April 3, 2020
The last time we wrote about Covid-19 we were only a few days in. We were starting to hear about social distancing but it was just a vague concept, and we still believed, with all the optimism of born romantics, that we could weather this storm. That with a little care, and hand sanitizer, the show would go on! Well shit, Covid-19 had other ideas! Since then we have rescheduled all our weddings through May and are actively talking to our summer couples about a Plan B.
When will this end? If we knew the answer to that we’d be in more demand than toilet paper! As planners, it is so hard not to have all the answers. We want to be able to tell our couples what they should do, but we can’t. All we can offer is our advice, based on an unhealthy amount of research and media consumption, so here goes!
- Don’t panic! We’ve read a few blog posts suggesting it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars to reschedule your wedding but this has not been our experience. We have rescheduled 7 weddings now, and all the vendors we work with, big and small, have been incredibly supportive and compassionate, even as they navigate the extreme stress that this is putting on their businesses and families. Most vendors are transferring retainers to future dates and not imposing rescheduling fees. There are exceptions, but the key message here is, don’t panic, just talk to your vendors. Find out their policies and how they can support you. We all want to find a solution that works for you and us, and we definitely don’t want you to lose thousands of dollars because of a tragedy that is completely outside of your control. We got into this industry because we love love, we love weddings and we love our couples; we genuinely want you to have the most amazing day. We are not here to dissuade you from postponing or push you to go ahead with a smaller guest count unless that’s absolutely the right thing for you. Right now, and possibly for the foreseeable future, postponing is the safe and responsible thing to do, and it’s our feeling that our responsibility to society as a whole supersedes our responsibility to the wedding industry.
- Ask yourself what is really important to you. For some people that’s getting married to their partner and they simply don’t want to wait. For others, it’s about having family and friends there to witness it. If you’ve dreamed of a parent fixing your dress and walking you down the aisle, or couldn’t imagine the day without your childhood friend there to calm your nerves, you don’t have to. For some people pushing ahead with their wedding date regardless of who can or can’t make it, or even eloping, is the right answer (providing it’s safe to do so and restrictions have been lifted). For others, postponing to a date that you know (as much as we know anything right now!) that everyone can make, is the better decision.
- Be realistic. It’s damn hard to get to the facts when every day our illustrious (insert eye roll) leader has a new story to tell. Will this be over by the end of April? May? June? Will we see a resurgence in the fall? The answer to all of these is ‘possibly’ which doesn’t help much, does it?! However, if we look at what has happened, and is happening, in other countries I personally believe that it’s unlikely we will return to ‘normal’ in the next couple of months. Even when mandates on social distancing and restrictions on gatherings are lifted in WA it is likely that there will still be restrictions in some States, and countries around the world, which may affect some of your guests. Whether or not that affects your decision comes down to your personal circumstances and point 2..
- Take your time. We bet you’ve got guests asking you left and right what you’re going to do, but it’s ok to say you’re not sure yet! We’re all just figuring out this mess as we go. If you have a website then add an update saying you’re taking some time to consider your options and will let everyone know in time. Talk to all your vendors, come up with a Plan B, and agree a date that you’ll make a decision by. Then, try to give yourself some breathing space. Obviously this is personal opinion but we believe that postponing May weddings is the right call right now. The Stay at Home order in WA has just been updated to May 4th so if your wedding is towards the end of the month, and all your guests are local, you might be ok, and you could hang on a little longer and see how this plays out if you have the stomach for that! But honestly, looking at what governments are saying in other countries (I’m British so keeping a close eye on what’s happening there) I think that will be extended. We are encouraging our summer couples to wait until May to make a call, but we also know that some people can’t stand the uncertainty and would rather make a decision earlier, and we support that too. Your health, physical and mental, are the most important things here.
So, in summary, if you’re due to get married between now and the end of May we suggest postponing; speak with all your vendors asap if you haven’t already. If you’re getting married in June or later, talk to your vendors and have a Plan B, agree a date by which you’ll make a decision and try not to torture yourself between now and then.
Once you’ve made the decision, send an announcement to guests. Many stationery designers are offering options for this if you want to send something printed, or there are tons of email options you can use (look out for a future blog post with our round up of our favorites!). Then give yourself a bit of a breather. Allow yourself the space to grieve. It sucks and you have every right to feel really sad and angry about it. Plan something special for your ‘wedding date’ even if that’s a frozen pizza and glass (or bottle!) of champagne while wearing your wedding shoes! Granted, celebratory options are limited right now, but as long as you’re together you have everything you need. You’ll get through this. We’ll get through this. And when you’re ready to stop being sad and angry (however long that takes!) you can start planning again, and if you need help, we got you! You can’t cancel love baby, and when this virus shizzle is done, we’re all gonna be ready for the party of the f***ing year!