Wedding Planning Advice: The Effects That Coronavirus (COVID-19) May Have On Your Wedding
Coronavirus and Your Wedding
From limitations being placed on public gatherings to wedding dress production or shipping delays, the Coronavirus's impacts could potentially be detrimental to your wedding day. If you are considering postponing your special day we know there is so much hanging in the balance. It's difficult to know when to make a decision and with how quickly things are changing in the US, it certainly makes the decision-making process an even harder one. If you are getting married in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic here's what you need to consider:
Consider The Location Of Your Wedding
Is your wedding taking place in an area that is being hard hit by the Coronavirus? Are you having a destination wedding where all of your guests will be flying in? Will your wedding be affected by any of the travel bans currently in place? If so, you may want to consider postponement. The likelihood of mass gatherings being canceled in these areas is far greater. If you purchased wedding insurance, you will want to find out if voluntary postponement would be covered due to a pandemic. We'll talk more later about wedding insurance and the Coronavirus pandemic.
Consider Your Guests
How many of your guests will be traveling to attend your special day? It's highly likely that there will be some guests who will choose not to board an airplane if travel isn't absolutely necessary. While no one wants to contract the virus, the elderly and those with serious underlying health conditions the CDC recognizes to be at an increased risk of severe illness may decide to forego your event altogether. Here is the latest from the CDC on Coronavirus and Travel in the United States.
Your Wedding Dress or Bridesmaid Dresses Could Be Delayed
Since many dresses are made in other countries including China which has been hit hard with the Coronavirus, you may experience delays in production or shipping. Most dress shops recommend that you order your dress at a minimum of 6 months prior to your wedding date. If your wedding will take place in late 2020 or early next year, we recommend dress shopping as early as possible. If you have already ordered your dress, stay in close contact with your bridal shop for any changes or updates on delays in the production or shipping process.
Here Is What To Do If You Experience Any Of These Worst-Case Coronavirus Scenarios Leading Up To Your Wedding:
What to do if a loved one can't attend your wedding: We understand that having a situation where a close family member is not able to attend your wedding can be upsetting. If a close family member is not able to attend your wedding due to illness or an increased risk of severe illness, you can always live stream the ceremony so you both feel like they were able to be a part of it.
What to do if a wedding vendor contracts the Coronavirus and cannot fulfill their obligations: First and foremost, make sure you are aware of your wedding vendors' policies on postponement or cancellation of your event. As soon as your wedding vendor informs you they will not be able to fulfill their obligation, inform your wedding planner if the vendor hasn't already. Wedding planners are great problem solvers! We have contacts from years of experience in the industry and the resources to find another vendor who can step up in place of your sick vendor!
What to do if your wedding gets canceled due to Coronavirus: Some states have already mandated that events over a certain amount of people be canceled. If that was to happen in your state, remain calm and communicate with your venue and vendors immediately. Start talking about the next steps with your planner and venue ask about their availability for future dates. Most vendors for couples I have seen personally affected by the Coronavirus have been willing to work with the couple unless it was a case where the vendor has placed an order for florals or food already. You will need to let your guests know that your wedding will be postponed. Ask for help from your family communicating the postponement to your wedding guests so you can focus on the next steps.
What to do if your wedding dress gets delayed and won't make it in time for your event: Look for a bridal shop where you can buy a dress off the rack or consider alternative options for a wedding dress. We realize this isn't ideal, especially when you've already found the perfect dress and paid for it, but if this does happen and you opt not to postpone your event try your best stay positive and remind yourself the reason behind the wedding is that you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! When your original wedding dress comes in, it can be an excuse for the two of you to have a fun post-wedding photoshoot.
What to do if your honeymoon is affected by travel restrictions: If you are not able to travel to your original honeymoon destination, look into changing the location. If you don't want to risk traveling for a while, you may want to look into whether it's possible to move your travel dates to the future. If you are working with a travel agent, reach out to them so they can go over your options.
If You Already Purchased Wedding Insurance
If you purchased wedding insurance, now is the time to ask your agent exactly what would be covered by a pandemic. Can you postpone your event if the majority of your guests cannot attend your wedding or would they only cover if you or your fiance came down with the illness? What about if a member of your immediate family or bridal party contracted the virus? Who does your policy consider an "immediate family member"? What would your insurance company consider voluntary postponement and would they cover it? Would you be covered if a wedding vendor could not attend your wedding due to contracting the Coronavirus? These are all very pertinent questions to ask and know the answers to before it becomes an issue.
If You Are Thinking Of Purchasing Wedding Insurance
Some couples have found that it has become increasingly difficult to purchase wedding insurance for an upcoming wedding. If you haven't already purchased wedding insurance prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, you may not be able to purchase a policy that covers it. While I still urge you to purchase wedding insurance for life's unknowns, it's likely that wedding insurance companies will start excluding Coronavirus coverage if they haven't already.
At the end of the day, you should remember that the majority of the people who contract the Coronavirus recover. We understand that this is a scary time for many as there are still many unknowns. It is important to stay informed from reputable sources during this time and to talk with your fiance and family members when making a decision on whether to postpone your wedding. Maybe you will decide to proceed with your wedding but scale back your guest list to an intimate ceremony with close friends and family instead of postponing your event altogether. With all things considered, you should make a decision based on what is best for you and your guests. Lastly, if you weren't considering hiring a Wedding Planner before the Coronavirus I would urge you to at minimum hire a coordinator as I always recommend that all couples do! An experienced wedding planner can help guide you through many of the obstacles that can affect your wedding due to the Coronavirus. The last thing you want to do is not have adeequate support for the weeks and days leading up to your wedding when so much can change with a pandemic within a very short period of time!