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How to Navigate Your Wedding During Covid-19

With the impact that Covid-19 has had on the entire world, many special moments have been put on hold. It’s in times of crisis like this that we remember what’s truly important and that’s the health and safety of our friends and family.

It may feel like the virus is dictating our lives right now, but remember that you are in control of your wedding. If you have had to postpone, remember this:

  • You are now WAY ahead of schedule with your wedding planning timeline.
  • You can soak in the extra time of being engaged (one of the most romantic parts of the relationship)!
  • This decision will bring more relief than stress.

With all of that said, below are some ways to help you navigate the change.

Stay Up to Date

As of now, officially the CDC recommends canceling weddings for eight weeks, or until May 15, 2020. For couples who do not have a planner, it will be your responsibility to stay informed so you can make appropriate decisions. Remember to keep calm, encourage friends and family to do the same, follow reputable news sources, and stay up to date on the CDC guidelines and local government policies.

Consult Your Vendor Contracts

Each contract should have a “Force Majeure” or “Act of God” clause. What that clause covers, especially during an unforeseen pandemic like Covid-19, can differ based on the wording. If you have questions, ask a lawyer.

Consult Your Insurance

If you have event insurance, call your insurance company to understand what your policy covers. If you do decide to cancel the wedding or if a wedding vendor files for bankruptcy and has become insolvent due to the virus’ effect on their business, your insurance policy may cover lost deposits. At this time, most insurance companies have unfortunately suspended offering event cancellation policies, not surprisingly. If you don’t have event insurance, it is best to postpone your wedding to try avoiding any lost deposits and get an insurance policy for the new wedding date.

Postpone, Don’t Cancel

If the CDC and local government policies clash with your wedding date, you should decide whether you will cancel or postpone the wedding. There is a very big financial difference between postponing and canceling. By postponing your wedding and selecting a date within your vendors’ parameters (i.e. within a year of the original date or within the year 2020) and their availability, there should not be any fees to postpone your wedding date. Generally, if you cancel your wedding and if it is stated in your vendor contract that your deposit is nonrefundable, your vendors have the right to keep their nonrefundable deposit since they have lost your business.

Even if there is absolutely no way you can get married at a later date (i.e. your partner is being deployed, a loved one is in their final stages of life, you encounter sudden financial issues, etc.) and you would like to cancel the wedding (and possibly simply elope on the original date), you can always speak to your vendors about using their nonrefundable deposits as credit towards services in the future. Perhaps for an anniversary or birthday party.

If you can, postponing your wedding to a date that works for all of your vendors is the best outcome.

Limited Date Availability

There is a chance that the common available date between all of your vendors might land on a Friday, Sunday, or a holiday (I now have a wedding on Halloween of this year and we’re embracing it and making it work)! If that’s the case, remember that I have had experience planning both Friday and Sunday weddings and they are always just as populated and fun as Saturday weddings. Holiday weddings can also be fun! If by chance you have a smaller guest count than anticipated, remember that this means there will be less heads to pay for and that is always a good thing. If you are choosing between a Saturday during a very hot or cold month and a Friday or Sunday during a perfect month, always go with the perfect month.

Let Guests Know

As soon as you know whether you are canceling or postponing your wedding, simply email, text, or call your guests to let them know so they can manage their arrangements accordingly.

Postponement Announcement

Once you have finalized your new date, you should mail a formal announcement to your guests either through the mail with a card or digitally, whichever option is the most convenient for you and your situation. Mention that they are in your thoughts and you are looking forward to celebrating with them soon. If you have already mailed your invitations for your previous wedding date, there is no need to mail another set 8-10 weeks before the new date. Understandably, you’ve spent a good amount of money on the first set and a digital option is completely acceptable.

New Vendor Contracts

Ask your vendors for an addendum to your existing contract with the notice of the date change. Be sure to take note of new payment schedules.

Reorganize Based on New Date

If you have a planning calendar, be sure to reorganize it based on the new wedding date. Take note of new payment schedules for vendors and set reminders.

Be Gracious To Your Team

Postponing or canceling your wedding can be completely heartbreaking. Remember that your vendors are at a loss, too. Many are small businesses who have had their spring events canceled or postponed, likely leaving them with little to pay their employees, their healthcare, their bills, and to take care of their families. Being understanding and supportive is imperative at this time. The best way to say thank you is to help their business. Recommend vendors to friends and family or give them a great review online. If you have the ability to be generous, especially if your vendors have outdone themselves given the circumstance, it is an extremely kind gesture to do so.

  1. I really appreciated your wisdom and advice in the “How to Navigate Your Wedding During Covid-19” article. Nicely done and thank you!

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