Firstly, my heart is breaking for all the couples who ave been put into the position of postponing your 2020 wedding due to Covid-19 Pandemic. All that love and hard work that goes into planning your wedding, sending out invites and the build up of excitement that leads up to your wedding day. It is not just the day that has gone, but the appointments with your wedding dress team, your florist and of course the pre-celebrations with your friends and family. While in the back of your mind your were probably really looking forward to the honeymoon and a well earned break from what can become a a bit of a social whirl.
Remember though that whilst your wedding may have to change in its character, or perhaps be delayed, the two of you and relationship won’t change. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger! Covid has given us all a few storms to get through, and marriage is about sustaining and supporting each other through the storms. Postponing your 2020 wedding is a blip, but not a disaster. Your wedding day will happen, and oh boy, it will be so worth the wait. I know when I actually come around to shooting these covid-postponed weddings that emotions will be running high and the occasion will be absolutely incredible. There will be guaranteed tears.
Secondly and following on from the Governments latest advice and guidance for the forthcoming months, it is clear this different social landscape is going to last a while longer. So I wanted to jump on here and offer extra support and practical advice for those of you who are forced to change your plans and outline a few options you may not have considered. Obviously, always refer to government and regional advice websites for up to date information on gathering and travel restrictions.
Your suppliers, including myself, are all absolutely rooting for you both and I cannot stress enough that they are ready and will to help with any changed plans. My email address and phone is always there for bashing out potential changes, thoughts and worries, so do not hesitate to drop me a line.
Postponing Your 2020 Wedding.
Communication, Communication, Communication is the key here!
The majority of your suppliers will be self employed small businesses and limited companies, and will work hard to accomodate your changes. We are all in this together; we want your wedding to go ahead, (we have got to know you and are invested in your day), and we want our businesses to survive the Covid Crisis. (Many haven’t already.) Please be kind when you communicate with your suppliers. Many of them are winging it through this crisis having never had to deal with a situation like this before. And just as much as we don’t know what is going on behind your front door, you do not know if your suppliers are also going through health difficulties or bereavements themselves.
If you are forced to change your date due to the Lockdown, to protect vulnerable family members, or to ensure your overseas guests will be able to travel, here’s my few pennies worth.
POSTPONE – DON’T CANCEL
Organise – get a spread sheet organised with all your suppliers and gather their contact details, and what you have ordered with them. Some of them will have already started preparing for your day (stationers and dress makers for example), and you may have already received some of the service (eg Pre-wedding shoots, samples, tasting evenings). CONTACT THEM ALL. You need to discuss their available dates for your rescheduling, what their postponement procedure is, and you need to discuss money. (Not very British I know.) Most suppliers will be happy to roll over your retainer/booking fees to a new date. Some couples are choosing to pay on the original payment schedule (as the money is waiting in the bank), whereas some wish to have a new payment plan due to their own circumstances changing. Again communicating is key. Please again be kind. Moving your date to a key or popular date next year means suppliers loose the chance of selling that date. They are out of pocket, which granted you may be too. Florists may have bought your flowers for your original date, photographers may have paid for accommodation so we can be with you at the right time on your wedding day. Remember Covid is the energy, not your suppliers. They are truly doing their best too under a difficult situation. Moving your wedding day to a mid week could be the good solution to keeping all your suppliers with you, and not loosing any deposits or work already done. Many suppliers are booked up 18 months to two years in advance, so don’t be surprise if the Saturday you want is already booked. Your guests will be just as happy to see you married on a Tuesday as they will a Saturday.
Guests – talk to your family and friends involved in your wedding day. Discuss what is important. Are there vulnerable guests, or people with travel issues. Have conversation about new dates that you have been offered by the venue, and special arrangements being made to support your wedding day guests.
Priorities– What is important to you as a couple on the day you get married. This may be your guest list, or just the fact you want to be married. Would a smaller wedding mean that you have more choice with your wedding date or bring it sooner. Or could you elope and have a big party later on when the venues are all back to full speed. Whichever you choose make sure everyone is informed of your choices. There is no right or wrong answer here. But being aware of your options, understanding the pros and cons of them all, and being open with each other will bring clarity to a stressful situation.
Confirm – As soon as you have decided on the path you wish to take get back to your suppliers and confirm the new date. The back end of 2020 and 2021 are looking busy for existing and rescheduled weddings so don’t waiver too much if you are date limited. Ensure you have the new arrangements with your suppliers in writing.
Share – Let everyone know that your plans have changed. Most people will be relieved that you have found a way forward. Be prepared that some of your intended guests may not be able to make your new date, but then there’s an excuse for a low key celebration at another time. While there may be a few disappointed faces, I am sure that deep down ultimately there will be understanding. The effects of the pandemic are mostly out of our control.
Chill – You have done the hard stuff. Negotiation with venues, suppliers, family and guests. Kick back and try to enjoy the different things that this Pandemic has enforced on us. By all means build a den in your back yard and hide there for a bit.
CELEBRATE YOUR COVID DATE
Speaking of that Den – On your original date, celebrate. Have a private and intimate ceremony in your den. Get some festoon or fairy lights mailed out to you, buy a menu of treats and champagne. Sit back to back and write an old fashioned love letter to each other. Whatever floats your boat is allowed! Its still your day. So indulge. Or if the social distancing rules allow, contact your photographer (hopefully that is me) for a photoshoot somewhere special to you both.