First and foremost, if your wedding is one of many that's being affected by this thing, let me say, from the bottom of my heart, I'm so sorry.
Weddings are so full of love and excitement, and I absolutely share in that with you and your loved ones as your wedding date creeps up. I know my planner friends, florists, DJs, and every other wedding vendor that is part of your day is TRULY so saddened for you, because we were all so excited to be part of your day. So if you feel scared, unsure, or need to cry about it, I get it. But...
What can you do to save your wedding plans as best as you can during the Coronavirus pandemic?
First, look at the calendar and see if you need to make a decision yet. Here are tips from Lillian Rose Events:
May: make a decision now. CDC & state mandates are effective currently through May 10th and will quite possibly be extended.
June: have a decision in your back pocket if mandates are loosened but still affect gatherings of their size. For example, if your state loosens the ban to 50 people, will you cut your guest list or postpone?
July-September: take a beat, but start wrapping your mind around the potential options. Don't start loosing sleep over it just yet!
Once you've decided you need to postpone or reschedule your wedding due to COVID-19, here's exactly what to do!
1. Talk to your wedding planner if you have one.
I guarantee they're already working hard behind the scenes and seeing what they can do for you. You hired them, so USE THEM!!!! This might not be something they expected either, but their network of vendors and contacts is so extensive that they should be able to help you and put you at ease. Tip from Plisful Planning:
“Stay calm and remember to breathe! You and your fiancé have each other, and at the end of the day it will all work out and this will become a part of your story.”
2. Ask your venue about rescheduling and see what dates they have open.
A venue is the first thing you secure, typically, so make sure it's the first you contact to reschedule. Things are moving quickly now, and fall will be packed--so ask about Friday and Sunday dates, and even 2021. I know moving your wedding isn't ideal, especially if you had a cute date for it, but hey--maybe you'll have more money saved by then to get something you thought you had to cut out. It's more time to plan the perfect wedding.
3. Choose which vendors are most important to you + see if they're available for dates your venue is also open.
Did you already fall in love with your DJ or your florist? Consider showing them the list of dates the venue has open, and see when they are open too. That way you're not sacrificing more than you need to. Plus, yes, us vendors would love to keep working with you if we planned on it already.
Not all your vendors are available for your postponed wedding date? Go to step number 5 for tips on how to find new vendors without a headache.
4. Ask your current vendors what options you have with them.
Many wedding vendors right now are in the same boat as you--scared, unsure of what's happening next, and trying their best to make it work. For their sake, but mostly for yours. I promise, we will not leave you hanging and back at square one!!! If your photographers is unavailable, ask them if they offer an associate shooting option (another photographer takes the pictures, but all the communication, editing, and other work is done by your main photographer!). If that's not an option they offer or have available, ask them if they have other recommendations! Also consider asking your venue if they have recommendations if they haven't already. If they still don't know of any, head to Facebook groups and search Instagram hashtags.
5. Need new vendors?
It's unlikely you'll have to start the search all over for all your vendors if any, but if you do, start with Instagram hashtags. Check out #YourLocationWeddingVendorType and #YourLocationWedding.
For example, you might find me under #ChicagoWeddingPhotographer, #ChicagoWedding, or #CityWineryChicagoWedding.
Another INCREDIBLE tool that ChiTheeWed put together for all my Chicago couples is their availability tool, which makes it a breeze for you to find new vendors and see if they're available without even having to email them first. (You do have to email them to book, though). Check that out here!
6. Consider inviting fewer guests or eloping.
If you had a huge wedding planned, it might be a bummer to wait a few more months to throw that big party. The current bans are different in every state, but right now in Illinois, gatherings are limited to 50 or under. Can you take a few people off your guest list? Was anyone traveling into town that you can ask to stay home? Maybe you find a dope forest near you, the beach if you're in Chicago, or mountains if you're somewhere else. You elope, take some incredible pictures with that awesome photographer you hired, and just celebrate between the two of you. You can still reschedule your party by following all the steps above, but without the stress and worry that you won't actually be married. Continue with the marriage, postpone the party.