Planning a wedding in general can be overwhelming and stressful, let alone during the craziness of COVID-19. It’s affecting all of us globally, and couples planning their 2020 and 2021 weddings are facing so many challenges. Especially if your wedding is in the next 1-3 months (March-May 2020), you might be wondering what you should do to plan + prepare for the potential that your wedding might be affected.
If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, scared, nervous, anxious or all of the above— you’re not alone. It’s totally normal to feel uneasy in any way during this time because there’s so many unknowns and changes happening every single day. Especially when it comes to your wedding day. A day that you’ve invested so much heart, soul, passion, time, and money into and that you might’ve been dreaming about since you were a little kid— it’s scary and overwhelming knowing what’s going to happen and what steps to take moving forward.
I’m here to reassure you that your hands aren’t completely tied and provide you with options and steps to take moving forward so you can live out your dream day with your favorite person on earth!!— all while staying safe and keeping others safe + healthy as well.
If you don’t know— the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an upper respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more sever cases, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, exhaustion. It’s extremely contagious and spreads primarily through contract with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. You can find all the information about the virus and updates here.
Since the virus is spreading rapidly globally, you want to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to protect your friends, family and loved ones! As of March 16, 2020 the CDC recommends all events over 10 people be cancelled/postponed (learn more here). President Trump extended the social distancing + quarantine until April 30, 2020 (learn more here).
If you have under 10 people you can definitely still hold your elopement/intimate wedding! I suggest being extra careful and to social distance when you can to hopefully not spread/receive the virus. I’ll be releasing another blog post covering your options and what to do if you have to postpone/cancel your wedding very soon!
If you’re getting married after April 2020, you definitely can still plan your wedding like normal! As of right now, there aren’t any guidelines after the end of April for events (and I’m praying and hoping it stays that way!!). Like I said, more information will be released daily so I will update this post once that happens! Don’t let the restrictions in place now, affect your dream day that can still definitely happen in a few months!
Speak to your Vendors
Although there aren’t currently any restrictions in May and beyond, it’s not a bad idea to speak to your vendors and talk about a Plan B just in case that time comes. Talk to them about possibly moving your date and what they have available– that way if you do end up having to postpone, you guys already have a game plan.
Tell them about all of your concerns and how they can help you. Pull up the contract you signed with them and go through it (ACCCTUALLLY go through it haha) and read what their cancellation/reschedule policy is, if there’s any fees involved, and what that would look like. Every vendor is going to have different guidelines and it’s important to know what to expect moving forward if you do have to end up postponing/cancelling.
Inform your guests!
Instead of constantly answering questions of “is your wedding still going to happen” or “what are you guys thinking?” there’s a few ways you can inform your guests and keep them in the know! If you have a wedding website, add a note in there that you are aware of the coronavirus and the guidelines that come along with it and you’ll keep everyone in the loop if you have to change any plans. You can also send a mass email or text to guests with this same information, so you don’t have to type the same answer to everyone separately. They’ll appreciate you keeping them in the loop!
Please follow CDC guidelines. (you can find more info here)
Yes this is the biggest day of your life, but you want to make sure you’re looking out for everyone’s health and safety too! Wash your hands, practice social distancing, try not to touch your face and stay home if possible until further notice! The last thing you want is to have a lot of people get sick.
Your favorite vendor’s calendars will be filling up quicker than normal
If you’re getting married in 2021, reach out to your vendors as soon as you can to secure them!! Do your research and inquire. All of your favorite vendors are currently rescheduling and postponing some of their weddings for later this year and early into 2021. This means that their calendars are filling up quicker than normal so don’t wait to reach out to them!! Make sure your date is secured before they’re booked for 2021.
Ask about cancellation/rescheduling policies
When reaching out to your future vendors and venues, ask them about their policies. Make sure you know exactly what’s going to happen in any circumstance and every step of the way. Especially if something similar to covid-19 occurs in 2021, you want to make sure you’re prepared and know what steps to take moving forward. Will you loose your retainer payment? Will they offer a refund? Make sure you understand everything before signing a contract!
If you’re struggling planning your wedding or need a little help, I made this checklist FOR FREE to help! It covers wedding planning from a year out from your wedding until beyond the wedding day.
Plan/expect a smaller guest count
If you or your guests have to travel (and/or fly) to attend your wedding, you might want to plan to hold a smaller guest count. With the amount of restrictions with travel right now, there’s likely to be some guests who can’t attend, or who are afraid to attend if you wedding is after Spring 2020.
Understand airfare cancellation policies + your options
Research your travel plans and flights to see what your options are. I just had to postpone a trip in May 2020, and United is allowing refunds, or credits on your flights if they are between March-May 2020. There might be options for your flights and refunds/credit available to you depending on the airline you booked!!
If you’re waiting on your wedding dress to be shipped or if you’re looking to find your dream dress, there’s a few things to consider.
Shipping Times + Delays
I would expect the worst when it comes to shipping and delays due to the coronavirus. Since a large amount of wedding dresses are produced and manufactured in China, it could take longer for them to arrive. I would contact your dress designer/boutique to see if there’s any delays and when you can expect your dress to come in. If you still need to buy a dress, I would double the shipping time just to be safe. If shipping normally takes 6-8 weeks for example for your dress to come in, expect it to arrive in 12-16 weeks.
If you’re still in need of a wedding dress, research some local dress boutiques! Their shipping times will most likely be lower since they are in less demand, and will be way quicker to get back to you. Also– supporting local businesses right now is so important if you can to help them stay in business during this crisis. You can also ask them about possibly setting up a private dress fitting without anyone in the store so you can try it on while still social distancing!
One of my favorite local boutiques in the Reno/Tahoe area is Moonlight Lace! They have the most beautiful gowns and are so encouraging and helpful!!
For more information on Covid-19, visit the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I hope this helps you guys!! STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY OUT THERE!