Coronavirus and Your Wedding: Postpone, Cancel or Go Ahead?
Wedding

Coronavirus and Your Wedding: Should You Postpone, Cancel or Go Ahead With Your Wedding?

Planning a wedding is stressful enough. Throw in the threat of Corona Virus and your wedding stress could, be off the chart. Here are some simple steps to keep stress in check.

Stay Well Informed 

At this stage the best thing you can do is stay well informed. Preparation is the key;  with the situation changing daily, being well informed and prepared will help you make the right decisions when and if that time arrives. My advice is not to do anything drastic until you are properly informed. Friends on social media may mean well but heed only the advice of those 'in the know'.

Accept What is Happening 

Acceptance of what is going on around you is of the utmost importance.  What is happening is beyond your control! No-one could have predicted this situation. So take a deep breath, pause to reflect on where you are and approach the situation it in a calm manner. It's the only way forward.

plan b
Start Working on Plan 'B' 

You have been working on Plan 'A' for so long now; but, if that is no longer an option then you must start working on your Plan 'B'. 

Wedding Venue: If you are considering rescheduling your wedding, your wedding venue must be the first port of call.  Check their bookings for the future, and what their cancellation policy/rescheduling policy is. Once you have some new dates to work on you can talk to your other vendors.

Other Vendors: Every vendor will be keen to know what is happening especially florists who may have to order flowers in advance for your bouquets etc. Trying to rebook/reschedule your vendors while co-ordinating a date with your venue may be a challenge because many will already be in the same position and dates will be taken quickly.  It is important that you do this efficiently.  As a Celebrant, I have been able to reschedule a few weddings, but, sadly, some I cannot. Where it was not possible, I have helped couples find a replacement, with similar style, values, and presentation skills as myself.

If you have the luxury of having a Wedding Co-ordinator let him/her help you in the rescheduling as this will take a lot of the pressure off you and your partner. 

Know What You are Willing To Sacrifice

When you are considering the decision to postpone or cancel your wedding, you must consider the things you are prepared to sacrifice or compromise on.  For example; what if  your parents are travelling from overseas and they can now no longer travel?

This is a biggy!

If the thought of having your wedding without them is out of the question, then you know the decision has to be to reschedule.  

Make a list of things you would be willing to let go, what you are willing to compromise on and things that are absolutely non-negotiable.  This will help you in the ultimate decision.

Will I be Out of Pocket?

This is a hard question to answer.  Each vendor will have their own cancellation policy.   There may well be vendors who have already prepared for the wedding already:

  • Celebrants would have lodged legal paperwork and written ceremonies;
  •  Florists may have ordered flowers for table arrangements, and floral bouquets
  • Wedding Planners will have spent many hours planning the event;
  • Venues may already have ordered the food required for the day

And the list goes on……

Each vendor will have to take the work they have done already into consideration.

However, I have no doubt most vendors would be more than happy to work with you to make sure that they could come to a fair solution.  The sad fact is, everyone concerned: the couples and the vendors, will all be taking a hit financially.  It is an unfortunate fact that anyone in the wedding industry at the moment is feeling the pain of this pandemic. 

options

What are my Options if I Want my Wedding to go Ahead?

Firstly, you must check with your venue if they will allow you to go ahead under the circumstances.  At the time of writing, indoor events are permitted to continue if the guest list is under 100 people.

You may not want to go ahead with the wedding even though you can comply with the regulations, but are feeling that you may not want to put your guests at risk of the virus which thrives in crowds.  That is a decision you and your partner have to come to terms with.

If your wedding guest list is over 100,  you will not be permitted to hold the event indoors under the current conditions. If you do want it to go ahead, perhaps consider cutting your guest list to comply with the guidelines.  

Here are other suggestions.  

  1. Ask your friends not to bring a “Plus one” to reduce numbers
  2. Limit your guest list to family only
  3. Have a small intimate wedding ceremony and have your ceremony live streamed so that your guests can see it all on the web.  There are companies who do live streaming for a small fee and it is well worth the expense.  Your friends and family can still feel part of your special day, especially overseas guests.  
  4. Consider having the wedding with a reduced guest list in your own backyard (weather permitting, of course)
  5. Have a wedding ceremony with your close family and friends but have the celebration lunch/dinner at a later date when the Coronavirus has been brought under control.

In the event of your celebration taking place then you and your vendors, must follow the health guidelines of the day e.g. provide plenty soap, hand sanitisers, have social distancing, no kissing/hugging/shaking of hands.

You can check out the Government’s up to date Guidelines on the Australian Government Health Department’s website.  

If you find yourself in the middle of this situation take heart from the fact that most vendors will have a “Let’s make this work for you” attitude.  All we want, as vendors, is to make sure that you get your fairytale just as you wanted, but perhaps just a little further down the track, or altered in a way to help you make it happen.  

Whatever happens though, consider this, you will still have each other and you will “Tie the Knot” at some stage.   When stress is causing you pain imagine yourselves in 10 years looking back at what is happening now.  In the scheme of things it may just be a story to tell your grandchildren!

In the meantime, keep yourselves safe and try to keep positive!  Prepare yourself for when you will be surrounded by your family and friends and celebrating your love in style.  Look after your well-being and make your health a priority.  

I wish you all the very best!

Joyce Mathers

I'm an entertaining and engaging Civil Celebrant with a simple philosophy: Deliver a magical, meaningful, memorable experience for my clients and their guests. Always!

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