Bride and Groom Holding Hands black and white

Navigating Wedding Planning Amidst COVID-19 Upheaval

March 19, 2020

As news breaks we are reminded minute-to-minute of the impact we can expect Coronavirus to have on our daily lives. Certainly this mindset applies to important events, despite the investment of time and money that went into planning them. We at Premier Bride are sympathetic to the uncertainty of your wedding that falls within the next two, possibly three calendar months. If you plan to, it’s hard to know the appropriate steps to postpone a milestone event with so many moving parts, particularly in an unprecedented climate of social distancing and self-quarantine.

Fortunately although these societal challenges are unfamiliar to us, yours is not the first wedding undergoing unforeseen complications requiring rescheduling. Some suggestions follow to guide you where we can, given what we know so far, with the experience we have compiled.

Get ahead of it.

Now is the time to communicate, communicate, communicate. If your wedding is currently scheduled between now and May, it is imperative to be in contact with your vendors, ideally in writing to keep track of correspondence. Be aware however stressful these times are on you and likely your vendors, you are all on the same side and want to see your vision come to life. Likely you will find a gracious understanding from them, and consider they could be experiencing staffing and personal health concerns that make executing your wedding to your satisfaction a difficulty.

The only thing you can do wrong here is wait until the last minute to discuss it, under the hope this whole situation will resolve itself within the next couple of weeks. We really have no idea how long this will impact our day-to-day plans, or how personally COVID-19 will affect us or our loved ones. Be sensitive to the volume of calls and emails your vendors are experiencing, the fears associated with delayed business and personnel who count on it, and know they are eager to serve you, whenever it is safe to do so.

This might be an open-ended conversation, with key decisions unmade, but at the very least your vendors will know you are on-board to wed with their help, and your partnership is secure.

Don’t forget your guests.

Equally preoccupied with headlines and life adjustments are your guests, whose own calendars feel like one big question mark right about now. As with your vendors, delivering a compassionate message that communicates your concern for their wellness will be key, and frankly this might come as quite a relief to them. Your guests love you and want to be a part of your most important day yet, but could be wracked with nerves by violating the Stay Home directive we are all being urged to abide by.

Personal phone calls to your friends and family would be ideal, however with lengthy guest lists this might be difficult to pull off in a timely manner that is courteous to them. Email blasts, social media notifications, even quickly re-printed Save the Dates for a TBD date down the road would go a long way to getting the message across.

Particularly if your originally scheduled wedding is fast approaching, your guests may have to cancel plans for accommodations and travel reservations. Be patient and sensitive, and again, remember they are undergoing your same pressures and disappointments. Assist them where you can, and be in contact with any hotels through which you have arranged blocks of rooms. Obtaining their cooperation in advance to reschedule without penalty will be of great help to your guests. Provide links to airlines’ policies for rescheduling or refunding flights, with tips on how to recoup any costs. Fortunately the travel industry has been more flexible than we have generally known them to be, given the seriousness and urgency of disease prevention.

Be hopeful and keep going.

This is not, we repeat, NOT the end of your wedding dream. We recognize the amount of planning and excitement that has ground to a temporary halt, and the tears and frustration with so much that is out of your control. These are very real and justified feelings, and we assure you your day awaits you. The beauty of Forever it there is no defined beginning, in fact your Forever began even before the day you became engaged. You have chosen one another, the one person on earth with whom you want to pop every champagne cork, and with whom you will weather every storm. And this is one heck of a storm we have here. Thank goodness you have someone to love and love you throughout. What a wedding story this will be one day.

We have to remember the bigger picture here, that there are layers of struggles of which to be considerate. In addition to adjusting major plans such as a wedding, many among us fear for our circle of loved ones who are vulnerable to such an illness, as well as the financial prosperity of our friends, family, and area employers at large. In essence, your vendors are small business owners, run and staffed by neighbors within your community. Stick with them, promote them to other prospective couples, and consider ordering take-out from them while their dining rooms are shuttered. This is a great time to check in on the elders who are wisely avoiding physical interactions. Stay connected with friends who are carrying unexpected burdens. And if you are able, support the shopkeepers, artisans, dining establishments and entertainers in any way you can, in a time they are without a doubt suffering major hits to their dream: the businesses they are passionate about.

Most importantly, more so than any wedding tip we could provide, is to act responsibly, listen to CDC and WHO guidelines to protect yourself, your spouse-to-be, your friends and family, and strangers who are counting on us to. Best practices are award winning hand-washing (sing “Here Comes the Bride” twice through and you’re done!), keeping a courteous distance from individuals outside our households (6-10 feet), and staying away from public spaces as much as possible.

The health of our brides, grooms, PB team and vendor partners is our highest priority, as we hope it is for you. The unknowns ahead can be frightening, but if history is any indicator, we always persevere. By calmly rerouting wherever possible, keeping an attitude of calm optimism, and helping others where there is need, this experience will serve to remind us what a community we have here, so long as we stick together. (Not too close, however.)

Sunny days are coming. Take ❤️ heart.
~Your Premier Bride Family

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