During the COVID-19 Crisis
By Lisa Bernard
By Lisa Bernard
April 14, 2020
Even in the best of times, wedding planning can be overwhelming and stressful. Afterall, that is why wedding planners have a job. Sadly, the COVID-19 health crisis has taken wedding stress to extraordinary levels.
With stressors related to social distancing and gatherings of any size being banned in many states, couples who were getting married in March, April and May have had to make the heartbreaking decision to postpone their wedding. At La Di Da Weddings & Events, we are here for you with these thoughtful suggestions.
How Far in Advance Should We Postpone Our Wedding?
Since everything is up in the air at this point and the news changes daily, if not hourly, it’s difficult to provide a conclusive answer to this question. The best thing you can do is look at dates starting in August and beyond. Continue to monitor the Center of Disease Control and local government announcements concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Budget and Guest Count
The most important step in wedding planning is sitting down with your fiancé and determining your wedding budget and guest count. The Coronavirus crisis is a good opportunity to get a handle on your budget. First and foremost, who is paying for the wedding? Consider your priorities by category, create a financial spreadsheet and allocate what you feel comfortable spending in each category. Keep in mind your food, beverage and venue expense should incorporate approximately 45-50% of your overall budget. Will you include your wedding day attire and makeup in your wedding budget? There are so many things to consider. Once you have decided on your budget, you can track your expenses as you hire vendors, keep on top of payments and stay within your budget. Even if almost all of your wedding planning is done, you should track your wedding expenses. Depending on your priorities, your budget may look like this:
Guest Count 100
Venue, Food & Beverages $17,475
Wedding Coordinator $1,500
Specialty Rentals $800
Favors, Placecards & Candles $400
Welcome Bags / Gifts $500
Visualize Your Day
You have daydreamed about your wedding day all of your life. During this unprecedented time, you can take a few moments to jot down elements you and your fiancé would like to see at your wedding. It’s okay if this list is small or long. In general, vendors love working with couples that have a vision and know exactly what they want.
Our Wedding Day Vision
Colors: Eggplant, Lilac, Merlot, Fuchsia and elements of Gold
Theme: Garden Elegance
Meal: Formal sit down dinner
Customs: Wine Ceremony & Money Dance
Venue Style: Outdoor, Lush Grounds
Out-of-Town Guests: Approx. 34 (will need hotel block)
Favors: Godiva chocolates in miniature gold boxes
Specialty Rentals: Upscale Linens, Victorian Love Seat, Chandelier and Sparklers
Specialty Treats: Late Night Snack – Mini Tacos
Hosted Bar: Yes
Champagne Toast: Yes
Create a Wedding Web Site
If you do not have one already, now is the time. A wedding website is a great resource for your guests and can save you from a plethora of questions. It’s a great place to tell your wedding story, too. How you met, when you got engaged, where you are registered, etc. A place you can display pictures of your bridal party and tell everyone how each person has significantly impacted your life.
Also, keep in mind that many people are in panic mode due to Covid-19, not sure if or when they should attend large gatherings, and are stressed about finances, etc. Giving them a place to visit can help keep them informed and ease many of their concerns. If you do not have all of the information right now, it’s okay to let that be known. For example, “In light of Covid-19, our wedding day will be determined at a later time. Stay tuned for our happily ever after.”
Hire a Wedding Planner / Coordinator
Our number one tip to plan a wedding well during COVID-19, is to hire a wedding planner or coordinator! A wedding planner is going to be your saving grace! They can help you navigate your options in terms of postponing, or not.
Even though they may not be able to meet in person, you can for sure hire a planner right now to help you make informed decisions about your wedding day!
This is a great time to really research your vendors and create a mood board. You can reach out to vendors via video conferences or request venue video tours to help you make your decisions. Remember, some vendors may be offering great discounts due to Covid-19, so this is a great time to ask and secure those contracts.
Speaking of contracts, reach out to vendors you have already secured to make sure you are protected moving forward. Ask your vendors to send over a revised contract with your new wedding date, along with their payment schedule and/or receipts. This may be a pain, but it is very important.
Will Your Vendor Go Out of Business?
The Covid-19 crisis is horribly impacting everyone’s businesses. To offset damages, we encourage couples to communicate with their vendors and pay their final payments when they were originally due. This cash flow will be a huge help to your vendors, and hopefully allow them to stay in business. Again, many vendors are offering discounts now for new bookings, or for prepayment of your final invoice. If you are able, paying balances off now will not only help your vendors, but may save you some serious cash.
During this time, finalize your formalities. By this we mean, anything you can do to alleviate time and stress from yourself and others. For example, finish selecting your wedding party or complete a playlist for your DJ. Your DJ especially will appreciate the attention to detail several months beforehand.
If you are waiting for your dress to ship from overseas, you may be waiting for a very long time. Many salons in the USA are pushing back ship dates to 20 weeks or more. The best thing to do at this point is to order way ahead of time, shop off-the-rack, shop locally and at small businesses, and use what’s available. If there was ever a time to get creative, now is it!
Take Deep Breaths!
If you are planning or have already postponed a planned wedding during this season, the best policy is communication! Communication with vendors and guests, early and often, is going to be the most helpful way of getting through this pandemic and still create the wedding of your dreams!
We hope the foregoing has been helpful to our couples to move forward with their wedding plans. Remember . . . this too, shall pass! In the end, marrying the love of your life is all that matters! We are here for you, cheering you on, and though we don’t claim to know everything, we are happy to chat or be a sound board to help you get through this time!
Be safe, and be well. ■