Your Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Your Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Your Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The current coronavirus pandemic has caused such severe disruptions right across the globe – and if your wedding is planned for this time whether in the UK or a destination wedding, it can feel pretty confusing as to what to do next and best proceed, if that were only possible.
This is a rapidly changing situation, with the government making snap changes and new directives as the day opens and closes.so it’s impossible to say for sure what will happen in the long term. As of Monday 23rd March 2020, the UK is in partial to total lockdown. This is far more extensive than the previous advice to minimise social contact. UK citizens have been ordered to stay in their homes apart from for very specific reasons, including:
- Medical need
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- Travelling to work, but if possible you should work from home
- One form of exercise per day, alone or with members of your household
Social gatherings have been banned, and that specifically includes weddings.
The Government has said they will review the lockdown restrictions in about three weeks. They have informed us that they could reduce the severity of the lockdown, however, we feel @designerweddingplanner that these will indeed be increased as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to reach a peak in 10 days to 2 weeks.
If you have a wedding booked over the next few months, realistically your choice is between full cancellation or postponement for a later date.
“I would suggest you consider postponing weddings between now and the start of July– it’s possibly too soon to decide what to do with weddings after this date. All we can do is take it day by day,” says Shola Ade of the Designer Wedding Planner.
The UK Government also says that if one person in a household has symptoms, everyone living there has to stay at home for 14 days. If you live on your own, you must stay at home for seven days. For more information and updated advice, consult the NHS website.
It is, for this reason, we would always advise you have a very proactive and hands-on wedding planner to help you in rough times and in good. They will assist you and help answer your concerns when it comes to your wedding.
1. Stay up to date with current information
It is important to make sure you’re up to speed with developments, given how quickly advice can change. For the latest updates in the UK, make sure you visit the gov.uk website, and for travel advice, check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. especially if you have a destination wedding booked.
2. Contact your venue and/or your wedding planner
Communication has always been key, and more so in this situation. If you’re getting married in the UK within the next few months, you need to check your contract and then talk to your venue, and indeed your wedding planner (if you have now) will be able to do this on your behalf.
At the moment, the UK Government has banned social gatherings – and weddings come into that category. Obviously, the safety of you and your guests must come first. One of the last weddings in London that we know of had over 200 guests, and a few of them were then diagnosed with he Coronavirus and were taken ill following that party.
Bear in mind that your venue and planner are here to help you. They may well be dealing with a deluge of queries at the moment, so try to be patient, even though it’s understandable that you want answers and you are anxious to get your wedding issues sorted.
Options to discuss include whether you can postpone. “Have a date in mind and check they are those dates available,” says Shola from Designer Wedding Planner“. Ask if there are any penalties for changing the date. and also if the venue will require any further information from you. It might be that provided the change of date happens within the following 12 months, your venue will change the date for free, but after that, there might be additional charges.”
If you are able to postpone, get every detail of the change confirmed in writing with an amended contract of agreement. make sure your wedding planner is able to have oversight of this so she will be able to guide you through, and support you before you sign.
If your only option is to go for a full, and you feel it would be unwise to go ahead given the UK government’s position, find out what the financial implications are, and what will be expected of you to cover.
If your wedding is in autumn or winter 2020, stay in touch with your venue and/or planner, but remember that their priority at the moment will be helping couples whose weddings are coming up in the next few months. The likelihood is that for weddings later in the year, they’ll be adopting a wait-and-see policy, but try to establish what the deadlines would be for changing your wedding plans if the Coronavirus pandemic severe disruption were to be continuing by then.
If you have booked a destination wedding, you will still have to go through this process and make sure that you make contact with the venue abroad. and speak with the venue owner.
During the coronavirus pandemic, almost all of the countries have travel restrictions in place, will no entries permitted and these are changing on a daily basis. For example, the US has banned travel from Europe, including the UK and the Republic of Ireland, although this doesn’t apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents or their immediate families. The EU has announced it will ban non-essential travel into Europe, although this doesn’t apply to the UK. Some countries are not accepting travellers from the UK unless they are legal residents, and others require a 2-week self-isolation period for all arrivals. What’s more, the UK Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential travel anywhere outside the UK for at least the next 30 days. Many UK residents have also been left stranded in other countries and flights have been reduced or stopped from flying into the UK.
3. Check your wedding insurance in detail
Several major companies are not currently accepting new applications for wedding insurance. If you’re right at the start of your planning process, it may be wise to avoid any significant bookings until you’re able to take out insurance, or until you find a company that is selling new policies. Wait until the Pandemic is over as most of the insurance companies will have to reassess their situation before offering any further insurances.
If you already have a policy and your company isn’t taking new applications, don’t worry, your will policy still stands, however, the pandemic part of your insurance may not be accepted as the small print maybe not actually cover you – the devil, as they say, will be in the detail.
This will be the time to check the fine print carefully because cancellation cover varies from policy to policy. It’ll also depend on the UK situation at the time you cancel, and what has been officially banned. Remember, this doesn’t apply should you manage to postpone. “If you’re postponing the wedding, and the venue and suppliers agree to these acceptable changes, in reality, there shouldn’t be anything to claim,” says Shola Ade.
