2020 was supposed to be your year... then Corona happened. How does this affect your wedding and what (tough) decisions should you consider making? We go through all the options in this article.
You had it all figured out: the date, the guestlist, the venue, the catering, the dress, the shoes, the flowers... but now you are not sure whether your magical day is still happening. The uncertainty gives you so much anxiety you can't sleep at night and don't know what to do, because so many things are at stake!
Here are 7 questions to ask yourself before taking a decision about your upcoming wedding:
1. Is the wedding before June 1st?
If your wedding is before June 1st, I advise you to get in touch with your suppliers to see what your options are. Costs here are a big factor to take into account (see questions 4.). If you can find a later date that also suits your suppliers (or at least most of them) and you don't have to get married right away (see question 2.), then I strongly recommend to postpone. Chances are high that you won't be allowed to meet with a bigger group or that some of your guests might not be allowed to travel/come to your venue. Moreover, the health and safety of you and your guest has to be the highest priority!
2. Is getting married asap a big priority?
Sometimes, getting married as soon as possible is very important for various reasons. If that is the case, consider having a small wedding now with the most important people, and have a symbolic ceremony, reception and party later in 2020 or in 2021. Here also it is very important to check with your vendors and your venue whether they can accommodate you and your guests at a later date.
If, for example, it is important to you that an elderly family member is part of your wedding ceremony, one option is to get dressed up with your future spouse and your closest family, and have a small symbolic ceremony in someone's backyard where you read each other's vows. That way, the VIP guest still gets to witness you saying 'yes' to each other, while you can postpone the 'real thing'. Just remember, that you have to respect the social distancing rules so make sure that during this symbolic ceremony, everyone is staying safe and healthy.
3. Do you or your guests have to fly / cross a border to get to your venue?
Crossing borders, flying, travelling: these aspects can be a total dealbreaker in this situation: If you are getting married before June 1st: airlines will probably cancel flights, borders might not be open and travelling might still not be allowed. In that case, it is safer to postpone your wedding. If your guests already booked their flights, they will probably be allowed to change their booking at no costs. Hotels all over the world are also quite flexible when it comes to postponing. Check with your venue, your hotel and your vendors what your options are. Before informing your guests about the date change, make sure you have an actual new date to communicate. This prevents confusion and insecurities, otherwise you might get overwhelmed by all the questions that your guests have.
If your wedding is after June 1st, check question 5.
4. Do your suppliers allow you to postpone without any costs?
First things first: read the contracts you signed with your vendors, call them and ask them what your options are. Normally, they should be quite flexible with postponing your day without any extra costs. The more difficult part is to find a date to postpone to, since ideally all your vendors should be available that day. If that is not possible, it is still not the end of the world! You probably have paid a deposit, but not the full amount, so you could still try looking for another photographer or hairstylist for example. However, the venue and your catering are the two most important vendors so make sure they are available on the new date!
To handle all these changes, communication, contracts, you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner who can help you keep track of everything. This does not come without a cost, but it will save you so much stress!
5. Is the wedding before October 1st?
If your wedding is between June and October, wait and see. By mid-april, it should be clearer whether weddings in June can still take place, and there is then still more than plenty of time to take a decision. For July, August and September, you can easily wait until May to take a decision as there will be more data collected by then and the info will be more reliable.
However, 'wait and see' is easier said than done! If you don't feel comfortable with that approach, check out the next question.
6. Is the uncertainty killing you and you want to take a decision instead of waiting?
Not being sure whether you will be married to the love of your life in a couple of months is nerve wracking! Sometimes, it's easier to pull the plug, take a decision, and then commit to it. If you are that kind of person, and you are getting married before September 1st, I would definitely recommend to find a later date. Maybe you can have a winter wonderland wedding at the end of 2020, or a flowery spring wedding in 2021! Take the decision now, contact all your vendors and suppliers, get in touch with the VIP guests who absolutely need to be present, and set a new date. This way, you will have this 'settled' feeling and a new date to look forward to, without stressing about the Covid-19 virus.
7. Would you be happy to get married without having some kind of party & fancy decorations?
If you don't mind being just with your partner, maybe a couple of very close friends and family: why don't you elope? Have a small, simple ceremony in your backyard or at the courthouse! See if you can cancel all your arrangements with your vendors without losing (too much) money, or postpone the reception and party to 2021!
As a conclusion, I want you to know: you will get married! The only doubts are when, where and how? There is a solution for everything! Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions, I am more than happy to help you out in this difficult situation!