Navigating Covid-19 and Your Wedding

With all the cancellations and postponements that have been forced by Covid-19, it is not surprising that weddings, engagement parties, and other similar celebrations are caught in the mix.

It’s understandable, of course, as we are all making an effort to maintain social distancing so we can slow the spread of the virus. But it is still saddening, nonetheless. Many couples’ big days—which have taken months and months of planning—have either been cancelled entirely, postponed, or scaled back.

Currently, the CDC is recommending that all events scheduled for the next eight weeks (or into May and June) need to cancel. Group activities are limited to ten people or under, and even then, healthcare and government officials are asking that we #StayAtHome, limiting our interactions only with those who are also isolating in our household. 

So if your wedding is planned to occur within the next couple of weeks to months, you’re probably trying to determine what your best course of action is. We’re here to break down some of your options! 

Cancel Or Postpone Your Wedding:

Sadly, this is what most couples are resorting to, but you have some leeway with your decisions! Firstly, you’ll have to decide which option you want to take. A lot of wedding planners and specialists are recommending that you look into postponing your special day. That way, you’ll still get to have your dream day, and you’ll still be supporting some of businesses which were likely struck hard by Covid-19 too! However, with no certainty as to when this pandemic will end, and with wedding dates hard to get as is, you may be looking at postponing your wedding day until at least a year away from your original date.

Start by talking to the contacts at your venue to see what options are available and what they recommend. They are well aware of the circumstances, and will want to accommodate you because they want to keep your business. Just be open about your concerns, and together you’ll hopefully be able to work something out with you that will fit both of your needs.

Photo by: Jeremy Wong

Next, you’ll want to reach out to everyone you have made commitments with—caterers, florists, DJs, stylists—and inform them of your new plans. Like with the venue, these suppliers will also want to keep your business once life gets back to normal! Work with them to figure out a plan. You may even want to consider keeping your deposits and payments as a credit with them, that you can then use on your new wedding day. 

And don’t forget to reach out to all your guests, and tell them of the new big day. That way they have ample time to adjust their schedules and plans. 

If circumstances prevent you from being able to postpone your wedding date that long, you should still reach out to your venue and vendors to see what can be done. Maybe an earlier date is available, or the company is offering refunds due to the pandemic. It will, unfortunately, all be case by case, but you’ll never know what they can (or can’t) offer unless you try contacting and negotiating with them.

Whichever scenario, you’ll want to be open about your concerns and be available to negotiate. You may even want to consider hiring a wedding planner to help you figure out all the details—which we would love to assist you with!

Dan Stuglik and Amy Simonson getting married during a “private” ceremony. Photo by: DON CAMPBELL/THE HERALD-PALLADIUM

Marry Now, Celebrate Later

If you aren’t ready to give up on your big day yet, you still have some options! Lots of couples are modifying their wedding day plans to accommodate new guidelines and the safety of their guests.

One popular way is to significantly reduce the number of guests that can attend, and then livestream the ceremony! Guests from afar can abide by the travel restrictions, and those at risk of the virus can virtually attend the wedding from the safety of their homes. This type of practice is far from new. In fact, there are lot of a professional streaming businesses that established themselves just for weddings. If you don’t want to hire a professional though, you can always take the DIY approach, and simply ask a friend to stream it from their phone.

And if you’re antsy for that marriage certificate, there are plenty of ways to obtain it virtually. WebWed, for example, secures marriage licenses and performs wedding ceremonies all online. And since the outbreak, they have seen an explosion in requests! Be mindful though. These online certificate services are only available if marriage courts in your city or state remain open. 

Other couples are getting creative, as an unprecedented virus calls for unprecedented ideas! 

  • In the streets of New York, Amanda Wheeler and Reilly Jennings were married by their minister friend, as he made their union official from the window of his fourth floor apartment. People clapped and cheered from their own homes, as they watched the couple tie the knot in the street.
  • In Utah, Matthew Ryan and Krista Brennane were married in a private ceremony, only to have their friends and family surprise them afterwards with a drive-by reception. As the line of cars went by their house, their loved ones offered well wishes through the car window, held up loving signs, and even dropped off wedding gifts.
  • In Michigan, Dan Stuglik decided to surprise his wife-to-be. Not wanting her to walk down the aisle to an empty church, he decided to place cardboard cutouts of their guests in the pews. Though not what they had initially hoped for, it still made the day memorable! 

Despite the circumstances, couples are still finding ways to celebrate their love and the start of a new chapter! 

What It Comes Down To:

In the end, it really comes down to safety! Be cautious in your choices, stay up to date on the government and CDC recommendations, and do something that makes you happy. 

We’d love to hear about how you’re navigating the pandemic with your wedding plans. Or feel free to share your ideas!

And, as always, if you need help, reach out to us! The team at Arrive Celebrations is always happy to assist and advise.

Stay up to date on the latest Covid-19 recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

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