Just checking in… How are YOU doing right now?
There have been a lot of things happening in our world. Covid-19 has definitely impacted every single person in some way shape or form… but today I am speaking to brides and grooms with weddings in 2020. First, my heart goes out to you guys. Many of you have spent 12-18 months planning this dream day, and navigating the difficult decisions that need to be made in the coming months is beyond challenging. Wedding planning is a feat in itself! Planning a wedding during a global pandemic is a different beast. With federal and provincial guidelines changing almost daily, it is hard to keep up with the changes. If you are in the midst of planning your wedding, you are probably wondering “what now???”
First off, don’t cancel your wedding… postpone! Your vendor team is still eager and excited to give you the wedding of your dreams. If you cancel, chances are you will lose out on some or all of your retainer fees, as not all of them will be refundable. If you can reschedule within 2020, that is amazing, and most vendors are bending over backwards to make this work for their clients on any available 2020 dates. With venue availability being a limiting factor, I will gently encourage you to consider looking at Friday’s and Sunday’s. I think it is fair to say that we will be seeing an increase in weekday weddings over the next year with the number of couples postponing.
Second, please continue to practice social distancing. Keep up to date with government guidelines in regards to social gatherings. At the time of writing (03/31/20) gatherings of more than 5 people are not permitted in Ontario, and this will likely continue to change in the coming days and weeks. These are some great resources to check in on up to date information:
If you are considering postponing your wedding:
1- Breathe. This sucks. I know. BUT remember why you are getting married, and that is the most important thing. And those feelings that you’re feeling? Those real, raw, devastated emotions that you are feeling? It is OK to feel those feelings. You have put your heart and soul and savings into planning a really important day celebrating your love, and it is suddenly in question, and entirely out of your control. It is okay to grieve that. Every human is experiencing this pandemic in real and raw ways, and it is okay to feel what you are feeling. Just remember, love is not cancelled.
2- If you have a wedding planner, you should connect with them first if you haven’t already. They are key players (and the BEST humans) in navigating these changes and helping connect with vendors. Planners. Are. *KEY*.
I reached out to one of my colleagues Shea (Shealyn Angus Wedding and Events) to get some advice from her experience in working with various venues and clients in this crisis, and she is suggesting the following timing advice for those considering postponing:
60 Days out from event date- the earliest we would suggest making any decisions in regards to the status of your event.
Decisions in excess of 60 days may be made out of stress or fear. We will guide you through gathering vendor availability and rebooking policy but will encourage you to continue monitoring the news and government mandate before making a final decision.
The latest we would suggest making final decisions in regards to the status of your event is 30 days from the event:
Postponing your event with 30 days to go will allow vendors time to make changes to your order without needing to charge final balances. Florists can cancel flowers, event rental companies can release inventory, etc. This 30 days also allows you time to inform guests and make final arrangements.
Shealyn also adds; ” You have hired your planner to be an advocate for the success of your wedding day. This is the perfect time for them to advocate for you! Let them use their experience and expertise to guide this difficult and stressful process for you, and use their relationships with your vendor team to find the best possible solution for your celebration.”
3- Review your contracts. Every contract likely has different terms and conditions regarding date changes or cancellations.
4- Reach out to your venue to see how they are navigating changes. For each of my couples who have had to postpone their wedding so far, their venue has had different policies for change. Your best bet is to deal directly with your venue to get answers, unless your planner is already doing this on your behalf.
5- *Please* connect with your vendors before finalizing your date! Keeping an open line of communication with your vendors is SO appreciated, as we all navigate and prepare for changes and try to accommodate several changes.
6- Be kind to one another. This is new territory for all of us. We are all just trying to do the best we can to support our clients, keep food on our tables and make everyone happy despite all the uncertainty. We are all in this together, and we truly want to support you in the best way we can.
If there is anything you would like to see added to this blog post, I am happy to update it! Feel free to reach out in the comments below, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on instagram @tamara_lockwood. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
We are in this together guys. I can’t wait to get to the other side of this, and get back to documenting the good stuff… I feel like these celebrations are going to be extra special once this is all over.
Sending you all love and good vibes,