Coronavirus and Your Wedding– A No-nonsense Guide For Weddings Impacted By COVID-19
.So the time has come to talk about everybody’s current least favourite c-word… Coronavirus. Covid-19. And more specifically Coronavirus and your wedding, and how it’s going to effect your plans.
There’s no denying that this horrendous virus is causing absolute chaos right now. We’re certainly in totally unprecedented times and you may be considering rearranging your wedding day. If you were planning a spring wedding, you will have already been impacted. For forthcoming summer, autumn and even winter weddings, you may be wondering what on earth to do!
So, I’ve tried to put together some simple, no nonsense advice to help you make sense of this mad situation. You can also find my Coronavirus FAQs here which will explain all of my policies and what I am doing to help you through these crazy times!
1) Keep Calm and make a plan.
I know that it’s easier said than done, but the best thing to do is to keep calm and not panic. When it comes to Coronavirus and your wedding, remember that you’re not alone, and EVERY COUPLE getting married in 2020 is in the same boat right now. Be kind to yourself, switch off the news, mute social media and give yourself a break from the constant noise. Make a cup of tea (or a nice gin), sit down together, and work out a plan. Take it day by day and have a Plan B with your other half, at least for peace of mind.
Be aware that there is a lot of misinformation going about online regarding the coronavirus. So choose your media outlets carefully, try to arm yourself with the FACTS by visiting reputable websites. For advice and guidance on coronavirus visit the NHS at NHS.uk for the latest government updates visit GOV.uk
If you’re struggling and you need to vent, chat about things or even have a little cry, I am here as your friend and fellow human first, and your wedding photographer second. A problem shared is definitely a problem halved.
2) Take a look at your guest list
Obviously, you will have a whole load of people you love on your guest list. Chances are, a good proportion of them are likely to be in groups that are ‘at greater risk’ from the virus, and let’s be honest, weddings are absolute breeding grounds for bugs… all the kissing, hugging, drunken dancing means that if someone at your wedding had Covid-19, it pretty likely they could infect a whole bunch of your favourite people, and no-one wants that to happen.
You’ve put a huge amount of effort into planning your wedding and you want those people there… which leads me onto my next point….
3) Postpone, don’t cancel.
It might well be that you need to rearrange your wedding plans. It’s shit, but unfortunately, we can’t possible know how long this virus is going to be around. If you are getting married in 2020, it’s definitely time to put together a “just in case” plan. I don’t mean run out and cancel everything- if your wedding isn’t for a few months then you can absolutely sit tight for a couple of weeks or even months, but it just makes sense to have a Coronavirus contingency plan.
But one thing I must add, on behalf of myself and all my other lovely wedding industry friends is: PLEASE… postpone, don’t cancel. The vast majority of your wedding suppliers will be small, independent business and are self-employed. These are definitely worrying and uncertain times for us, and a lot of us are unsure about our financial situations right now. If you possibly can, postpone, don’t cancel.
Cancelling your wedding has an avalanche effect, potentially causing small wedding businesses to close their doors. You already have incredible wedding pros locked in to make your day awesome and if you communicate with us, we can be super flexible and work together to find a date that works for everyone.
It means that you get to have the day you had planned, just a little bit later. You can have all of those wonderful people you have built relationships and planned your day with there, and we can sleep a little better at night knowing that brighter times are coming for our little businesses too!
4) Speak to your suppliers
When moving your wedding day, communication is absolutely key. Talk to your suppliers, ask for a list of their availability and cross reference these. Obviously, it’s best to secure your key vendors first- venues, caterers, photographers and videographers… the big ticket items. Understand what happens to your deposit and any payments made to date. Make a list of suppliers and payments made to keep track.
I have so far found that the vast majority of venues and suppliers are happy to transfer your deposit over to a new date that works for everyone, free of charge. There have been a few rare exceptions to this, but I’m happy to help if this happens- just give me a shout.
Speak to your insurance company
If you have taken out wedding insurance, speak to your insurance company to understand what is or isn’t covered. When it comes to Coronavirus and your wedding, the small print can be a pain!
The key thing that seems to be coming up, is venues refusing to cancel your day unless Boris bans gatherings. Obviously, he has done this in all but exact words, but this little grey area can cause problems for your insurance. But it’s always best to have all the info, so ring your insurer to get the full picture.
Also, If you move your wedding date, you will most likely need to inform your insurer of the changes. Either way speak to them!
6) Be Flexible
Wedding suppliers generally book as much as two years in advance. This might mean that you have a limited option of dates available for your postponement.
If you can be flexible and get married on a Friday, or even better, a midweek wedding, there may well be a much bigger array of options available to you. Don’t worry about your guests not being able to attend- waiting a bit longet for the wedding will have them extra excited to party!
7) Consider a Smaller Ceremony
I get it. In your head, your date is the one. You’ve been so excited to just be married at last! Covid-19 doesn’t need to spell the end of weddings altogether.
At the time of writing, the Church of England and some registry offices are still allowing smaller weddings to a maxmium of 5 people. You could still get married on your wedding day and have the big party later! You could even consider having a bigger ceremony on your new wedding date, led by an amazing celebrant who can tell the whole mad tale and make it super personal. Find out more about celebrant led ceremonies here.
Keep Your Guests in the PictureWhy not ask your stationer to make you a little PDF “Change Of Date” card, that you can email/ Instagram/ Facebook to your guests? That way you can keep everyone informed and make sure they save your new date in their diaries ASAP! 2021 is likely to be a VERY busy year of weddings, so getting in there quick means your guests are more likely to be able to make it!
Use your isolation for a bit of DIY!Have you got a fun DIY project in mind for the wedding? Well what better use could there be of all your new found spare time? If you’re not creatively minded, why not check out Etsy or Instagram to find some amazing local small businesses who you can support to make your wedding decor dreams come true?
Finally… Be Kind.
I know I don’t have to say this to my lovely clients. I’ve been incredibly lucky that all of couples so far have been incredibly kind and supportive, checking in on ME even though it’s their weddings in turmoil. I’m super grateful for that.
There is a lot of stress for everyone at the moment. We’re all feeling it. The information and advice changes daily and we’re all just trying to do the best we can. Your suppliers are going to be getting MULTIPLE emails and requests at the moment, so it might take us a little bit longer, but I promise we’re doing our best! Everyone wants to help you wherever and whenever they can.
We will absolutely sort out the best possible result in this shit show of a situation, I promise. We are all in it together! You can also find my Coronavirus FAQs here which will explain all of my policies and what I am doing to help you through this crazy situation!
This post was last updated March 23rd. You can see the latest government update here. This post will be updated as regularly as possible.