If Your Wedding Is Planned in the U.S. After July : Written by Jenn Sinrich and Anna Price Olson of Brides.com
"Right now is this weird time where wedding plans are either moving lightning fast or we’re all incapable of making any decisions whatsoever," Laesser-Keck admits. "The best thing you can do is create a roadmap of options so that once more info comes in, you can make quick and informed decisions."
Whether your wedding is affected by COVID-19 is really up in the air right now, depending on when and where it's planned. That said, it's important to stay informed and make educated decisions as more (reliable) news becomes available. "It's a waiting game right now," says Laesser-Keck. “Things are changing day by day and week by week. Don’t do anything drastic before you have a chance to be properly informed.” Right now, our experts are recommending the below.
Weddings Planned for August:
"We recommend that the postponement of August weddings be determined no later than the end of April because of the timing of invitations," says Laesser-Keck. "We would honestly consider calling it earlier, but we think there’s a lot of crucial information coming in these next two weeks, and we want to understand the full picture before making any serious decisions."
Weddings Planned for September and Beyond:
"For weddings in fall, we all have a little more time, but keep in mind that it all depends on whether or not guests are traveling for your wedding, as well as your venue’s availability to accommodate a postponement," explains Laesser-Keck.
How to (Cautiously) Prepare Ahead of Time
In order to make a decision when the time comes, go ahead and have a serious discussion with your team to decide the best plan of action moving forward. It doesn't hurt to know what your options may be if the current regulations are extended to include your wedding date—so speak to your planner, if you have one, and if not, call your venue to see what your options might be.
Talk to Your Venue:
"If you’ve booked a popular wedding venue that does 52 weddings a year, you might not be able to get in any sooner than a year out if you wait too long to decide—unless of course, you choose another day of the week," says Laesser-Keck. "With that said, some venues won’t even discuss postponement with you too far in advance because they have to allow spring 2020 weddings to postpone first." Moral of the story? Talk to your venue and be transparent about what your concerns are so that you have a support system and can be ready to make the leap when the time is right.
Speak With Your Vendors:
“Sometimes it’s best to get it out of your system and think of the worst scenarios so you can prepare and come up with a game plan,” says Daniela VillaRamos, officiant and owner of Once Upon a Vow in Brooklyn, New York. “Ask vendors about solutions should you need to postpone your event if you and/or your partner get diagnosed with COVID-19.” If you’ve already signed contracts with wedding vendors (we hope you did!), it’s smart to go ahead and have a sit-down discussion with your wedding vendors, such as your photographer. “Sit down and revisit their contract to what might happen if they need to cancel or postpone their wedding,” advises Michael T Davis, a wedding photographer in Central Pennsylvania. "You should have a transparent and honest conversation about your anxieties with all of the vendors on the topic of sanitization and what vendors are doing to keep themselves and their wedding party/guests safe."
Keep Everyone in the Loop:
To avoid having to constantly field questions from family members and wedding guests, Marlie R. Vodofsky, owner of Marlie Renee Designs, in Jersey City, New Jersey, suggests proactively adding a blurb to your wedding website acknowledging the coronavirus, and letting guests know you will keep them in the loop should any plans change. “You can also go as far as adding a link to the CDC website in the ‘travel and accommodations’ section of your wedding website so guests can quickly access up-to-date and accurate information as well,” she adds.
Be Considerate of Your Guests:
To that point, Laesser-Keck emphasizes how important it is to account for your guests' health, time, and finances at this time."Really be considerate of your guests, and try to give yourself a deadline to make a decision that allows for their comfort and peace of mind," she advises. "Just as on the day of the wedding, you want them to feel taken care of, so giving them extra time to make adjustments or cancellations to their travel will be greatly appreciated."