4. Sort out the ceremony in the principal
Whether you’re having a civil or religious wedding ceremony, now is the time to contact your celebrant to discuss options.
If you’re having a civil ceremony, the registrar office will have called you tonotify that they have to cancel or postpone your original dates – if this is the case, you will need to give notice again, however you should be offered a refund of monies paid so talk to your local register office when you are able to.
5. List and contact your suppliers
Obviously, if you have engaged a wedding planner, that person will know what needs to be done in relation to rearranging your wedding as going ahead with your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic will not be able to go ahead and as weddings have a lot of different elements. When you’re thinking about changing your wedding date, make a list of every supplier you’ll need to contact such as the photographer, decorator videographer, caterer, cake maker, hair and make-up artist, entertainer, DJ, MC. and other vendors.
Before you get in touch, check your contract carefully to find out what the situation is with deposits already paid and those that are due. It’s best to approach each conversation as calmly as possible. Your suppliers are also in a very difficult situation, and you want to find a solution that’s mutually beneficial.
Your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic will need to be rescheduled as “In most cases, most vendors will support you but whilst they will be happy to postpone and rearrange your wedding dates, they will request that you stick to current payment plans,” says Shola Ade.
If you’re still in the early stages of planning your wedding and haven’t made any firm bookings, ask potential suppliers if they might consider holding the date for you until an agreed deadline, while you wait to see how the situation develops. They may well say that they cant accept the booking without a deposit, as that isn’t ideal for them financially, This will be the only way to hold your desired date and vendor.
6. Look at your travel information and your insurance
This applies to both destination wedding and honeymoons. More and more companies are cancelling flights due to the coronavirus, so keep checking with your airline. As mentioned, the UK Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel globally for the next 30 days and is asking all UK residents currently abroad to return where possible – keep updated at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic will really test your travel insurance policy because most (but not all) travel policies should cover you for cancellation. In fact, most of the travel companies have made contact with their clients and offered then a flight voucher as they would prefer you to rebook with them than to offer a full refund. However, these policies will probably only payout if you got your insurance before the UK Foreign Office list announcement.
As with most wedding insurance providers, some companies are currently not offering travel insurance policies to new customers and they refuse to accept any new policies as they are fully aware o the ever-changing situation worldwide.
7. Update your guests – keep them in the loop
Keep in contact with guests, and if you are postponing, let them know as soon as possible.
If you’re getting married in 2020 and have already sent the save the dates, it’s worth looking into setting up a wedding website where you can post updates about your plans, rather than having to keep contacting everyone with new information every time something changes.
Don’t be disappointed if your wedding eventually comes around and you have a smaller-than-anticipated guest list. It’s unclear what restrictions will be in place in a few months’ time, but even if we are fortunate enough to have fewer restrictions, some guests, particularly the elderly, simply may not feel comfortable travelling or being in social situations. You could always look into live-streaming the ceremony to anyone who wants to be involved but would prefer to stay in their homes. You could also go all out, and make it bigger and better than the previous one to make a big statement – especially after the lockdown and the coronavirus situation has been sorted and everyone feels safe and sound again.
8. Don’t forget the hen and stag
If you have a spring or summer hen and stag booked, you’ll be facing the same issues as you are with the wedding – postponement or cancellation is likely. If you’ve booked through a company, again you must check their cancellation policy in detail. If you’ve booked accommodation and/or flights separately, check with the individual providers and with your travel insurance. And let your friends and family know as soon as possible once you’ve decided, and how they need to proceed and make their own bookings.
9. Check on your wedding dress
Your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic may result in your wedding dress to be delayed in delivery. Many dresses are made in China, so it’s understandable if you’re concerned about disruption to the supply chain. If you’ve ordered your dress from a boutique, get in touch to find out whether there is likely to be any hold-up. It’s highly unlikely that this is the case, as most designers will have received their orders early, or will have put arrangements in place to ensure orders still meet the deadlines.
Bear in mind that all shops selling non-essential goods have been ordered to close because of our wedding during the coronavirus pandemic and the guests may be put at risk as this pandemic is worldwide, so you may not be able to get a quick answer. The wedding dress shop or designer will probably email or call you as they are fully aware of the stress this may be causing you and that you will be anxious about your wedding dress.
If you have wedding dress fittings booked in the summer, you should also talk to your bridal wedding dress shop about whether these can go ahead or whether these need to be postponed and rearranged. The top 50 bridal boutiques
10. Stay safe – and be kind to yourself
There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sad about changing your wedding plans – and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. Once you’ve managed to put a back-up plan in place, take some time for yourself. Don’t forget that you’re not cancelling forever – this is a postponement, and one day you will be married to the person you love. On the actual day of the postponement, you may feel thoughtful or reminiscent and feel that the ‘day would have been over by now’
If you would like to discuss your wedding during the coronavirus pandemic- make sure you speak with your bridal party and your parents if you are able. Talk with your wedding planner as they will have seen cancellation and postponement before and will be best placed to offer you support, guidance and an ear to talk to.