If you’re feeling overwhelmed researching covid wedding ideas, you’re not alone. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting us all, but especially couples planning their weddings. These couples are faced with unique challenges that are—forgive us for using this term—unprecedented. Our mission at Junebug is to help take the stress out of wedding planning so you can create a celebration worthy of your love. While we don’t have a magic wand to solve these extra complications, we do want to offer some covid wedding ideas and tips for navigating this experience. Let’s take a deep breath and dive in.
Safety Measures During COVID-19
We’re wedding planning experts, not medical experts. For information on staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19, we recommend checking the World Health Organization (WHO)’s website for updates. Stay informed and avoid misinformation by checking in with WHO’s COVID-19 myth buster page, specifically.
It’s Okay To Be Sad
Planning a wedding is stressful enough without a global pandemic in the mix. It’s okay to grieve your original wedding plans in the event that you postpone or even cancel your wedding. Many hours, emails, decisions, and dreams went into the day you thought would be happening soon. Feeling disappointed or frustrated by the lack of control you have in the situation is normal. This is a great time to lean on your family, wedding party, and your partner as you make difficult decisions about what to do next.
Choosing A New Wedding Date
Now that you’ve taken the chance to grieve your original wedding date and plan, let’s get to work. First, you’ll need to choose your new date. Here are the first people you and your partner should check in with before setting a new wedding date:
- Your vendors. Get in touch with your vendors as soon as possible. If your heart is set on a certain month or season you may need to be flexible about what day of the week you tie the knot as many vendors have filled up their Saturday openings. Keep in mind that your date change may impact the seasonality of florals and foods available and you’ll want to discuss your options with your vendors as soon as possible.
- The wedding party. Once you have available dates from your vendors and you know of any color or theme changes you’ll be making, check in with your wedding party as you choose your new date.
- Any must-have guests. As you work to trim your guest list, don’t forget that your guests may have different levels of comfort during this time. If guests cancel, remember not to take it personally.
Communicating Your Date And Venue Changes
Once you’ve made a decision to cancel or postpone, send your guests Change the Date cards to give them all the information they need. This may include your new wedding date or a simple announcement that your plans have changed and to keep an eye out for more information.
If you haven’t already, this would be a great time to set up a wedding website where you can provide updates to guests as they happen—don’t forget to include the URL on your Change the Date cards. Most wedding websites also allow you to contact your guests all at once through your site, which is just another great reason to have one. Our friends at Minted have some helpful tips for wording your postponement cards, too.
How To Handle Vendors And Contracts
The first step of managing your vendors is to look at your contracts. Each vendor will have different stipulations about postponing or canceling, so it’s important to read the fine print. Your venue, for example, likely has a rescheduling clause that will help you avoid the costs of canceling.
We recommend postponing your wedding date, if possible. Canceling your wedding altogether can mean losing deposits you’ve made. Due to the weight of the circumstances, some vendors are allowing date changes without an additional fee, but be aware that dates outside of the financial year you originally booked may come with additional fees or rate increases.
Wedding Vendors Are Small Businesses
Keep in mind that wedding vendors are small businesses and they have been severely impacted by COVID-19, too. Many vendors are offering flexibility and credits for a transferred date or towards other services—photo sessions, floral arrangements, etc.
We got in touch with Valentina Ring, the owner of London-based wedding planner The Stars Inside to get a little more insight into how couples can communicate with their vendors through coronavirus. She recommends asking these questions when contacting your vendors:
1. Discuss Possible Alternative Dates Right Away
Have a back-up plan ready so that you don’t need to make a decision without knowing the availability of your vendors and venue. Find out whether your deposit—or any other fees paid to date—are transferrable to a postponed wedding.
2. Ask About Cut-Off Dates
For example, check in with your florist and ask when the cut-off date is for their final order before your wedding. Your wedding vendors will work with you and be as flexible as they can, but there may be a deadline beyond which certain costs have to be recovered if the event doesn’t go forward.
3. Discuss Reduced Headcount Policies
Once you’ve trimmed your guest list, opt for a micro wedding, or choose to elope and delay the reception, find out if there are any financial penalties for reducing your headcount.
4. Ask About The Indemnity Clause
The indemnity clause is the clause that covers what happens in the event of postponement or canceling is triggered as a result of the government or local authority banning social gatherings. This will also cover illness on their side. It’s okay to ask if they have any contingencies in place in the event that they cannot fulfill their obligations due to illness. They will more than likely be part of a wider network and can recommend an alternate for your date if they become ill.
