As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting the entire world. Unfortunately, this includes the wedding industry. We truly feel for everyone is being affected — brides, grooms, family members, and businesses both small and large.
It can be incredibly challenging to figure out how to go about planning your wedding in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Hopefully, some of our tips will help you out, even if it’s just a little bit! We’re all in this together.
How Our Couples are Handling COVID-19
So, how are our couples here at Central Events & Beyond choosing to deal with their wedding in the midst of COVID-19?
Many of our couples between now and the first half of May are choosing to postpone their wedding. Others throughout the rest of May are choosing backup dates, just in case.
As for the rest of our weddings throughout 2020 and into 2021, we’re holding tight! News and regulations surrounding COVID-19 are changing pretty much by the hour, so it’s impossible to know right now how those weddings will be affected.
When to Consider Postponing Your Wedding
So, when should you consider postponing your wedding due to COVID-19? There are a few factors that you should consider.
1. Your wedding date
When is your wedding date? If it’s within the next couple of months, you may want to consider postponing. Currently, the CDC guideline is calling for no gatherings with adjusted numbers changing daily. Please check the CDC guidelines to see where your event falls. Yes, this will unfortunately, affect many weddings.
2. Location of your wedding
Now, consider where your wedding is at in relation to your guests. Are most people having to travel? This is especially important when thinking about your guests that may have to fly. More travel means even more exposure and we want to be sure our team, our clients and their guests are being as cautious as possible not to help spread this virus.
3. Size of wedding
As we said before, there are CDC regulations in place that prohibit large gatherings. If you’re already having an intimate wedding, then this may not be something you need to worry about. However, if you’re having more than 50 guests, then this is a huge factor that you need to consider. We’re watching daily to see if the CDC or government states any new recommendations or regulations regarding events.
4. Your gut
This is arguably the most important thing to think about. What is your gut telling you to do?
Would you rather not have to worry about the outcome of having your wedding in the midst of an outbreak, and just push it back to be on the safe side? Or would you like to keep the same date, but keep the wedding really intimate instead?
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to completely postpone your entire wedding. There are some other options to consider! It’s really all about whether or not you’re willing to wait to get married.
1. Postpone entirely
If you don’t want to forego the big wedding with all of your friends and family, you can just postpone your wedding entirely. However, keep in mind that your vendors might not all be available for your new date. (More on that in a little bit!)
2. Reduce your guest size
Another option is to keep your wedding date, but significantly reduce the guest list. You will still need to be cautious with social distancing, too.
Keep in mind that if you choose this option, the guests that you cut from the list may be upset that they don’t get to enjoy your wedding anymore. However, they will most likely be understanding considering the circumstances! Another possibility is to live-stream the wedding so that everyone can be a part of the day.
3. Intimate wedding now, party later
Finally, you could consider having an intimate wedding on your original date, with just your closest friends and family… or just you, your significant other and an officiant. Then, you can have your reception on a later date to party with the rest of your guest list! You could even add a small “vow renewal” before the reception so that your guests can still enjoy the ceremony portion.
Where to Begin With Postponement
So, you decided to postpone your wedding. Now what?
1. Contact your Planner
We’re here to help! No matter what package level you have — from full planning to E-Planning or even month-of planning — check in to see their thoughts. As wedding planners, we are always here to help our couples, even in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak! Oh and if you don’t have a planner but have any questions, feel free to reach out to us! We promise no charge and won’t leave you hanging. E-mail CentralEventsandBeyond.@gmail.com
2. No planner? Contact your venue
If you don’t have a wedding planner, reach out to your venue to find out what their current procedures are, as well as what their available dates are. Many venues are being incredibly understanding during this time and even offer backup dates to hold, just in case. Remember, so many people are going through the same thing so everyone is trying to work together to get through it!
3. Check in with vendors
Once you have some available dates chosen, reach out to all of your vendors to see when they all (or most) are available.
One option that you can take to ensure that you keep all of your vendors is to consider a non-traditional wedding day. A lot of our weddings are moving to the weekdays so that they can keep their entire vendor team together!
If there isn’t a date where all of your vendors are available, you need to decide which ones are most important for you to keep. Did you base your day around your venue? Do you have your photographer/videographer because you can’t imagine them not capturing your day? Did you choose the band who you go to see all of their local shows? Are you in love with your caterer because you fell in love with their food at first bite? This might help answer your question as to who is most important to you to have there. It may be different for every couple, maybe even every person!
4. Choose your date — and inform vendors
As soon as you choose your new date, inform all of your vendors immediately! You want to get on their calendars, even if it’s just a “backup” type of deal.
5. Update your wedding website
Guests may be checking your wedding website for updates. A lot of people will probably be expecting that you might change your wedding date. Don’t forget to update the site!
6. Get the word out!
Now that you have all of the logistics situated, it’s time to get the word out to your guests. There are a lot of postponement announcement cards floating around online right now.
If you already sent your invitations out, talk to your stationer about creating something fun that goes with your current invitation!
If you just don’t have any more room in the budget to spend on formal postponement cards, you can consider reaching out to everyone individually via text or email. Many brides are even choosing to create a Facebook group to get the word out to everyone in one specific place.
7. Adjust your current plans
Now that your wedding date is moved, you might need to change some of your current wedding plans. If you’re moving your date to a new season, you may need to change your flowers or want to adjust your food menu.
Additionally, be sure to make changes to your hotel block! Get your rooms canceled, or make sure that the guests do so. Some hotels are letting the couple cancel the entire block right now so that guests don’t mistakenly get charged.
Re-book any hotel blocks for your new date and update your transportation companies, too!
Try and make this a fun time for yourself! It’s a chance to keep planning your wedding. Lean on your planner, family, and friends to help you get through this.
How to Handle Other Wedding Activities
If you’re moving your wedding date, then other wedding activities are most likely affected, too. Even if you didn’t need to postpone your wedding, your other activities may be coming up and you need to figure out what to do.
Bridal shower happening soon? You can consider holding a virtual shower, instead. Everyone can send their gifts to one place, and send food to the bride’s house, where she can spend the time with a few of her closest friends and family!
Needing to postpone your bachelorette party? Have a Skype happy hour to re-plan it! Or, you can always choose to move it to after the wedding as more of a celebration if you need to.
Keep in mind that we’re wedding professionals and don’t know what’s to come, so we’re doing our best to advise couples.
The entire world is in uncharted waters right now while we all figure out how to live life around COVID-19. But we are here to support our couples — and even those who aren’t our couples! Feel free to Reach out to us with any questions by emailing CentralEventsandBeyond@gmail.com