After you’ve spent months planning the perfect wedding day, the last thing you want is something unexpected to ruin all your plans.
Unfortunately, that’s an issue many engaged couples are facing as COVID-19 prompts business closures and strict rules about the number of people that can gather in a public space. Unless you were planning on a super intimate wedding, chances are you may be unable to even have all your guests present for your big day.
While it’s still too early to know how the coronavirus is going to impact every aspect of the wedding industry, it has definitely caused a huge disruption. If your wedding is coming up fast, you may have to postpone until the threat of the virus has significantly decreased. That’s why we put together some quick tips for what to do if COVID-19 threatens to cancel your wedding day.
Pay attention to the news
It can definitely be stressful to watch the constant updates of closings and hospitalizations, but keeping an eye on the latest coronavirus news is critical to deciding what to do about your wedding day. As of March 15, 2020, the CDC recommended the cancellation of weddings for eight weeks in the U.S., and travel to most European countries as well as many Asian countries has been severely limited. If your wedding is in the next two to three months, you will definitely want to postpone for the health of you, your guests and your vendors. As restrictions and closings continue to happen, you may not even have a choice, so be sure to keep an eye on the changes in your area.
Be aware of cancellation policies
Whether you are flying to an exotic locale for your honeymoon or just taking a trip across the country, take a look at cancellation policies and be aware of the deadline for cancelling your flights, as well as venues and other vendors. Put a note in your calendar to remind you and your partner to decide on travel plans by a certain date, so you don’t end up paying fees or losing a ton of money on a last-minute change of plans.
Consider wedding insurance
If your wedding isn’t until later in the year, there’s no reason to cancel right away. However, you may want to look into getting wedding insurance to cover some of your costs in the event you do have to cancel. A wedding insurance policy can keep you from losing tons of money on your vendors and venue when circumstances happen beyond your control.
Plan for a smaller guest list
Use your wedding website to stay in touch with your guests and provide them with any updates. It may also help to give guests the opportunity to change their RSVPs in the event that they are concerned about flying. Be understanding if guests choose not to attend your wedding day and plan accordingly for a smaller ceremony and reception.
Order favors and other items well in advance
Many bridal gowns, favors and other items are manufactured in China and overseas, so currently shipments are backed up. If you are planning on ordering anything from outside the U.S., be sure to order well in advance and understand that the normal shipping time will probably be doubled. Or play it safe by opting for locally sourced items or shopping for a wedding gown off the rack from your local bridal salon.
Talk to your vendors
It’s important to stay in conversation with your vendors throughout your decision-making process. Ask for their recommendations and explain your reasoning for postponing or canceling your wedding, if you decide to. If possible, consider having your wedding as planned—local businesses definitely need customers right now.
You could even live-stream your ceremony to guests who are unable to travel. It’s not ideal, but it’s definitely an option if you are far along in the planning process and don’t want to postpone.
As you’re deciding whether to continue with your wedding day as planned, the most important thing is to follow CDC and local and federal government guidelines. While it is frustrating and disappointing to cancel or postpone your wedding, the priority is keeping you and your guests safe and healthy.