Weddings have been banned in the new Coronavirus lockdown.
Last night Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on the British public to help fight the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak by banning all social events including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have be stopped. This along with a whole host of restrictions have been put into place in hope to ‘flatten the curve’, which is a term we are becoming accustomed too.
Boris stated that this shall be reviewed again in 3 weeks times and all measures are in constant review. The Government shall reassess the situation, based on the evidence presented to them, and if they can, they will consider relaxing certain measures when it is safe to do so.
But what does that mean for your wedding?
How do you plan your wedding during the Coronavirus Pandemic? Well if you were planning to get married within the next 3 weeks then it now cannot go ahead. It is also likely that if you are due to get married in the next 2-3 months there is a strong possibility that your day will need to be postponed.
Of course, I do not have a crystal ball, I wish I did! but the truth is we are currently being held by this virus. The quicker that the general public adhere to Govenment guidelines and ‘do their bit’ to keep each other as safe as possible, the quicker we can get back to normality.
No one could have predicted this 6 months ago let alone a year or more ago, which is the length of time many couples take to plan a wedding. I know it’s heartbreaking, the day that you planned for, dreamed of is not going ahead on the day you thought BUT please remember it will happen when everything has calmed down. When it is safer for you to do so without the worry that some of your loved ones can’t attend or that your wedding would be where Covid-19 is partying the hardest and leaving with lots of your guests like an unwanted gift.
So what now?
If you were getting married in the next 3 weeks now is the time, if you haven’t already, to get in touch with your venue and all your suppliers. If you have wedding insurance in place, give them a call beforehand to see where you stand with regards to postponing your wedding and what costs are covered. I would recommend postponing and rescheduling your wedding rather than cancelling, to avoid losing deposits. You are still getting married, the wedding isn’t off! it will be on a different day than originally planned.
If you are due to get married in the next 3 months it will be likely that you will need to make a decision what is best for you, your family & friends. Again, if you have insurance, contact them to see what the position is. Of course, if Boris extends the ban to a period longer than 3 weeks, then the decision may be taken out of your hands.
I know many couples, especially those who are getting married much later in the year are closely watching how this will unfold. Truth is none of us know. All we can do is make the best choices for us in light of the information we have before us, nothing more, nothing less.
Where do I start?
I would recommend keeping in contact and having an open dialogue with your suppliers. Speak with your venue and see what the position is. If you are looking to postpone then ask them if that is possible and if so how would that work. Bear in mind, if you have wedding insurance in place, this will need to be consulted to see if and how you may be covered.
It would be helpful to create a wedding timeline. It will help you to take control and see when you reasonable need to make a decision by. Some suppliers will have lots pf prep work to do before your big day, things may need to be ordered, site visits made and things planned.
Once you have details of suitable alternative dates then approach the rest of your suppliers to see what their availability is. If you have hired a Wedding Planner then they will be able to help you navigate this for you. If not, then you will have to contact your suppliers to see if you can find a date that works for you all. It may be an idea to consider a weekday wedding as there is likely to be more flexibility here.
I can fully understand this will be a stressful time for you and there will be lots of people and companies you will need to contact so make a list and work your way through.
Don’t forget to make a note of any dates intergal people in your wedding party cant make, any large sporting events or public holidays you may want to avoid.
I know lots of suppliers in the industry and they really are trying their very best to accommodate postponements the best they can. We are in unprecedented times and there will be many couples doing this at the same time, trying to secure the dates they want. Also bear in mind that every supplier will have their own terms for postponement and some may have additional costs that may be incurred.
Don’t forget to inform your guests, they will understand, no long explanation will be needed as we are all facing this together in various forms. A phone call would be a good way forward to ensure that everyone gets the message and also to alleviate any anxiety they may have over attending. You can then follow this up with something a little more formal, if you wish.
If you are due to get married abroad then you will need to check with your suppliers in that country as well as your airline and the Foreign Office both here and your Destination country on their rules of travel. Contact your insurers to see what the position is if you are unable to travel due to the pandemic. It is unlikely that your wedding Insurance will cover your flights so you should check your travel insurance as well.
What about my deposits?
It is unlikely that deposits will be refunded, especially where many suppliers would have already started working on your wedding, planning what is needed as maybe even purchasing things need. By rescheduling you are more likely to transfer your deposits to a new date, ideally in the same year. Some suppliers may have additional costs when transferring to dates in 2021 or beyond as they are moving your wedding to a date that would have been taken by another couple and therefore 1 booking has in effect taken 2 dates. Its a difficult situation all round but one that can be navigated with a open conversation with your suppliers. Again, if you have wedding insurance, discuss this with them as they may well cover any additional costs that may arise.
What if my suppliers are not available for our new date?
We are in the industry of bringing your dreams alive and doing the very best to make sure everything runs smoothly. Industry professionals will rally around to help and if your supplier cannot make it them they will be able to recommend alternatives for you to speak with. We are a community and will do our best to help you.
For my couples having faux flowers has proved to be stress free. I have had so many emails and messages thanking me for being an aspect of their wedding they they have not had to worry about.
My flowers keep, they wont wilt or die and will look just as ‘fresh’ on the day, whether the couple have had them for 6 weeks or 6 months before their wedding. This means my couples do not have to worry about rearranging when the flowers should arrive.
If I am setting up on your wedding day then we will need to have a conversation about availability. There is more flexibility as all table flowers are hired and can be delivered earlier if need be.
First thing First ….
Look after yourself, your loved ones and your well being. The most important thing is your health and that of your guests. Then doing what you can to reduce any losses or risks involved.
So stay safe, do what you need to do to reduce your wedding stress and look after your mindset. This is the most important thing so whatever you need to do to look after your well being and others.
We are all in this together as human beings and making sure this virus doesn’t get our of control is paramount. We shall all be watching what is happening very closely and are all hoping that we are back to normality as soon as possible.
So stay home if you can, embrace the lockdown and remember that we have a community online that you can reach out to whenever you need.
Lastly a big shout out to all you key workers who are keeping our country running. I have many couples who fall into this category. So from me to you, thank you for what you are doing for us. You are the super heroes without capes and we are forever grateful.
As always, if you need me, even if it’s just to lend an ear then you are most welcome to contact me. You are also welcome to join my private Facebook group ‘Real Flower Rebels Collective’ where we discuss all topics and lean on each other for support.
Photo Couple – Sophie Oldhamstead Photography
Venue – Baddow Park House