Updated: Jul 22
A few months ago, someone, somewhere, did or experienced a thing, and now you have to consider canceling your lavish wedding events for the next year. That, in a nutshell, is what COVID-19 means for the couples planning to get married in 2020. Naturally, you are now riddled with all-consuming anxiety because all the whos/whats/wheres/whens/whys/hows/ifs of your wedding that, until recently had been answered, are now plaguing your entire existence. Dealing with wedding changes and uncertainties during this time is one big-ass first world problem. Just ask LaLa Kent (#Pumprules). Our two February 2020 weddings seem so long ago. Has it really only been a month and a half since we were basking in wedding bliss, as we watched our duo-of-the-day tie the knot in a heavenly atmosphere of love, fashion, and sugar? Ever since the seriousness of this situation has taken hold, Kaleidoscope Event Planning has been working tirelessly to help calm nerves and create contingency plans for our couples; many of which have decided to postpone their weddings. To those couples: we get it. Things are scary right now, and you can’t even talk it out with your friends over brunch. We want to help.
Helpful wedding guidelines for getting through this sh*t
Remember: It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Keep this in mind as you go through the motions.
Don’t act impulsively. Try not to make any emotionally-charged, impulsive decisions about your big day that you may end up regretting. On the other hand, if you’re naturally an emotionally-charged, impulsive person, just keep doing you.
Stay in touch with your vendors. Even if you are the slightest bit concerned, it is important to keep everyone in the know.
DO NOT ignore the CDC. We all obviously want to pretend this isn’t really happening, but that won’t benefit anyone. If you want to go forward with your nuptials as planned, talk it out with your photographer and event coordinator.
Pick a decision-making cutoff date. This is the date that you will decide, once and for all, what you are going to do about your 2020 wedding date. We recommend this cut-off date being 3-5 months out. This timeframe will align with the vast majority of your wedding suppliers, as well as your guests.
Freeze customized orders. If you plan to have your wedding date printed on everything, hold off on ordering. Put a freeze on signage, thank you cards, invitations, favors, bridal party gifts, guest books, etc that have the wedding date on it; or opt for a version that doesn’t have the date (if applicable).
Keep an open mind. Maybe everything won’t go exactly as you anticipated, but, in all honesty, your pre-COVID-19 wedding wasn’t going to either. Something always goes awry anyway.
Be flexible. We know you may have moments, or full days, or full weeks, where you want to kick and scream; but keep in mind, you WILL be saying “I do” to the love of your life in the end. So, even if you can’t get married on that Saturday, but a summer Sunday is on the table, take it!
Have a virtual, place-holder, bridal shower or bachelorette party. Use Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime, your telepathic powers, etc. to gather with loved ones and have a drink together! It obviously won’t replace the real deal, but it will help you wait.
Enjoy your gifts. You don’t need to return any gifts for a postponed wedding. It’s only taboo to keep gifts for a canceled wedding. Just keep a detailed list of who gave you what, and don’t expect double gifts.
Keep/book your vendors. Regardless of when your wedding will happen, you will still need the vast majority of your vendors. Plus, if most 2020 weddings are being postponed, 2021 is going to be crazy for vendors. Keep/get them locked down, which includes paying them. As many vendors fall into the realm of small, local business, you can help their business stay afloat during this difficult time. If you are able to keep your current payment agreement during this time, it will help ensure they can still be around and kickin’ for your big day.
Update your contracts. Make sure your contracts are updated with a back-up date (if applicable), cut-off dates and/or fees, and a “force majeure” clause.
Communicate with your guests. Whether it is via email, phone, wedding website, whatever, let your guests know what’s going on. This will also reduce the amount of time you have to spend grinning through your teeth as you’re forced to discuss the wedding with each guest individually. Win-win.
Keep up with the (less fun) wedding tasks. Continue to plug away at the song list, photo shoot list, stationary needs, seating arrangements, etc. Use all your pent up wedding energy to focus on the elements of your event(s) that can be planned from home. Something fun you can do is create a mood board. This will come in handy when you are able to go dress shopping and registry shopping in person.
Be wary of the +/- “Quarantine Fifteen”. If you have already said “yes” to the dress (or suit, or toga, or whatever it may be), be mindful of your emotional eating, or lack of eating, during this difficult time.
Don’t take your frustration out on your loved-ones. They don’t mean any harm when texting you 20 times a day asking if the wedding is postponed. They just want to change their flight or hotel reservation, and make everything about them. No big deal. Side note: most airlines and hotels are more than accommodating about making changes during this pandemic; which is exactly what you can tell them.
Just. Keep. Swimming: Seriously. If things aren’t back to normal by 2021, we will have all lost our minds. You will have already had your dog officiate a makeshift wedding in your living room, complete with aluminum foil Haute couture; so you won’t need to worry about any of this.
Photo Credit from Top to Bottom: Aaron and Whitney Photography
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