In case you haven't heard, we have a little problem on our hands called COVID-19. As the world tries to navigate the spread of a disease that it has never dealt with before, it can be hard to know how to process things for yourself...especially if you happen to be planning a wedding. Let me first say that you WILL get through this. Whether you have already decided to postpone or you're reading this post to seek out your options, I know this is a tough time with lots of hard decisions to make. I'm writing this to give you some good resources and hopefully a new perspective on rescheduling the best day of your life!
Here are my 5 tips to consider if you have to postpone your wedding:
1. Contact your Vendors
This one is first on my list for a reason. PLEASE, do yourself a favor and talk openly with your vendors as soon as you can. You hired us for our expertise and creative abilities...and this is a situation that definitely calls for some creativity! Your vendors are here to help and give you ideas for how to navigate postponing your wedding day. Do your best to reschedule with your original vendors, and if they are not available, many keep "preferred vendor" lists and can refer you to someone else who will hold the same level of professionalism.
2. Consider an Elopement or Micro-Wedding
As of the publishing of this blog post, the current social distancing guidelines are as follows:
The current North Carolina executive order states that no gatherings of over 50 people may be held (read more HERE).
The US government recommends no gatherings of over 10 people (read more HERE).
I have found that most wedding venues in NC are adhering to the 10-person recommendation by offering elopements or "micro-weddings" in place of their normal larger events. This is a great compromise under the circumstances and some venues are even offering discounted rates for these ceremonies. If you are trying to avoid moving your entire wedding to a different date, this may be the solution you've been looking for.
Now hear me out. I had almost 300 people at my wedding, so I know the thought of this might leave you cringing if you had your heart set on a big wedding, too. There is more than one solution to this problem, so let's look at some ideas...
Micro-wedding now, big reception later -It's your wedding...who says you can't have two parties?! Pare down your guest list to a total of 10 people and look at the potential of keeping your original wedding date. Send out "Change the Dates" (more on those below) to the rest of your guests inviting them to a larger celebration later! If the outbreak didn't affect your honeymoon plans, this route will allow you to keep those, and you could potentially get to wear your dress twice, too!
Micro-wedding w/ live stream -Turns out, you can keep your wedding date and still include all of your guests! Designate one of your 10 in-person guests to live stream your ceremony through Facebook and everyone else can celebrate with you virtually! You can even create an event through Facebook so guests can RSVP and be notified when your live stream begins.
Elope now, big wedding later -At the end of the day, this is really about the two of you. If you're in a situation where family understands and you just don't want to wait any longer to marry the love of your life, consider an elopement AND a big wedding! It'll be just the two of you (and a photographer, I hope!), vowing to walk into forever together. You'll get to keep your honeymoon plans, keep your date, then reschedule with your vendors so you can have that big ceremony and reception later! Think of it as renewing your vows super early...you get the best of both worlds!
3. Save More $$$
Whether you opt for a small ceremony now and a big reception later or move your whole wedding to a later date, now is a great time to reevaluate your budget! Take some time to look over what you've spent so far and what you'll need to add/take away as a result of your changes. Use the extra time to save more money or reallocate it to something you really want (Think: More flowers, pre-ordering your wedding album, or a bigger honeymoon!)
If you don't have a good place to keep track of your wedding expenses, here's a great FREE budgeting app that can help you keep it all together. (Bonus: I use this one personally and it's great for after you're married, too!)
4. Send out "Change the Dates"
Once you have your plans in place, you're going to want to update your guests ASAP. You've heard of "Save the Dates", well let me introduce you to "Change the dates". Whether you choose to mail a physical card or notify your people electronically, the wedding industry has once again shown up for it's couples and given you lots of options that make it easy and pretty! Here are some resources from a few generous calligraphers/graphic designers that will leave your guests informed and impressed!
Lastly, remember to BREATHE! I know it's hard, but try to remember what this whole thing is really about. Take a date night with your fiancé to get your mind off of things. Refocus and remember that it's about the two of you and the marriage that you're going to build.
Also, you are NOT alone! So many other couples are dealing with the effects of this virus. Get in a few wedding Facebook groups. Ask questions and share ideas with other brides. You might be surprised at how well the community has pulled together during this difficult time.
We're all in this together, and if you don't remember anything else from this post, remember that it's going to get better. This will pass. One day you will look back on your wedding day with so many sweet memories and realize that you both are stronger for having weathered this storm.
If your photographer is unavailable for your new wedding date, or you'd just like to chat, reach out to me! I'd love to be a helping had through this time.