Planning or Postponing Your Wedding During Coronavirus
With coronavirus ravaging the globe, forcing people to stay at home, and shutting down the economy, we continually hear about unprecedented times. In a way, it is true. But humanity is constantly dealing with serious challenges. Every generation does experience a form of hardship at least once in a lifetime. This time it came in the form of a pandemic.
Countless weddings are being canceled or postponed across the globe, and numerous couples are facing tons of uncertainties. It is especially true for destination weddings, which involve international travel.
I am in a constant dialog with my couples who are getting married in 2020. Here is the summary of their FAQ and my answers:
1. Our wedding is fast approaching (June - August 2020). What should we do?
I recommend to postpone your wedding and do it sooner than later to secure another date.
You or your planner would need to coordinate with all your vendors to find a new convenient date for everyone involved. You may also seek feedback from your most important wedding guests when selecting a new date.
In some cases, if your wedding date falls into the quarantine period imposed by the local government, you may try to get your money back from your venue and maybe other vendors.
But it might be challenging, and you may need help from an attorney or your wedding planner to help you handle the process. If no stay-at-home or restricted gathering order is in place for your date, the best option is to postpone your wedding.
2. What are the options for canceling our wedding if we don't or can't wait until the situation improves?
If you cannot wait until the situation improves, you probably can postpone your wedding with limited or no penalties to the later part of 2020 or 2021. Should you decide to cancel, you will have to follow the cancellation policies stated in the contracts of your vendors and most likely lose your deposits. However, if you can wait, we would recommend doing it while working on Plan B with your planner, who should get in touch with your vendors.
3. We have our wedding later in the year (September - October). Should we cancel it?
I don't think you should. I am a research scientist by formation. While the situation with the new coronavirus is worrisome, I prefer to rely on scientific evidence and past experiences with viruses. At this point, we see the pattern of a sharp decrease in cases in China and South Korea, where the virus hit earlier. China already lifted most of the restrictions in Wuhan. With most countries now on lockdown, in a few weeks, we may anticipate an improvement in the situation in Europe and North America. For example, Italy already sees its curve flattening, and the number of new cases is starting to decrease. It gives my couples, who are getting married later in the year, time to wait and see.
If the situation improves by June, I suggest proceeding as planned. I would still recommend being proactive and check all the available options in terms of postponing to a new date ahead of time. I also recommend to all my couples to keep their guests informed and updated with any changes asap. Please make it clear to your guests that their safety and well-being are of utmost importance for you.
4. We are postponing our wedding. But we are not in the mood to plan anything anymore. What should we do?
Once all the rescheduling is done, you should relax and forget about your wedding planning for some time. The best option, for now, is just waiting and focus on other essential things in life.
By postponing, you are getting a good break and will still have time to plan when you are ready. You can restart the planning process once the situation improves. Try to think constructively.
As one of my brides said to me once we rescheduled her wedding from May to November: "I had so much fun planning for my spring-inspired wedding! But I feel it is even better to change the design and the color palette and become creative again preparing for the fall. I plan to get back on my Pinterest soon!" Think about your health, spend time learning something new, Zoom with your family and friends, learn to cook some new dishes – the options abound.
Then once you are ready – all your vendors will be happy to help you.
And finally, as my friend Karen from Smashing The Glass put it: "Remember, what matters most in all of this is that you have each other.
Life's not going to stop throwing those curveballs, and dealing with them as a team is a skill you'll need to have in your toolbox throughout your life together as a couple.
Learning to work together as a couple to get through a crisis sooner rather than later can only set your marriage up for success!"
We, wedding professionals, always want you to enjoy your Big Day.
And given the circumstances, we want it for you BIG TIME!