What Do We Do Now?
It's the day you've dreamed of for years. You've spent the past months (maybe years) pouring all your time into planning the perfect day. But suddenly, the perfect day has run into one major problem - it's not allowed due to COVID-19. So what is your next step?
While this isn't an official first step, I'd remind you to take a deep breath.
Remember what your wedding day is about: marrying the person you love the most. Now that we've covered those bases, let's move on to the logistics.
Step 1: Determine Your "Plan B"
Even though it can be tough imagining anything besides the perfect day you have planned, it's time to come up with a realistic option to go with the situation we're in. Take into consideration your priorities here. Is it important to have all your friends and families there, or does a smaller celebration feel right for you? It's okay no matter what you feel, but be honest with yourself.
Will you postpone your wedding to a later date? While this option might work well for some, the first step would be reaching out to your venue to see what your options are for switching dates, and seeing what dates are available. If they have a date you're interested in, check if they can put a temporary hold on it.
Will you go ahead and get married, and then have a big celebration later? Does the idea of celebrating with your closest friends and family right now sound like your best option? Have an intimate home or park elopement with your closest family. Make a list of what vendors you'd like to be included at each celebration. If you're interested, ask your venue if there's an option for pricing if you have an elopement rather than a large celebration.
Would you cancel and reconsider once you feel more confident about the situation? If you worry about this pandemic continuing, cancelling might feel like your best option. You should review vendor contracts to see what their cancellation clauses look like. Not all vendors will be in a position to provide refunds against their contracts. Think carefully about the ramifications of this option.
If you're struggling to find a date that works for your vendors, consider a non-traditional date. Fridays, Sunday afternoons, or even weekdays might be an option that all vendors are available for - bonus, many guests might appreciate a day off work to come celebrate with you!
Step 2: Decide When You'll Make a Decision
Even once you've made a Plan B, everything can still seem up in the air until you have a deadline to execute either plan. No matter what your "Plan B" is, consult all your vendors to let them know that you're looking at an alternate plan, and see what deadlines apply for them. Keep your original plan in the forefront, and act as though it is the plan up until your deadline, then decide either way.
This will also allow you to communicate better with friends and family who are excited to celebrate with you. Instead of feeling pressured to make quick decisions to please them, you can tell them, "Everything is currently on as planned, and we'll make an official decision by X date."
Step 3: Communicate Your Decision to Vendors
Once your plans are in place and you've set your deadline, communicate this to your vendors. This might sound like I'm repeating myself here, but it is critical you keep an open line of communication with all your vendors to have the best possible outcome. But remember, vendors aren't required to break their contracts during this time - they're dealing with the stress of this virus as well.
Lastly, know that underneath the legal talk and contractual obligations, each wedding vendor's heart goes out to all the Spring 2020 brides. As much as this is our business, each wedding is deeply personal to us. We only want to do what's best for everyone. So let's remember, we're all in this together (but really, apart because #socialdistancing).