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Wedding Planning and COVID_19

There have been lots and lots of conversations going on between myself and other wedding industry members over the last few days and after the announcement last night more questions and possible scenarios have been pouring in.

What I thought might be helpful would be to put a blog together will all the information and advice I have so that if you wanted to have a read through you have this available.

First thing I’d like to say is you have to do what is right for you. Irrelevant of the advice you hear, you have to be comfortable with the decisions you make.

There are a few possibilities to consider:

· Keep your day as it is

· Splitting your day in two

· Postponing to later in the year

· Postponing to next year

Whatever you decide to do, surround yourself with a trusted team of wedding suppliers, people who have your best interest at heart. I have always said when it comes to choosing your photographer (and other suppliers) it is so important that you trust them and are able to have an honest and open relationship with them. This has never been so important!

Keep your day as it is

If your wedding date is July onwards there is the possibility all will be fine. You can consider keeping your wedding plans as they are but do consider your mental health and if the stress of keeping the date is too much to cope with do consider postponing or splitting your day in two.

Create a WhatsApp or Facebook group, get chatting with your friends and family, those who are guests and get their take on the situation, but again do what feels right for you.

You can also talk to the wedding suppliers that you have booked, get their opinions especially from your venue.

Splitting your day in two

Have you considered splitting your wedding across two days? Holding a small yet meaningful ceremony with your parents or closest family members and holding your reception at another date, later in the year with all your original guests to celebrate your wedding the way we all imagine.

One of my May weddings has decided to do this and said that they felt great after taking control of what they could.

This option has the possibility to relieve stress about guests and your safety by minimising the number of people gathered together and means your anniversary will be on your original date.

It’s all about your peace of mind, you have to do what feels right for you and keeps the magic of wedding planning.

Postponing to later in the year

If you do decide to definitely postpone, try not to be too disheartened, embrace the new situation, take a deep breath in the feeling of taking back all the control.

Your wedding may look different now, it will be in a different season so spend a little time looking at and researching weddings from that season, most likely Autumn.

I will do everything in my power to help you as will other suppliers – we are all small businesses and we share a real love of weddings; we want to accommodate you as much as possible.

Firstly, send an email to all your vendors, your venue will probably be the one to give you a selection of new dates. Have a look at weekdays and off-peak days (and seasons) these will be easier dates for all suppliers to swap to.

Read through any of your contracts and see if there are there any cut off points. When is the latest day that your florist and cake maker needs to know of any date changes by.

Do they have a postponement or cancellation policy?

Don’t be afraid to ask if your suppliers have a contingency plan in place. The wedding industry tends to be quite a close knit community, I have a team of photographers I can call on if the worst happens for any reason (not just COVID_19) You can ask if they have a network of people they can rely on in case the worst happens?

If there are any suppliers who can’t make the new date, look through your cancellation policy, and ask them if they know anyone they can recommend.

Know that you are not alone in this.

Lots of people are offering free downloads as save the dates or change of plans e-cards to help couples with these adjustments, I would be happy to send you links to them if you need it.

Also consider a wedding website if you don’t have one already. They’re a great way to easily send updates to everyone in one go. No long email chains.

Postponing to next year

This may feel like a difficult choice to make and a difficult conversation to have with your guests, but everyone is in the same boat and I have no doubt they will be so understanding that this situation has forced your hand.

Again, take a look at wedding stationers offering free downloadable change of date e-cards or look at a wedding website, WhatsApp or Facebook group to make the announcement. Also consider a phone call, we are all in isolation after all and I’m sure some people would appreciate a little conversation with you. Especially those who were over the moon for your wedding announcement.

We all want to see you both married and I’m sure there’ll be a few tears about the postponement.

Try to remember that this is just a small blip on your forever.

Regardless, to the decision you make you should definitely celebrate on your original wedding date. It’s totally normal to grieve your original date so try to find small and meaningful ways to celebrate each other.

· Breakfast in bed,

· Reminisce over albums,

· Talk about places you’ve visited together,

· Get dressed up and have dinner together,

· Incorporate your wedding day, talk to your caterer or cake maker about sending some samples or tastes of food that you would have had on your wedding day!

I hope you’ve found this email helpful in some way. Just trying to shed a little light where I can. However far along you are with your wedding planning, please choose suppliers that champion your interest and give you guidance where they can.

Think of this as bonus time, what do you have the opportunity to do now? Read a book you’ve been meaning to read, listen to a podcast you’ve wanted to listen to or even just switch your phone off for a few hours.

Don’t neglect self-care – look after your loved ones and know that it is okay if you don’t feel strong all the time, we are all in this together and I am here to help you however I can.

For now, stay home, stay safe and let's get back to celebrating life soon!