Being a bride in 2020 has been no easy task. With the world still grappling to determine how to deal with the Coronavirus, many are wondering the long term effects on weddings and events. Should we postpone our wedding? Should we cancel our wedding and elope? Planning a wedding in the midst of a COVID-19 is hectic and complicated.
Covid-19. Global Pandemic. Economic shutdowns. Masks. Social Distancing. Unemployment. Division. Reschedule. Postponements. Cancellations. Out of Business. Closed.
There are so many terms we can use to define what an unpredictable and insane year we have all experienced. 2020 was supposed to be a record year for the wedding and events industry. The events industry was thriving, 2020 bookings were setting early records, but as we all know, nothing has gone to plan.
See Options, Not Obstacles
Couples who are planning weddings during COVID-19 are facing so many obstacles. Should we postpone our wedding? Should we cancel our wedding and elope? What if we did a small wedding or micro-wedding, and had a large party next year? These are just a few of the many questions couples are facing as they try to plan a wedding in the middle of a global pandemic.
As wedding professionals, we hear you, we feel your pain, and we are doing everything in our power to help you navigate this time. Just as you are dealing with this unprecedented time, we are working to maintain a viable business and support our families.
Here are some suggestions we have developed to help you navigate planning a wedding during a global pandemic, while still supporting your vendors, so ultimately they can serve you.
First, monitor your state and local guidelines when it comes to planning and having a wedding. Every single city and state have their unique restrictions that can change daily, making this process even more confusing, but staying on top of the regulations will help you decide on the best plan moving forward.
If the restrictions ban weddings or make it where you no longer can have a wedding, reschedule for a new date in 2020 or 2021. By rescheduling, you are supporting the vendors you have booked for your wedding. Work closely with them to find wedding dates that will work not only for you but for them as well. As your vendors work to balance the reschedules with existing bookings, they want to be sure they can still work with you on your new date. By choosing to reschedule versus cancel it is helping your wedding vendors support their families.
If you choose to push your wedding to 2021, communicate with your vendors, and be prepared to pay some rescheduling fee. This rescheduling fee is not to take advantage of couples; it is to help wedding vendors survive this pandemic. Not all wedding vendors are charging these fees, but many have no choice to keep their businesses open.
One Small Business Owner Said…
“As small business owners in the event industry, it has been only short of catastrophic for us. We are all working to serve our clients as fairly as possible. We are not charging extra for Friday or Sunday in town weddings or wedding dates outside of our primary wedding season. My pain points are certainly not my clients to solve. But for the sake of understanding, these dates are our products – our inventory. When COVID first became a reality, none of us could perform the contracts, so rescheduling was the only option. While we understand wanting to reschedule at this point to have the most desirable wedding, we can provide our services now. Rescheduling is no longer a must but a choice (again, one I understand). As we work to reschedule clients to new dates next year due to preferences, we are losing prime inventory and profits.”
So, when looking to postpone your wedding, be prepared to consider all the options, consider a Friday or a Sunday, and communicate with your vendor team. They can help you navigate this season.
However, rescheduling is not the only option. Many couples are turning to micro-weddings or intimate gatherings with close family and friends. These weddings are usually under 25 guests and can be within many of the guidelines. If you choose to have a micro-wedding, include all of your previously schedule vendors, and try to work with them to use their services with your smaller event.
Some couples are transitioning to just this smaller “Micro” event, while others are still wanting to have a large party or reception. These couples typically plan an anniversary party the following year so they can have their wedding and reception!
Even with weddings postponed, guest lists cut, and a rise in intimate weddings, couples are looking for ways to have their guests and loved ones present. Live-streaming the wedding is important, especially with restrictions to travel, and to minimize exposure to the immunocompromised.
As wedding videographers, we have invested in the equipment to live-stream weddings and have seen creative ways couples utilize technology to connect with their guests. We recommend planning your wedding with videographers who can live-stream your wedding to your loved ones.
If some of your wedding party can’t make it to your wedding because of restrictions or a date change, you can utilize Zoom or Facetime to connect with your wedding party while you prepare. They can participate from afar, and it helps you stay connected with your friends on your wedding day!
Hire a company to come in and live-stream your wedding ceremony for your loved one who couldn’t attend the wedding. A lot of couples are required to minimize their guest count, so you can invite them to stream online instead. We recommend streaming online, but we strongly suggest hiring a company that can tackle the technical issues that come with live-streaming. However, if you simply do not have the budget to hire a company, you can live-stream on Facebook or YouTube using your phone. We have heard of couples creating FB groups and inviting their guests to the group. They then get a family member to set up their phone to stream into the group. By doing it this way, they are restricting who has access to view the live stream.
No one expected 2020 to be a rollercoaster of challenges, but I know that together, we will get through this. As wedding vendors, we love weddings, capturing love stories, and serving our couples. We’ll be here for you when you’re ready to get married: whether in a grand reception or intimate backyard wedding. You are all amazing for navigating this season and planning a wedding in the midst of COVID-19. Please keep us updated on your plans, reschedule, don’t cancel, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!
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