What to Know If You’re Planning a Wedding During the Coronavirus Outbreak




Invitation Suite: Kitty Meow Boutique


We’ve seen the impacts of COVID-19, a new coronavirus, by closing retail shops, bars, restaurants, schools, and discouraging large social events. Couples and professionals in the wedding planning stage face their own set of challenges. Whether or not your days, weeks, or months away from walking down the aisle locally or abroad, there are things to consider for you. Even if you’re looking ahead to a future event, you should prepare for – not panic over – possible changes in your plans. While the coronavirus is unprecedented, wedding planners are pros at developing sound contingency plans.

The overall advice is to follow the news closely and maintain open communication with vendors and guests. If you can, book a planner so they can help you navigate this crazy industry and offer suggestions.

LEARN MORE: HOW CORONAVIRUS IS DIAGNOSED

CONSIDER POSTPONING THE EVENT

As of today, March 19th, 2020, the CDC recommends that gatherings of 50 people taking place over the next eight weeks be postponed. If your wedding is between now and mid-March, you fall into this category. Depending on where you live, some governments have already brought this into law by banning events that qualify. If your wedding falls into this category, take a deep breath, settle in, and begin the postponement process. As planners, we are here to guide you through the postponement process. And we want this to happen for you – you deserve to celebrate! We’ll just be shifting the date to make that happen.

If you’re faced with the tough task of deciding what to do next, check in with your vendors. Consult your local government and the CDC first on any important guidelines they are suggesting. The last part is most important – we do not encourage you to cancel your wedding. Postpone it instead.

IF YOUR WEDDING IS PLANNED AFTER MID-MAY

If your wedding is not in the next two months, it’s OK for planning to continue as is. That being said, it’s important to watch the news for any health updates. Make educated decisions by following notices from the CDC and local government. It’s a waiting game right now and things are changing day by day. Be sure to remain calm until you are properly informed and talked with your wedding planner.

At this point, experts are not recommending you change plans if your wedding is set after the eight week ban. While you keep things as is, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead and work on a Plan B if the current regulations are in place. As you approach 30-60 days out from your wedding, reach out to your venue to see what your options are. Have an open and honest discussion with your vendor team about the best plan of action moving forward. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

PREPARE FOR A SMALLER GUEST COUNT

Let’s face it, even if your wedding is more than eight weeks away, you might still be facing a decreased guest count as the coronavirus continues to spread. We just don’t have accurate information about positive cases and spread of the virus, leaving guests in the uncomfortable position of facing warnings not to travel or attend large gatherings. Your out-of-town guests might choose not to fly, or your local guests might decide to forgo a large event. One of the biggest challenges for wedding planning couples in the next few {months} is accepting the need for social distancing. The WHO and CDC have both made it abundantly clear the need to avoid large social gatherings.

If you live in a state without guest count restrictions and you plan to make that walk down the aisle no matter how many guests cannot attend, your planner can help you to reorganize your day. When guest count changes, planners adjust things like catering numbers, decor, table rentals, and timeline. They can even help make long distance guests (grandparents and overseas friends) feel like they are a part of the day with live video streaming. Trust in your wedding planner and vendors to come up with creative solutions and a solid Plan B – even if that ends up being Plan C. It’ll make you feel so much better having these plans in place, even if you don’t end up needing them.

CHECK IN WITH YOUR VENDORS

Guests aren’t the only ones to be checked in on. Vendors should be contacted as well. In most cases, in the unlikely event that a vendor is unable to work your wedding, they will send another member of their team or suggest another professional to take their place. Of course, we have to respect everyone’s decision to protect their health first. Every professional should have a long laundry list of professionals who could work your wedding if they can’t.

If your vendors are willing to attend, ask what they are doing to protect themselves and your guests. Your wedding planner should be reaching out to your vendors to work with them to develop and implement health strategies to keep everyone at the wedding as safe as possible. Vendors like caterers, rental companies, transportation and floral designers can increase hand washing, disinfecting vehicles, equipment and rental furniture and requiring any sick employees to stay home.

FOLLOW LOCAL GUIDELINES

Couples who have planned their weddings in virus hotspots or areas with local restrictions on events might be facing changes that are outside of their control. If the local town laws don’t allow social gatherings, or if guests can’t travel in, then the idea of exploring postponing makes sense. The international destination weddings are at risk due to international travel bans.

Your vendor contracts will detail options for refund and rescheduling. Most vendors we’ve spoken to are as accommodating as possible, but couples should be aware that postponing or canceling their wedding might come at a cost. Vendors are doing their best to take care of their clietns and move dates, but their own businesses will take hits as well. Date change fees could happen in order to keep their companies afloat in these challenging times. In the event you postpone your wedding, be sure to ask your vendors about a rescheduling contract. The rescheduling contract makes clear that you will be credited for the amount you’ve already paid the vendor for your TBD wedding date.

Hiring a wedding planner (even if you haven’t hired one yet) can definitely help you navigate all the moving pieces of planning your wedding amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Rescheduling your wedding, understanding your vendor contracts or coming up with alternative ceremony plans can be stressful and definitely something your wedding planner can help you with. An experienced wedding planner can help you pivot your plans and put your wedding back on track as quickly as possible. If you are feeling overwhelmed with planning (or replanning), reaching out to a planner will help decrease the stress level. Since we’ve never seen anything like this happen before, consulting with an industry professional would only benefit you.

IF YOU’RE JUST STARTING TO PLAN OR THINK ABOUT PLANNING

If you’re just starting to dive headfirst into wedding planning, it’s totally normal to have a million “what if” scenarios running through your mind. With all of this uncertainty, we hope this news won’t cripple you or take away from the excitement that comes with wedding planning.

Ask about cancellation policies as you begin to book your vendors. Some good questions to ask are, “when can you cancel, what are the fees, and do you have options to make up any missing food and beverage minimums?” Some couples are having trouble meeting the food and beverage minimums because of the lower guest count. Many venues are taking extra precaution to make sure they are abiding by health suggestions. They are asking staff members to stay home if they’re sick, washing hands thoroughly, disinfecting vehicles, equipment, entrances to buffets, food stations, rooms, etc. Inquiries are happening during this time of confusion, so you will have a little bit of time with the vendors to yourself.

TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME

If you’re making plans for a fall or winter wedding, don’t rush to make any changes. Couples should continue to plan their weddings. They can make coronavirus amendments in their newly booked vendor contracts if they’re feeling nervous, but the process should continue as normal for now. You could wait to book vendors, but just know that couples who are postponing will also be booking vendors. We suggest booking now and moving forward. Your wedding timeline should also press on. Be sure to track any developments from the WHO, CDC and local health officials. For couples planning summer and fall weddings, hopefully the pandemic’s spread will decrease and the next big challenge will be the restricted guest travel. Be sure to gather information about your options. It can really help avoiding you feeling powerless. Wedding planning is stressful, so reach out to other brides who have are going through the same thing you are. Know you’re not alone.

No matter your situation, it’s important to remember to keep calm – and carry on. Take care of yourself and your body and know that stressing isn’t going to help. Obviously, it is a crazy time for every one, but your friends, family, and wedding vendors are here to help you every step of the way – and hopefully, celebrate when it’s safe for all to celebrate!






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#coronavirus #weddingandcoronavirus #weddingandcovid19 #whattoknowifyoureplanningaweddingduringthecoronavirusoutbreak

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