To state the obvious: Covid 19 is having an unprecedented global impact.
On us as humans and our need to socialize, on the economy and businesses globally, and of course on the wedding industry.
If you are a Bride/Groom that had/has a Spring 2020 wedding planned please know that the industry is behind you. Your vendors want your day to happen, and your business is truly important to them. I think I speak for many when I say that most vendors are willing to work with you, and try to accommodate any necessary changes you need to make.
So if you are a Bride/Groom who needs to shift with the times, here are my key steps.
How to regain control, remain calm, and adapt with the changing times amid Covid 19:
1. Think through the timing of your wedding. If your wedding is any time between now and July, it is worth it to get ahead, shift your date, and edit your plans NOW.
Moving your date sooner than later will:
- Give you more options with a future date.
- Increase the likelihood of all of your current vendors being available.
- Give you time to inform your guests of the changes.
- Allow you to rest your brain for a bit and reduce anxiety knowing you have a new plan secured.
2. Reach out to your venue:
- Ask them what their availability is for dates later in 2020, or in 202.1
- If possible, put a soft-hold on a date.
- If your venue is not available at all, that's a different story. In the coming week I'll be sharing a blog post with key tips for venue sourcing from afar.
3. Reach out to ALL of your vendors:
- Send an email to every vendor that you have booked to date.
- Ask all of your vendors to provide their availability for future dates (you can use your venue availability as a guide).
- If your vendors are available on a date that aligns with your new venue availability ask them if they'd kindly also do a soft hold.
4. Lock in your new date (and quickly):
You are likely one of many Brides / Grooms emailing your venue and vendors.
To respect their time and business, try not to be wishy washy. Don't ask them to soft hold your date for days or weeks, because as you may know they are likely also trying to accommodate countless other couples.
- Confirm your new date with all key parties as quickly as possible, and get confirmations in writing via email.
5. Notify your guests
- Right now may not the time to send updated invites with beautiful personalized calligraphy (Unless you of course have the time to do it, or are trying to support small businesses like calligraphers. In which case please communicate with them only remotely and have them SHIP the final products to you. Do not meet up in person.)
- Now is the time for a quick, efficient and kindly worded update to all your guests.
You guests are also living through these times. So while apologizing for the date change is appropriate, don't feel the need to go overboard. Your guests and loved ones will know that you are not choosing this. Your wedding changes are beyond your control. People who love and care about you will adapt and try to make your new date work to the best of their abilities.
- Send an email to your guests and update them on simple key details:
Time change (perhaps your ceremony or reception times had to shift)
Venue change (if required)
Your hotel information and other details can be shared later.
That all may seem manageable, but what if one of your vendors isn't available for any of your future dates?
- This is a tough one because many wedding vendors are small businesses. They rely on their planned events, and... deposits paid. If you have a vendor that cannot accommodate any of your future dates (assuming you have given them many options) you can ask them how to handle the situation.
The reality is, you are likely looking at losing your deposit. The industry standard is that deposits are non-refundable. And while these truly are EXTREME circumstances for you, they are also extreme circumstances for small businesses. So try to understand if a vendor declines the return of your deposit. They are likely depending on it to keep their family, bills, and lives afloat right now.
On a lighter note, if your particular vendor is not available, rest assured there are THOUSANDS who likely are. The wedding industry is filled with talented professionals.
If you are struggling to find vendors some tools and resources are:
- Your wedding planner: ask them for referrals for their trusted vendors
- Other vendors: Your photographer has likely worked with an incredible florist or videographer
- Wedding blogs: They are a dime a dozen and almost always credit all the vendors featured in their posts
- Review based websites like Wedding Wire
- Good ol' Instagram. Search instagram based on your venue geo-tag to see photos of weddings shot there. Search based on common hashtags for the vendors you are searching for: example #gtaweddingphotographer
- And lastly, just Google it. Be specific in your search, and you should be able to find great vendors via Google.
Remember, this won't last forever. The reason you are getting married is because you LOVE someone and want to commit to them forever. This will still happen.
In fact, you and your significant other can use this time during #socialdistancing to get closer. Talk about big picture things. Bond. Continue to be excited about your wedding, but maybe this gives you more time to plan a few other details or change them.
Your wedding will happen, your friends and family will celebrate with you.. in person.
It'll be your rainbow after this crazy storm the world is going through. And maybe at the end of it all you'll cherish the day that much more. You'll cherish the precious moments with your family and friends. The moments of connection and togetherness, and having all the people you love in one room.
Stay positive, (STAY HOME), breathe, don't panic and ask for help from your vendors and wedding party.
Everyone is in this together.
Photo Credit: Sugarlips Cakes