options with your vendors as soon as possible.
  • The wedding party. Once you have available dates from your vendors and you know of any color or theme changes you’ll be making, check in with your wedding party as you choose your new date.
  • Any must-have guests. As you work to trim your guest list, don’t forget that your guests may have different levels of comfort during this time. If guests cancel, remember not to take it personally.

Communicating Your Date And Venue Changes

Once you’ve made a decision to cancel or postpone, send your guests Change the Date cards to give them all the information they need. This may include your new wedding date or a simple announcement that your plans have changed and to keep an eye out for more information.

If you haven’t already, this would be a great time to set up a wedding website where you can provide updates to guests as they happen—don’t forget to include the URL on your Change the Date cards. Most wedding websites also allow you to contact your guests all at once through your site, which is just another great reason to have one. Our friends at Minted have some helpful tips for wording your postponement cards, too.

Meet Us In Miami card via Minted

 

 

Baseline card via Minted

 

How To Handle Vendors And Contracts

The first step of managing your vendors is to look at your contracts. Each vendor will have different stipulations about postponing or canceling, so it’s important to read the fine print. Your venue, for example, likely has a rescheduling clause that will help you avoid the costs of canceling.

We recommend postponing your wedding date, if possible. Canceling your wedding altogether can mean losing deposits you’ve made. Due to the weight of the circumstances, some vendors are allowing date changes without an additional fee, but be aware that dates outside of the financial year you originally booked may come with additional fees or rate increases.

Wedding Vendors Are Small Businesses

Keep in mind that wedding vendors are small businesses and they have been severely impacted by COVID-19, too. Many vendors are offering flexibility and credits for a transferred date or towards other services—photo sessions, floral arrangements, etc.

We got in touch with Valentina Ring, the owner of London-based wedding planner The Stars Inside to get a little more insight into how couples can communicate with their vendors through coronavirus. She recommends asking these questions when contacting your vendors:

1. Discuss Possible Alternative Dates Right Away

Have a back-up plan ready so that you don’t need to make a decision without knowing the availability of your vendors and venue. Find out whether your deposit—or any other fees paid to date—are transferrable to a postponed wedding.

2. Ask About Cut-Off Dates

For example, check in with your florist and ask when the cut-off date is for their final order before your wedding. Your wedding vendors will work with you and be as flexible as they can, but there may be a deadline beyond which certain costs have to be recovered if the event doesn’t go forward. 

3. Discuss Reduced Headcount Policies

Once you’ve trimmed your guest list, opt for a micro wedding, or choose to elope and delay the reception, find out if there are any financial penalties for reducing your headcount.

4. Ask About The Indemnity Clause

The indemnity clause is the clause that covers what happens in the event of postponement or canceling is triggered as a result of the government or local authority banning social gatherings. This will also cover illness on their side. It’s okay to ask if they have any contingencies in place in the event that they cannot fulfill their obligations due to illness. They will more than likely be part of a wider network and can recommend an alternate for your date if they become ill.

How Do We Postpone Our Wedding?

Thanks to The Stars Inside, we’ve got all the steps you need to take in order to postpone your wedding.

Breathe And Remind Yourself That You Can Do This

With some patience, courage, ingenuity, and flexibility, you’ll still be able to have a magnificent and special wedding. Treat this as an opportunity to prioritize the things that mean the most to you. If you need to take some time to process, that’s okay. 

Work With Your Wedding Planner

Review the list of tasks you’ve already completed and what was left to finalize with your planner. Then, start tackling the to-do list proactively together. If you’re not working with a wedding planner, our wedding planning guide can help you navigate these tasks.

Confirm The New Date With Your Vendors

Once you’ve gotten a list of possible dates and chosen the new date with your partner, confirm it with all of your vendors. Keep a clear overview of financial ramifications—whether any additional costs will be incurred or if all money paid or due is transferrable. Review the new payment schedule with them, and make sure to get agreements in writing. The goal is to disturb as little of the pre-set wedding plans as possible, and just shift the date. Be prepared to have a candid conversation with your whole wedding team about how to make that happen. 

Discuss Cancelation Options With Vendors Who Can’t Make It Work

There may be some vendors who aren’t able to make your new date work. That’s okay! Make sure you’re both upfront with each other when discussing cancelation policies and then speak to your wedding insurer about covering those costs. Ask these wedding vendors or your wedding planner for recommendations for others who may be able to provide the same services. 

Send The Change The Date Cards

Contact your guests to let them know of the new plan and what your revised date will be. Be open about which details you’re sure of and leave out the ones you don’t know yet. For example, if you’re certain that you’re postponing but you’re not about the new date, don’t give your guests the potential new dates. Simply communicate that you’re postponing and give them details about how they can stay up-to-date moving forward.

Review The Legal Marriage Procedures

If you have given notice, it might have expired by the time your new date comes around so you’ll need to do it again. Speak to your officiant, your local council, and your wedding planner about navigating any new deadlines that may be triggered.

Update Your Wedding Insurance

There may be a fee for updating your wedding insurance and you’ll need to discuss whether it covers postponed events. If you do not have insurance, don’t beat yourself up about it. Most people don’t think of it as a necessary expense and there is no way you could have predicted this—remember, this is unprecedented.

Now is the time to cover your new wedding date—you should be able to still do this provided your new wedding date is more than six months away. Be very careful of what policy you purchase and what you are covered for. Give these policies a thorough read and take your time getting answers to all of your questions before you sign.

