Wedding planning is usually a lot of checking off boxes, maybe a few hiccups here and there when making decisions, but 2020 has definitely brought new challenges that couples have never had to face before. I want to start off this blog post by saying that you are doing great.
Nobody knows what to say, nobody has ever gone through something like this before, and at the end of the day I don’t even know how you feel. All I know is we are all doing our best and I have a little bit of insight on how things work on the vendor side that I would love to share.
Let’s talk about what is happening in Georgia –
Firstly, things are opening up. It is now the end of May and there are definitely still some restrictions, but we are facing the new normal for the near future. Gatherings are more intentional than ever and as of May 1st it is completely legal for vendors to start performing their services outside of their home.
What does this mean?
It means that your event can still happen within the parameters that you and the government deem safe. Just because it’s legal for the event to still happen, it is your choice whether you want to move forward.
With that being said, venues are going above and beyond to make sure you and your guests feel safe. There are a whole list of criteria for them to be able to hold events. Some things I have been seeing venues do are nixing seating charts and having families/people who have quarantined together sit together, hand sanitizer stations at all entrances, masks available upon arrival and having staff only serve food when it’s time to eat.
At the end of the day it’s up to you to decide how you want to move forward. Here are a few things to think about:
Decide what’s important? What are the hard no’s?
Make a list of what is non-negotiable. Are there specific vendors you want to work with no matter what? Are there specific people that HAVE to be there? Also answer your “What if” questions. Like “What if we can’t have a gathering more than 50 people?” Make that list of 50 people. Or if that’s a hard no, plan to postpone.
Be in touch with your vendors.
If you are worried about your date, talk to your vendors about their policies and go over your contracts. See what your options are and what they are doing for their couples during this time. A really great way to make sure all of your vendors are on board is to create a Google Doc with all potential dates and have vendors check the boxes when they are available.
Postpone, don’t cancel!
Most contracts have a non-refundable retainer. This whole thing is out of your control, but it is also out of the control of your vendors. Contracts protect both you and them, but non-refundable retainers are the norm for various reasons. HOWEVER, most of the wedding industry is running their businesses with compassion and doing everything they possibly can to take care of you. Postponing will give you the opportunity to still have your event, even if it looks a little different than you originally planned.
Be careful about the information you consume.
I CANNOT stress this one enough. There are things that are completely out of our control during all of this, but one thing you CAN control is the information you consume. If you are in a whole bunch of wedding groups with couples projecting their fear and anxiety all up in it, that is NOT helping you or your mental health. Everyone’s situation is different and you need to make the best decision for you. Having a smaller wedding, elopement or postponement will not destroy the fact that you get to get married to your best friend.
Do not jump the gun or make a fear based decision.
There will be a lot of unknowns as we move forward. Things are constantly changing and while things are settling, none of us know what the future holds. Just take it one day at a time and do not rush a decision. Most venues don’t let you pull the plug until 30 days before anyway, so hold tight and communicate with people around you that you trust.
And finally, be prepared for smaller gatherings.
To all my lovely fall couples, it is not quite time to make a decision. I know Covid has effected more that just events, so everyone’s circumstances are different, but I would just be mentally prepared to have a smaller gathering. Weddings will still be happening this year, but that might just look a little bit different. You can still keep all of those special details in just a more intentional way. Make a couple back-up guest lists if there are still event restrictions when it comes to your date.
I just want you to know that love isn’t cancelled:
All of my couples who have been effected by the coronavirus have either downsized or postponed their events. We have worked together on figuring out a new date that works for everyone and I am in constant communication about how things are changing. To all of my couples who pushed their events, but want to maintain their original wedding date, I am giving them elopement coverage at no additional cost.
Believe it or not, people are still planning their weddings! I have inquiries coming in daily for 2021. I have a 25% retainer and payment plan in place until we get back to a new normal. I am also offering 20% off weddings that had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic.
Obviously there are more questions being asked about what will happen if things don’t get better and I tell them what I tell all of my current couples – I will do everything I can to be there for you.