May 12, 2020
Planning a wedding during a pandemic probably fAs impossible as that seems right now, for myself and my family, we choose to trust in the Lord, because none of this was a surprise to Him. For those of you who are believers in Christ, I suggest you hold onto your faith as tightly as you can.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He’s done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Friends, this is a strange time in our history. Our world seems to be shifting dramatically, every single day. There seems to be no steady ground that we can walk on confidently. No one quite knows what the coming weeks and months will look like – and it seems like it will be different for each and every state.
I want to emphasize here, that I am not an expert on disease or immunology. While I am educated on the subjects, I am far from an expert. Unfortunately, I am also not a magician (contrary to popular belief, wedding planners do not actually have magical powers). If I could snap my fingers, and have COVID-19 wiped from the Earth, and from all of our thoughts and worries, I would do it, but I just cannot.
So, at least for now, we have to adapt. We have to find a new way to marry the ones we love.
So, you’re planning a wedding during a pandemic. I’m sure you have a ton of questions – let’s get started.
When should I make the decision on whether or not to postpone my wedding?
My recommendation is to make your decision no less than 30 days before your wedding. This is for the sake of your guests and also your vendors.
Should I delay sending my invitations?
No, you don’t need to delay your invitations. With that being said, you will want to add a note to be checking the wedding website regularly for updates.
How should I notify my guests of postponement or downsizing?
This is one that is not gong to be convenient, no matter how you do it, unfortunately. You could send notifications in the mail – obviously this is the more expensive option. You can update your wedding website (you should do this, regardless) – there is a chance that people won’t check the website. You can email all of your guests – I’ve found that rounding up the email addresses of every guest on your list can be quite the task, but it is possible. You can call each of your guests – this can be quite time consuming, but you can split your guest list into sections, and ask your fiancé, parents, in-laws, and friends to help.
How can I be best prepared for downsizing my guest list?
Re-work your guest list a number of different ways. The restrictions will likely stick to “normal” numbers. 10, 25, 50, and 100 people. Create new lists with specific numbers of people. Have a ‘B’ list, so that if anyone one the ‘A’ list can’t make it, you can ask the next person on your ‘B’ list.
What can I expect from my vendors?
I can’t speak for everyone, but for Gems and Joy – we are here for you. We understand the emotional decisions you’ve had to make. If you need to postpone your wedding, we are going to work with you however we can. Our 25% retainer fee is not refundable, but it is transferable to another date within 12 months of your original date (during this time, we are waiving our postponement fee). We will work with you to try to make this difficult time, a little easier. Many vendors are being very understanding – some will even hold your backup date, until you’ve made your official decision.
With so many weddings being postponed until 2021, are couples having trouble finding a backup date with the vendors they know and love?
We haven’t seen a big issue with this just yet, but our 2021 calendar is filling up fast with 2021 couples and postponement couples. I suggest making a backup plan sooner than later, and asking your vendors if they are willing to pencil in your name for the time being. Make a list of your vendors, and determine what your priorities are. If you absolutely do not, under any circumstances, want to have a caterer other than Popoli, then you need to make sure that your backup date lines up with their schedule.
How should I respond if guests arrive to my wedding wearing a mask?
If there are certain pictures that you will be getting with these guests, we can ask if they would feel comfortable removing their mask for a brief time. I would speak with your photographer and videographer about how they can get creative with angles to limit the masks in photos – or you could just play it up! What a crazy story you’ll be able to tell your children someday! The number one thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to respect the personal health decisions of your guests. It is a very personal choice, and if they are more comfortable wearing their masks, you should respect that. If that means you don’t want them in a certain picture, have your planner talk to them.
We were going to dismiss our guests and have a moment with each of them, what should we do?
You could do a fist bump, an elbow bump, a mini dance party, or forget the dismissal of rows altogether, and be sure to spend a few minutes at each table during the reception to interact with all of your guests. You can also leave it up the discretion of your guests, if you are comfortable with it. Whatever you are going to do, be sure that it’s clearly displayed or announced, so guests aren’t surprised by it.
I’m getting married in 2021, what should I be doing?
Stay calm, and keep planning your wedding. Take some of the advice shared above (like creating multiple guest lists and reaching out to vendors sooner than later), and try to plan as normally as possible. Many bakers can send samples in the mail, many vendors will do consultations over the phone or Zoom. You’ll want to secure your date with your vendors as soon as possible, since there will be couples postponing who may inquire for your date with your vendors.
Alright, lay it out for me, step-by-step. What do I need to do?
Take a deep breath. It sounds cheesy, but oxygen is so good for your body and for your mind!
Discuss with your fiancé regarding your options to postpone or downsize your wedding
Come up with your backup date, if you decide to postpone
Talk to your fiancé first about the date, then family, wedding party, and vendors in the order of priority to you
Decide on a deadline that you need to make your decision by
Inform your guests of your decision if you have decided to postpone or downsize your wedding
Keep on planning!
Remember, you will have your day. Whether you downsize to an intimate wedding, elope, or postpone your wedding – you will have your day, and it will be beautiful. If, at the end of the day, you’re married to the one you’ll spend the rest of your life with, it is the perfect wedding. It may not happen the way you imagined it, it may not happen when you imagined it, but it will happen, and it will be beautiful.
What other questions do you have about planning a wedding during a pandemic? I want to hear from you! Leave your questions in the comments, and click here to schedule a free consultation!