Rethink Wedding Details

This new celebration can to look the same, or be totally different. If you’re celebrating at a different time of year you might opt for different colors, florals, or even food. Embracing this new seasonality can be a fun way to get excited about giving your celebration a new visual identity.

Don’t Look Back

Your experience will be more positive if you embrace the change and treat it as an opportunity to refine your plans and have an even more amazing celebration than you would otherwise have had. 

Easy-To-Use Wedding Postponing Checklist

Pin this list so you don’t lose it, and refer back to it as you’re moving through the postponement process.

What Other Wedding Options Are There?

If you’ve ever considered elopingnow is the time! There are no rules when it comes to weddings and shifting your plans to an elopement can allow you to celebrate as planned without risking the safety of your loved ones.

Couples around the world are also transitioning their weddings online with a livestream of their ceremony or using Zoom or Google Hangouts to invite guests to a digital reception. Everyone can pour their own glass of champagne, hear special toasts, and enjoy an at-home dance party using the best wedding reception playlist!

If you do choose to elope, remember that you can always throw a wedding reception later when it’s safe to gather in large groups again. Planning a future reception is a good way to work with the vendors you’ve already hired as your deposit and payments can often be used towards the new event.

Wedding Planning During COVID-19

This is no easy task. It can be absolutely overwhelming, stressful, and confusing to navigate these uncharted territories. At Junebug, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Thanks again to Valentina of The Stars Inside for her insight on wedding planning during COVID-19! Do you have more questions about safely planning your wedding in the time of coronavirus? Leave a comment or join our Facebook group to get in on the discussion with Junebug, other couples, and the vendors from our directory.

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23 Comments

  1. Great article. I’s also suggest going for a weekday so you might keep all of your original suppliers.

  2. That’s great information about having to postpone the wedding, Nicole. One of the things that we recently wrote on was couples that have not yet booked yet and how they should be more aware of wedding vendors as many are having financial trouble and some will go out of business because of the virus.
    A few of the tips include paying with a credit card instead of debit/check/cash, never pay more than 50% retainer/deposit, if a wedding vendor offers monthly payments use them and look for those that have been in the wedding industry long term as those will be better suited to weather the financial impact of COVID-19.

  3. I love the advice! Thank you so much!

  4. Great article, thank you for sharing. I agree with carole.

  5. Incredible Info! Thank you!

  6. Buen articulo en estos momentos que estamos viviendo con el covid-19.
    Como fotógrafo de bodas en Madrid , me gusta leer vuestro blog y me aporta mucho.
    Enhorabuena!

  7. Thanks for this insightful and intelligent information.

  8. Esperemos que esto termine pronto y volvamos a la normalidad.

    Saludos

  9. Un articulo superbueno que seguro que va a tranquilizar a más de una de las parejas de 2020.
    Enhorabuena!! comparto la info.

  10. Thank you for sharing, keep safe.

  11. We ALL understand that these are not normal times and we are ALL paying a high price. However, it is a time for compromise and fairness where possible.

    I have had to postpone my wedding in July because of the Corona Virus. This means that I have made deposits for services that will not or can not be rendered. Since the postponement date cannot be predicted at this time and knowing that some of my vendors would be unable to return or partially return my deposits, I have asked them if they could provide their services with an altered time frame. For instance, I asked my hair and makeup person if she would be willing to provide make services for other situations over time to work off the deposit. I also asked my flower vendor, if she would be willing to provide flowers for my Home on a scheduled basis to work off the deposit.

    They were unwilling to do so. It seems to be a fair compromise and since there cannot be any large gatherings for some time, it seems they would have time available.

    Has anyone else had any luck with this train of thought??

  12. This was really helpful. Thanks for the tips!

  13. The advice is great. Our worry, is that a number of brides have swapped their summer weddings to October, November. But there is no guarantee that they will be allowed to proceed then.

  14. This year has definitely been a rollercoaster ride for all of us, with the corona pandemic and a lot of weddings getting canceled or postponed. There has been a lot of mental stress on those couples and advice such as this is really helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Thanks for such a comprehensive article.
    I’ll be sharing with clients and potential clients.
    Love your swap the date samples.
    C

  16. Great article, it was astoundingly useful! I essentially started in this and I’m getting more familiar with it better! Continue doing magnificent plan a wedding during COVID-19 with safety.

  17. I appreciate your advice about dealing with vendors during COVID-19. My sister is wanting to get married soon and needs a venue. Your tips will help her find a venue to accommodate her during the pandemic.

  18. During COVID-19 we have to take too much precautions and it will be better if we choose a venue that is taking care of all these for us and following all COVID guidelines for wedding arrangements.

  19. The hotel is nice, no complaints, the service staff is amazing and helpful, my only problem was with front office staff you were not really warm in welcoming the guest, no smile on the face, lack of training I feel personal and location attitude, the breakfast was good Overall I am satisfied with the service but not happy with the front office who are the face of the hotel.

  20. I’m glad that you talked about how people shouldn’t take it personally when their guests cancel attendance because of COVID-19. My sister is facing rejection from her guests because they want to prioritize their own safety. In order to liven up her mood, maybe I can help her find a band that can play during the reception.

  21. Good read. One should really be careful in planning marriages.

  22. Wonderful thanks for sharing an amazing ideas. keep it up

  23. That’s a great piece of advice, Morgan! One must be prepared for all uncertainties while planning a wedding during this pandemic. I think we should always remember the mantra: “Everything can be figured out”. And with a few ups and downs, we get some great stories to tell our grandkids someday.

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