Coronavirus and your wedding
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
For all those couples with weddings coming up in the next few months, my heart is with you. It really is.
I completely get what you are going through – because I am experiencing it (to a degree) with you. You are not alone with your worries, concerns and sleepless nights – I too find myself completely preoccupied with all things Coronavirus-related, developing an unhealthy obsession with the news and reading every post in every wedding network available.
The worst part of it is, in my humble opinion, the not knowing. When we know, we can plan. Uncertainty is incredibly stressful; so if you are in unknown territory, join me now in taking a deep breath (or a big gulp of tea/wine depending on the time of day!), getting those big girl/boy pants on and no longer dwelling on the things you can't control and focusing on the things you can.
So if your ceremony is due this summer, what are your options?
You might be considering cancelling your wedding. DO NOT DO THIS until you have checked your wedding insurance policy. Most policies will only pay out if you or your close family are ill, or your venue is closed down by the local authority. And even should this be the case, some will still not pay out because COVID-19 is classed as a new disease. If your insurance was taken out before 5 March 2020, insurers will argue they are not obliged to settle any claims relating to it because it did not exist as an eventuality to cover. And if you are thinking of cancelling simply because you can’t face this uncertainty right now DO NOT DO THIS as your insurance will definitely NOT cover you.
You might be considering postponing your wedding.
I’d gently suggest that if your ceremony is in the next 6 – 12 weeks, then sadly, this might be the least stressful and most positive thing to do. While we now know that neither legal or celebrant weddings will be taking place in the next month or so, we do not know beyond that, so the smartest thing to do is have a plan A (your original and first-choice plan) AND a plan B (a postponement, second-choice plan) – here’s how:
Start by chatting with all of your suppliers and see what their position is. They are all going to be feeling pretty worried and weary too, but they are fully prepared for postponements. Be gentle, they will almost certainly incur financial losses should you postpone. And they are not even obliged to accommodate a change to your plans. But once you open up the lines of conversation you will be amazed and hopefully delighted by how incredibly flexible everyone in the industry is being – if you want to pencil in a back-up date, or move your date to later this or next year, then we are all doing our very best to accommodate you. And most of us are making no extra charge to do this, because we truly understand how very stressful this is for couples.
Something to bear in mind with postponing – a lot of suppliers will be booked up at least a year in advance. So as much as we want to help you, it might not be quite that easy. So please be open to new dates, particularly days of the week you might not have considered before, such as a Friday or Sunday. See if your suppliers are happy to hold that date for you as a plan B – yes, it's going to be a lot of work for you having all these discussions with your supplier tribe, but I guarantee you will feel SO much better when you have that back-up date in place.
One more thing about postponing – check what your insurance says about it. You will need to notify them should you confirm a new date – and I am hearing that a few insurers are charging a fee for this. Check what it is – and do your very best to debate it!
What else can you do? Well, if your wedding celebration can go ahead later this year, then it's likely you’re going to need to consider some adjustments.
It’s possible that events will still be very number sensitive, so you might want to think about ways to keep your numbers to under 100. That figure isn’t just the number of guests, it needs to include all of your suppliers in attendance too, so remember to count them in. But doing this might just increase the chance of your wedding going ahead.
Do your best to ensure guests who attend are super-healthy, work out ways in which everyone can minimise contact (think creatively around seating plans for ceremony and dining – can you do something outdoors? Or in a larger space? Buffet or picnic rather than sit-down?), ensure your venue can provide hand sanitiser and extra handwashing facilities if possible, and check what your other suppliers are doing to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
Video-conferencing your wedding is an option for older guests or guests from overseas who may not be able to attend – and there are several companies offering to do that at reduced rates, but just as effective is one of your guests using FaceTime, Skype, Messenger or Zoom to share key parts of your day.
A final option is – scale things right down with a low-stress, low-health-risk alternative: an elopement ceremony. You can read more about this here Then when everything gets back to 'normal', you can still throw a big party which all of your friends and family can attend and enjoy, without any worries.
Whatever happens, whenever it happens and wherever it happens, just remember – WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. We all want you to have a wonderful day. It’s why we do what we do. There is some amazing support out there on the internet, on all the various wedding websites and social media groups, and I am always at the end of an email, phone or any video app, ready to support you, chat with you, laugh with you and if we’ve had a glass of wine or two, possibly cry with you! We’ve got this, I promise.
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