Apr 17, 2020
Officially one month into the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and I’ve never looked forward more to wedding season (and life in general) picking back up again. In light of the seemingly perpetual stand-still, I decided to put my finger on the wedding industry pulse once again to help bring you the most current tips and suggestions in the midst of wedding planning- whether your wedding is a stone’s throw away or you just got engaged.
For this specific post, I’ll be focusing on couples who’s weddings are within the next few weeks to the next few months. (Stay tuned next week for tips for recently engaged couples or those who only recently started the wedding planning process!)
I reached out to four wedding planners located in the tri-state area to compile a list of wedding planning tips for you now in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic- Angela Christoforo from Elite Wedding Planning, Corinne Van Arsdale from Canvas Weddings, Emily Baldwin from Emily Baldwin Events, and Kristi Fiola from Verve On Location.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you’ve got your back-up plan ready to go, so “it doesn’t mean you have to recreate your vendor team or re-print paper items” according to Angela from Elite Wedding Planning. She suggests putting a soft hold on an alternate date with the venue and all vendors so you can act quickly if and when it’s time to make the postponement official.
Corinne from Canvas Weddings also uses the “60 Day Rule” where she encourages her couples to make a call to continue or postpone by 60 days from the wedding date. “I recommend this because a) on this timeline they’re likely making this call before many of their final balances are due to their vendors, b) it gives their guests a good amount of notice to change their plans if need be and c) you can give yourself an out from scrambling to make a call with very little time to go,” she says.
This one’s a biggie, especially if it’s important to you to keep your vendor team intact. “Gauge where all your vendors are at with being able to provide their services on your wedding day,” Emily from Emily Baldwin Events suggests. “We know it’s also very stressful for our clients so we want to be here to support them in this time when everything is out of our control.”
“Ask your venue and vendors how they are handling the situation before coming to any decisions on your own,” Corinne from Canvas Weddings recommends. “Remember that just like you, your vendors are going through a tough time trying to change around their carefully planned schedules and services and are likely standing to lose a lot in this situation. Try to keep the lines of communication open and lead with empathy for each other – you’ll likely get that empathy in return.”
Kristi from Verve On Location had another great tip! “Re-confirm details with your vendors once the new date is confirmed. Go back through everything and make sure your timing can stay the same (were you planning on sunset photos but now the sunset will happen at a different time? Make sure you adjust the timeline as needed).”
And if you’ve had to change the month and season of your wedding and have to do some bigger overhauls- like changing the plan from an outdoor ceremony to indoors- consider hiring a day-of coordinator to keep things as stress-free as possible!
BONUS COMMUNICATION POINT regarding wedding guests:
Corinne from Canvas Weddings suggests, “Keep an open line of communication with your family, friends and guests, and don’t take it personally if they are not able to make it to your wedding. This is a tough time for everyone, and do your best to lead with empathy, and look for inventive ways to include people who cannot be there, whether it’s a live stream of the ceremony, or sending them a video of the toasts that mentioned them by name.”
Most of you have already gotten past the initial shock of having your wedding plans (possibly) upended. The “new normal” has sort of set in, but that doesn’t mean negative feelings don’t still creep in. While I’m a HUGE PROPONENT of accepting and feeling all of your emotions (good and bad), these wedding vendors had some great silver linings too!
“Pick your person,” Kristi from Verve On Location recommends. “Pick the person that you can go to when you need vent, show them great photos of the centerpieces you’ve picked or just need to have that wine & Zoom meeting with. Have that one person you know you can count on to bring positivity to your day and just chat with.” (Can I get an amen for this?)
Angela from Elite Wedding Planning has another great suggestion. “If your wedding was supposed to be in the next month and it’s not happening, I would suggest coming up with creative ways you can still celebrate on that date to keep the positive vibes flowing,” she says. “Maybe it’s a date night where you cook dinner for your fiancé at home and play board games, or you schedule a zoom party with your bridal party to celebrate virtually. Maybe send out the wedding party gifts in the mail you were going to give them on the wedding day and do a virtual girls night with facials, wine, and gift opening.”
And to go a bit deeper: “One thing I really hope changes in the wedding ‘mindset’ is what our focus is when we make weddings,” Corinne from Canvas Weddings says. “Weddings are SO fun to plan – they’re beautiful, we feel special and celebrated and it’s an amazing rite of passage. But I really hope that when it’s all said and done, our culture starts to value weddings as primarily investments in the future – the creation of families, the support of communities and a celebration of the fact that we as people are at our best when we are committing ourselves to love each other and support each other. The rest of the details of planning a wedding are wonderful and fun, but the heart of a wedding is that we are promising to continue the best parts of humanity into the future – love, commitment and support.”
I hope you found this blog post helpful or, at the very least, encouraging! All of us in the wedding industry (especially ME as your photographer [or soon to be, anyway, amirite]) are here to support you in ANY WAY WE CAN.
If you’ve got follow-up questions, feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you’d like help with planning and coordination for your day, I’m sure any of the lovely wedding planners mentioned in this article would be more than happy to help. 🙂
In the meantime, stay tuned next week for the next blog post for those newly engaged!