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First of all, if you were planning on having your 2020 wedding this year, my heart utterly breaks for you as I know exactly what you’re going through. It’s no secret that the negative effects of COVID-19 are endless. Not only is it affecting your job, your finances, your relationships, your mental health, your physical health etc. COVID-19 may derail your 2020 wedding plans too. Now you have to decide if you want to reschedule, cancel or think about eloping. It’s a lot to think about.
You probably want to scream into a pillow, lay on the floor sobbing, drink ALL the wine, eat an entire pint of your fave Ben and Jerry’s and roll yourself into a fluff tortilla on the couch. All of those things are totally acceptable! I did, and they helped, a lot. Then hug it out with your Bae cause it’s more important than ever that you lean on each other for strength through this difficult time.
Once you have your frustrations out of the way, put your awesome wedding planner hat back on and figure out what’s going to work best for you and your fiancé. Because you can’t control what is happening now, however you can control what happens next. For me, in times of stress, it helps to look forward and take action to get my mind off of the doom and gloom of it all. That method has been extremely helpful for me during COVID-19.
I believe in being 100% honest, with you and myself. And the honest truth of the matter is no one knows what they are doing with COVID-19 or how to handle the scope of this situation. It’s an unprecedented time for all of us.
All we can do is our best, I’ve been working really hard to make sure my clients have all the information and that I work and communicate with them as best I can to ensure we figure out solutions that work for everyone.
I also want to help you too, so I’m about to throw out some cold hard truths. There is no sugar-coating any of this, it all sucks. But I’m here to help guide you through your options so you can make your most informed decision when it comes to deciding if you should reschedule your 2020 wedding due to COVID-19.
Disclaimer, if you are still very emotional about all of this right now. Don’t continue reading. This article may get you upset and I don’t want that for you. I realize that you may not be ready to hear these truths. It upset me even to say them. So please if you’re not ready, just bookmark this Blog to read later on, when you are.
I’ve broken down some main options for you with helpful tips too as there are a lot of things to consider with each scenario. Grab a bevy and let’s get into it.
Can’t imagine your special day without your best people? Rescheduling your wedding might be your top choice. While it’s gonna hurt your heart to wait another year or two for your dream wedding, the truth is we have ZERO clues as to how the next year is going to look. The good news is, you’re together and hopefully, still healthy and happy. Right now, that’s what matters most. We also need to realize that we’re in this, like it or not, for the long haul.
Is your wedding booked for Spring or Sumer 2020? Then the answer is yes. At this point, the government is saying that it won’t be business as usual until there is a vaccine. So that means, late summer and fall weddings may not be safe from COVID-19. If you haven’t already started looking at your options, you need to. They are predicting it will take at least another 12-18 months before we have a vaccine. That is the bad news. The good news is that gives you an idea as to when it should be safe to reschedule your wedding.
I would honestly try and stay away from rescheduling for Spring 2021, with the looming possibility of future outbreaks without a vaccine, you likely don’t want to risk having to do this all over again. I personally would be looking at June, July 2021 and beyond to be safe. Again, 18 months from April 2020 is October 2021. With this prediction, even next summer has some risks.
If you do pick a Summer 2021 date to reschedule, just be prepared to move your date again or have a Plan C in your back pocket. It’s better to prepare yourself for that possibility now then deal with the shock and devastation later. Remember, there are still so many unknown circumstances here and no guarantees. It’s important to remain fluid.
This one sucks, a lot. You likely had a hard enough time knocking down that guest list to begin with. The ugly truth is we are likely years away from having unrestricted gatherings again. Keep this in mind when planning out your new date and talk about this with your venues. Some venues have a guest list minimum, I would assume they would lower that if this is the case though. Until we have more answers, I would just keep this in your mind and hold off making new invitations until you have more info. Using e-invites for the reschedule might be your best option too.
So the bottom line is if you want to have even close to your original vision for your wedding then you should be planning and organizing your new date with your vendors right now. Between reschedules and new bookings, keeping all of your awesome vendors is going to get really challenging. Do not wait on this and you’ll have a much smoother transition.
If your vendors haven’t reached out to you yet, then reach out to them. Ask them what their policy is as it relates to COVID-19 and what their availability is like. I personally put together a Plan B Calendar where my clients could pencil in dates with me while they confirm those dates with their other vendors. That way I know what days they are looking at.
