With guidance around social distancing and gatherings changing frequently as the world works to contain the spread of COVID-19, planning your dream wedding can feel like an utterly impossible task. While I can’t deny that the situation throws up challenges, it is by no means impossible to create a truly memorable and special wedding during COVID-19.
Whether you’re recently engaged or had your wedding planned for some time, here’s some advice on how to adapt, adjust and arrange throughout these uncertain times.
Consider your options
If you’ve already set a date but you’re worried that it’ll be affected by the guidance issued by the government, take a look at the options available to you in your local area.
If you’re yet to set a date, it’s important to be understanding that a lot of things are uncertain for everyone involved, so being flexible with venues, suppliers and guests can help you to create the perfect wedding, whatever the current situation throws at you.
Many venues and suppliers will be dealing with lots of postponements and reschedules of couples who have had to rearrange their plans. To get the venue you want, keep yourself open to different dates. Some venues might be waiting to reschedule their existing bookings before taking any new ones so you might need to wait for them to deal with their existing clients before booking you in. If it’s looking unlikely you’ll get your dream venue have a look at other places, use your imagination and think outside the box – remember it’s amazing what a difference to atmosphere and aesthetic lighting and decoration can make.
Do what you can
If you’re not confident about setting a date just yet, start planning the things that aren’t reliant on venue or guests. Things like your dress, table plans, table settings, aesthetics, themes, playlists and even the style of invitation and the sort of catering you’d like can all be done well in advance of a date being set. Being prepared means you can spring to action as soon as things are more firm.
Marry Now, Celebrate Later
Eloping can be fun, extravagant and extra special, and many couples are choosing to elope during these times of COVID-19 instead of waiting for their dream venue to have availability. Postponing just the celebration means you can be more flexible with your planning, as there are fewer people and suppliers to work around like registrars, celebrants and ceremony venues etc. Marrying sooner and celebrating later can take the sting out of postponement, as at least you know that you’re still going to be married, it’s just the party with family and friends that can be put off for a future date.
Check COVID-19 prevention measures with your venue and suppliers
To keep everyone safe, make sure your venue has thought about social distancing, one way systems, sanitation and PPE requirements. Make sure you keep your family and loved ones safe by checking that your guests are happy to attend and are aware of the rules regarding gatherings, and ensure that vulnerable and older guests are given the option to attend via live streaming or video call.
Consider an outdoor wedding
Government guidance suggests that outdoor gatherings are safer for preventing the spread of COVID-19. For spring or summer weddings, working with your venue to plan an outdoor event will help to keep you and your guests safe.
Alongside the usual questions you might ask your venue and suppliers, make sure you enquire about whether they have a COVID-19 policy. Things like whether they charge a fee for postponement or rescheduling should the situation require it and whether they’re happy to take a booking in the knowledge that the date may change are important to know before booking. Top tip – get their policy in writing, and get it written into your contract with them.
Prepare family and guests
For many, nothing less than being surrounded by family and friends at a large wedding reception will do, and that’s totally understandable. However, for some, the style and size of celebration can be flexible so long as you can tie the knot sooner rather than later. While guidance is up in the air and you might not feel confident that your wedding can go ahead as planned, it’s a good idea to let your guests and family know that you potentially want to go ahead with a smaller wedding and that might mean many won’t be able to attend. Letting people know in advance and clearly explaining your reasons gives your loved ones the chance to curb their disappointment, understand your wishes and support you in your choices.
Can you postpone?
While it means a bit more waiting, it can also alleviate a lot of worry. While we can never know what the future holds, postponing could mean you can still have the wedding you dreamed of. Many couples have found that they’re more relaxed after pushing their dates back to 2021 or even 2022, when we might have a more solid grip on controlling COVID-19. If you do postpone, make sure you let everyone know including your venue, suppliers and guests. It’s a good idea to let your guests know as soon as possible and give them the chance to RSVP again in case their availability changes with the new date and remind them to rearrange accommodation and childcare, too.
Regardless of whether your wedding has been postponed or if you’re researching and planning for a future wedding. A stunning invitation and stationery suite adds that special finishing touch to your big day. At 315 Press I create wedding stationery using quality cardstock, textures and foil letterpress. Take a look at my product range to find your perfect style and feel free to get in touch – I would love to talk about how I can help!