What Do We Do Now?
As if planning a wedding (under normal circumstances) weren't already stressful enough!
Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, many couples are now dealing with the added stress of planning their dream day in the midst of a global public health emergency. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
This blog post is aimed at helping you navigate this complicated experience during this unique and difficult time.
First Things First:
Breathe, Then Say It With Me: Patience & Flexibility
I 1000% believe you can still have the wedding you always dreamed of. The key words are patience and flexibility.
Patience: The unknown is very scary. Right now there are a lot of unknowns. Many questions are yet to be answered by our local, state and federal leaders. This, inevitably, leads to many more questions regarding our day-to-day lives.
Although it's frustrating, the only thing we can do is be patient.
It's also important to remember, that you're allowed to grieve the loss or the change of your original plans. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Let it out, regain strength and push forward!
Flexibility: If you're forced to change your plans, flexility is especially important when it comes to dealing with your wedding vendors. I recommend you and your partner:
- Discuss a range of possible new dates for your wedding. Again, the more flexible you are the easier the process will be.
- Read all your contracts, again. Because of the circumstances related to the pandemic, some vendors (including myself) are allowing couples to change their dates without adding additional fees, This varies from vendor to vendor, so be sure to check all of your contracts. (Keep reading for more on this.)
- Reach out to all your booked vendors and ask them for their availability. Hopefully you can find a date that works for everyone on your A Team.
- Start thinking about plans B, C and D in case your preferred vendors are not able to fit your new timeline.
- Your vendors can be a good source of referrals if they can no longer be part of your team. Don't be afraid to ask them for help and recommendations.
If you're anything like me, adapting to challenging situations is what you do. You don't let anyone or anything interfere with your goals and dreams. If anything, they fuel you to move forward.
Canceling vs. Postponing:
My Take? Postpone.
Before deciding to cancel your wedding altogether, you should strongly consider postponing your wedding date.
Canceling your wedding could cause you to lose your retainers, deposits or other payments, which can add financial stress to this already stressful situation. That's why it is important to read your contracts again and avoid surprises. Also, please keep in mind that many vendors are small businesses that (like you) are hurting emotionally and financially.
A recent blog post on Junebug Weddings recommends that couples discuss the following with their vendors when deciding to postpone:
"Possible alternative dates so that you have a back-up plan ready and don’t need to make a decision without knowing where your suppliers and venue stand in terms of availability. By looking at weekdays instead of weekends, and off-season dates instead of peak dates where you live, you’re more likely to be able to move all your plans smoothly. Find out whether your deposit (or any other fees paid to date) are transferrable should the wedding be postponed."
"Ask your vendors whether there is a cut-off point for certain costs – for example, when your florist or caterer need to place their final order. They will work with you on a one-to-one basis and be as flexible as they can, but there may be a deadline beyond which certain costs have to be recovered if the event does not go forward as planned."
"Find out what their policy as of one day, one week, or one month before the wedding if you end up needing to cancel or postpone at the last minute."
"Discuss what their policy would be in case you end up needing to significantly reduce the scale of the wedding and just invite close family, or choose to hold the wedding ceremony but delay the reception. Would there be financial penalties for this?"
"Ask what would happen if postponing or cancelling is triggered as a result of the government or local authority banning social gatherings."
"It’s ok to ask if they have any contingencies in place in the case that they cannot fulfill their product/service due to illness. Do they know of other suppliers who may be able to help? They will more than likely be part of a wider network and can recommend an alternative for your date if they become unavailable."
Where Should You Start?
Postponing your wedding may feel like you're starting from square one all over again. Although it may feel that way, this time around you have knowledge and a group of industry experts on your side that you didn't have before.
In addition to the talking points mentioned earlier, Junebug offers an easy to follow guide for those postponing their big day. Take a look:
The Bottom Line...
The Love You Share With Your Partner Is What Matters Most
I strongly believe your wedding will be a beautiful ocassion filled with love and joy, no matter when, where or how it happens!
Sending love and virtual "no-contact" hugs,
I'm Elizabeth Couch, a wedding photographer, wife, dog mom and creative professional based in Dallas / Fort Worth. Allow me to capture your love story through beautiful and timeless photography. Serving all including non-heteronormative LGBTQ+ peoples Dallas / Fort Worth / Oklahoma City and Worldwide destinations. Fort Worth Wedding Photographer, Fort Worth Photographer, 76120, Dallas Wedding Photographer, North Texas Wedding Photographer, Arlington Wedding Photographer, DFW Wedding Photographer. Covid-19. Coronavirus. Dallas shelter in place. Fort Worth stay at home orders.