One more hard truth- prices may be higher when you reschedule. This is because some vendors are already raising their rates due to inflation and to make up the loss of revenue in 2020. That’s just what I’ve been hearing from my brides who have rescheduled. But if you choose an alternative date (Mon-Friday) you might be able to save a few dollars.
If you want to ensure you get to keep all of the same vendors for your day, consider having your wedding Mon-Friday. You’ll have a much better chance of getting all of your vendors together if you pick an alternative day. You may even get some discounts!
Another bonus to rescheduling is some of your original first choice vendors who weren’t previously available for you, may very well be now! So loop back with them and lock them down for your new date!
So with everything mentioned above, you may be thinking of keeping your wedding date and just eloping. This is definitely an option, keep it small, just you, an officiant and your photographer. Maybe a few guests if it’s permitted. As someone who eloped herself, I can tell you, it will be just as special as the grand wedding you were planning. It’s intimate and stress-free and you’ll enjoy every moment of marrying your person. I LOVED my wedding. Sometimes I get sad that I didn’t have the big “To Do” but at the end of the day I married my guy and we started an incredible chapter in our lives. That’s all that matters.
You can even look at eloping this year and having a big event to celebrate in 2021 or 2022. Also great options!
At the end of the day, while this sounds like a lovely stress-free option to some, you still may end up having to reschedule to another date or even next year. We just don’t know when we’ll be allowed to go back to work and how many people they’ll let gather when we do. By the sounds of it, we’re still way off from this.
Something else I want you to consider. To get married you need a marriage license, Marriage licenses usually take 2-4 weeks to come in. When the City Hall offices open back up again, they will likely be backlogged and it could take even longer to get your license. So this could also put a wrench in your plans to elope this year.
If moving the big wedding to 2021 doesn’t work for you and you want to try to elope in 2020, totally fine. Once you know that’s what you want, reach out to your vendors, tell them what you plan to do and find out what their policies are, you’ll likely need to cancel some vendors that you don’t need. This may mean losing your deposits so be prepared for that. The ones you do need should work with you to come up with a solution for your new plans. I would not book a date for this right now. Wait until the ban is lifted and City Hall opens back up, go in right away and apply for your marriage license. Find out what the wait times are for receiving it and then schedule your elopement with a two-week buffer in-between.
Putting together an elopement on short notice is fairly easy and still can be made really beautiful and special. You can do some of the prep work online during quarantine so that when stores open up again you’ll just have to do the leg work. Our wedding was 16 people, an early morning ceremony, followed by brunch. It was sweet and perfect and was truly just for us.
Please don’t cancel your wedding because of COVID-19. I mean that, truly. If you’re feeling like just calling the whole thing off that is just your stress and anxiety talking with a dash of depression. What’s happening in this world right now is traumatizing for all of us. Every single persons’ world had been flipped upside down and spun around. We lost so much, and right now it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m telling you there is. This will NOT LAST. This will end. It WILL get better.
If you have a contract with your vendor, chances are there is a no deposit refund policy if you cancel your wedding. So check your contracts before making this decision. Your vendors are also struggling right now, BIG TIME, so if you are wanting to cancel be willing to be flexible and negotiate solutions. They’ll want to help you as much as they can so if you come from a place of understanding and a willingness to work out alternative solutions this will go much more smoothly. Not all of the government bailouts apply to these vendors nor can they handle the loans that are being offered. Just remember they are suffering too, so pack your empathy and patience for these conversations.
Your wedding day is going to be incredibly special no matter what it looks like or when it is. You wanted to marry each other for a reason. Whether it’s postponed or changed into something different, what matters is you’re marrying your best friend, your BAE, your person. It can still happen and that’s what’s important. Don’t lose sight of that. A wedding is for a day, a marriage is for life. Communicate and care for each other during this difficult time, be a team, together you can get through this and you can get through anything.
In the end, this crisis will only make us stronger and better people. I have never wanted to “people” more in my life then I do now. I know I’m never bailing on an invite to anything, ever again! I miss everyone so much!
No matter what option you choose here, everything will be ok because you’ll choose an option that works best for you. The information is changing daily, so stay informed. This article is my opinion and observations based on what’s out in the news today and my 15 years of experience in the wedding industry.
I hope that you got some value out of it and now feel like you can make a more informed decision on what to do about your 2020 wedding. If you have other questions that you want to be answered or need advice, I’m happy to help! Just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t have to be a client either. If I can help, I will.
Stay Healthy, Be Patient and Have Faith. You Got This!
If you want to take a break from COVID-19 and just want to look at pretty weddings, check out some of my other blogs:
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