On a good day wedding planning can be frustrating, but couples are now having to face a whole new level of frustration; wedding planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. You now have decisions to make that you never imagined you’d need to make. Do you reschedule your wedding to a later date? Do you move forward with your original date, but have no guests? If you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, how do you pay for your wedding?
I cannot imagine the pressure of having to consider these things. I do hope that I can offer some guidance on how to accomplish wedding planning during COVID-19. As a wedding vendor, I’m trying to find my way through this as well. A fully booked 2020 season, has now been mostly moved to 2021. I do still have a few clients holding on to their 2020 dates as they’re later in the year but who knows what the future holds?!? I’d like to offer some tips to help guide you through this difficult time and also some money-saving tips in case you’re trying to scale down your wedding budget.
10. TRADE SKILL FOR SKILL
Do you work in a trade?Do you have a skill that others don’t? Speak with some of your vendors, see if they would be willing to work on trade. For example if you’re a hairdresser, see if your cake decorator would consider working in exchange for free haircuts for a year.
9. ASK FOR HELP
Instead of hiring staff to set up/serve at cocktail hour, ask friends if they’d be willing to help. Ask friends/family to make platters or serve drinks. Instead of having this catered, make the hors d’oeuvres yourself with friends and family.
8. FLORAL DECOR
Florals can be a large part of your wedding budget. While I do highly recommend spending the money on real florals for your bouquets, you can certainly save money on table florals by foraging for local flora and fauna for centerpieces. Stick to colors that go with your bouquet florals and it will flow seamlessly.
7. BACKYARD WEDDING
If you cannot get married at your chosen venue due to legal gathering restrictions or having to change your wedding date, consider having a small and intimate backyard wedding. Invite only those you need to be there, parents/grandparents, officiant and your photographer; staying within your gathering guidelines. Have a laptop or iPad set up to livestream the ceremony so that those who could not attend can experience it as well. Schedule or plan to have your reception at a later date, when everyone can attend.
6. USE WHAT’S AVAILABLE TO YOU
Do you have a friend or family member that is an amazing baker? Ask if they would be willing to bake your wedding cake, or substitute a wedding cake for something more manageable. Many people are ditching the wedding cake for other more customizable options. You can customize it to things that you, as a couple, LOVE! Love pie? Have a pie table! Love candy? Have a candy table! Love cupcakes? Have a selection of cupcakes! My personal favorite at weddings is a donut table! YUM!
5. DIY DECOR
Do you have a theme to your wedding? If you do, try to think of decor items that you may be able to do yourself. Instead of buying exactly what you had in mind, maybe there’s a way for you to make it happen in a budget friendly way! Look through Pinterest, see if you can find some DIY options that will work with your theme. Then bring out your crafty side!
4. CONSIDER OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK
If you’ve decided to move your wedding to a new date but are having difficulty getting all of your vendors (deposits paid) lined up on the same date, consider choosing a date that isn’t on a Saturday. Most weddings occur on a Saturday but that isn’t the only option. Consider a Friday, Sunday or even a weekday wedding. Vendors such as venues and photographers, won’t have a cheaper rate to offer during the week but your smaller vendors may charge you less if you choose an off-peak day of the week. It never hurts to ask!
3. DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Were you planning a destination wedding with family and friends? This time is especially difficult for those looking to travel internationally for their I Do’s. At this time we have no idea when international travel will re-open. But it WILL re-open. Focus on planning your destination wedding in 2021 instead. If you think that your family and friends won’t feel comfortable to travel by then, consider the next option in this list!
2. CONSIDER AN ELOPEMENT
Elopements are an absolutely unforgettable experience! Just you, your soulmate, an officiant and your photographer. No one else, no live broadcast. Just a beautiful moment between the two of you that you will cherish forever. The great thing about elopements, you don’t have to consider guests. You can have your wedding absolutely ANYWHERE. Have a private spot you both love to hike to? Get married there! Have a favorite vacation spot that you both love? Get married there! The world is your wedding venue!
1. TALK TO YOUR VENDORS
Us wedding vendors want to work with you. We don’t want to lose your business! If you’ve decided that you’d rather reschedule to a later date, we understand! Wedding planning during the COVID-19 pandemic is HARD! Once you’ve made this decision, you need to understand that you may have to be flexible with your date options. Ask both your venue and your photographer which dates they have available in the month you would like to move to. Based on the dates they provide, choose a date that they both have available. This way you will not lose any deposits you’ve already made. Most vendors are waiving rescheduling fees at this time, as it’s a bit of a special circumstance, so you won’t end up paying out any more money. Once you’ve locked down your venue and photographer, move on to your other vendors.
I really hope that these tips help ease some of the pressure you’re all feeling. If you think of other tips that may help other couples, please let me know. I’d love to add them in. My most important suggestion to you all is, find the joy. A wedding is supposed to be a happy time! Yes, things that you had planned may need to change. Try and focus on the good. You’re still getting married. You still have your soulmate. You still have this amazing life event to look forward to. My heart goes out to you all. Happy Planning!