How Do We Postpone Our Wedding?
Thanks to The Stars Inside, we’ve got all the steps you need to take in order to postpone your wedding.
Breathe And Remind Yourself That You Can Do This
With some patience, courage, ingenuity, and flexibility, you’ll still be able to have a magnificent and special wedding. Treat this as an opportunity to prioritize the things that mean the most to you. If you need to take some time to process, that’s okay.
Work With Your Wedding Planner
Review the list of tasks you’ve already completed and what was left to finalize with your planner. Then, start tackling the to-do list proactively together. If you’re not working with a wedding planner, our wedding planning guide can help you navigate these tasks.
Confirm The New Date With Your Vendors
Once you’ve gotten a list of possible dates and chosen the new date with your partner, confirm it with all of your vendors. Keep a clear overview of financial ramifications—whether any additional costs will be incurred or if all money paid or due is transferrable. Review the new payment schedule with them, and make sure to get agreements in writing. The goal is to disturb as little of the pre-set wedding plans as possible, and just shift the date. Be prepared to have a candid conversation with your whole wedding team about how to make that happen.
Discuss Cancelation Options With Vendors Who Can’t Make It Work
There may be some vendors who aren’t able to make your new date work. That’s okay! Make sure you’re both upfront with each other when discussing cancelation policies and then speak to your wedding insurer about covering those costs. Ask these wedding vendors or your wedding planner for recommendations for others who may be able to provide the same services.
Send The Change The Date Cards
Contact your guests to let them know of the new plan and what your revised date will be. Be open about which details you’re sure of and leave out the ones you don’t know yet. For example, if you’re certain that you’re postponing but you’re not about the new date, don’t give your guests the potential new dates. Simply communicate that you’re postponing and give them details about how they can stay up-to-date moving forward.
Review The Legal Marriage Procedures
If you have given notice, it might have expired by the time your new date comes around so you’ll need to do it again. Speak to your officiant, your local council, and your wedding planner about navigating any new deadlines that may be triggered.
Update Your Wedding Insurance
There may be a fee for updating your wedding insurance and you’ll need to discuss whether it covers postponed events. If you do not have insurance, don’t beat yourself up about it. Most people don’t think of it as a necessary expense and there is no way you could have predicted this—remember, this is unprecedented.
Now is the time to cover your new wedding date—you should be able to still do this provided your new wedding date is more than six months away. Be very careful of what policy you purchase and what you are covered for. Give these policies a thorough read and take your time getting answers to all of your questions before you sign.
Rethink Wedding Details
This new celebration can to look the same, or be totally different. If you’re celebrating at a different time of year you might opt for different colors, florals, or even food. Embracing this new seasonality can be a fun way to get excited about giving your celebration a new visual identity.
Don’t Look Back
Your experience will be more positive if you embrace the change and treat it as an opportunity to refine your plans and have an even more amazing celebration than you would otherwise have had.
Easy-To-Use Wedding Postponing Checklist
Pin this list so you don’t lose it, and refer back to it as you’re moving through the postponement process.
What Other Wedding Options Are There?
If you’ve ever considered eloping, now is the time! There are no rules when it comes to weddings and shifting your plans to an elopement can allow you to celebrate as planned without risking the safety of your loved ones.
Couples around the world are also transitioning their weddings online with a livestream of their ceremony or using Zoom or Google Hangouts to invite guests to a digital reception. Everyone can pour their own glass of champagne, hear special toasts, and enjoy an at-home dance party using the best wedding reception playlist!
If you do choose to elope, remember that you can always throw a wedding reception later when it’s safe to gather in large groups again. Planning a future reception is a good way to work with the vendors you’ve already hired as your deposit and payments can often be used towards the new event.
Wedding Planning During COVID-19
This is no easy task. It can be absolutely overwhelming, stressful, and confusing to navigate these uncharted territories. At Junebug, we’re here for you every step of the way.
Thanks again to Valentina of The Stars Inside for her insight on wedding planning during COVID-19! Do you have more questions about safely planning your wedding in the time of coronavirus? Leave a comment or join our Facebook group to get in on the discussion with Junebug, other couples, and the vendors from our directory.