Planning your wedding in the time of the novel coronavirus? Help is here.
Please note that this post was written in mid-March 2020, and while most of it remains true months later, there are a few aspects that are different now that’s we’re looking toward the fall! An updated post about keeping yourself, your guests, and your vendors safe is coming soon.
I don’t really have a good way to start this off, which is weird for me. I’ve spent seven years studying writing, and I’m rarely at a loss for words. But we’re here, and it’s on my heart to help you. Wedding planning is stressful enough when it’s not in the midst of a pandemic.
The stress of planning a large gathering, often with guests traveling from all around the world, literally could not be worse than it is right now in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak. I’m following the news on all restrictions and cancellations too, and I know the situation is changing rapidly every day.
In light of all that, I’ve put together this list of tips to minimize risk, not only for you and your guests, but also for your vendors too, no matter what you decide to do. We appreciate it, and so do all of our other clients!
Some precautions that you can take moving forward with your wedding:
- Make safety a priority for older guests and those who are immune compromised.
Older guests, and those who are immune compromised, are most vulnerable to severe complications and might not be able to safely travel. I worry about my own grandparents in this time, and I know you worry about yours too. In order to best protect them, you may consider ways to keep vulnerable guests involved at a distance.
It’s always possible to have guests present virtually for much of the day, whether that’s by FaceTime or Google Hangouts or another private live stream that will allow you to talk to them too. This isn’t a new idea, and in the past, many of my couples with family overseas have taken advantage of this to allow their families to be around for much of the day too. This allows these people to be around for as much of the day as you’d like, even from the first moments you’re getting your hair done all the way up through the ceremony and reception. A designated family member or wedding party member can manage the video for you.
Later down the road, you may consider visiting these guests or even having a private vow renewal with those who are unable to be present, which would be a great opportunity for an intimate little celebration with meaningful people to you.
- Limit guests traveling from out of state or internationally.
As traveling restrictions come into place, this becomes extra important, not only for your safety and that of other guests, but for these folks too as they come into contact with so many other people during travel.
Consider having out-of-state or international guests around via video as well to keep them involved and close. While it may be stressful to make a wedding a bit smaller, these guests will appreciate the concern for their safety too.
- Follow gathering size guidelines.
Some states and counties are implementing temporary restrictions on the size of gatherings in order to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. I’m keeping up on these too, and while a sudden restriction like this may mean more stress, we’ll absolutely help through it and so will your other vendors, whether that means having less guests present, setting up live video, or shifting things until later!
I cannot underscore this enough, whatever happens, we will absolutely do everything we can to help figure it out.
If a change of plans becomes necessary, here are some ways to minimize the headache:
- A shift in date.
Potentially, you may feel the need to push back your wedding date so that important guests can be present. If you think you may be pushing your wedding date back, let your vendors know first! I can communicate availability, as can your venue, so that we can all coordinate to make your gorgeous day happen with all of us available and with all your beloved people present.
In the event you decide to reschedule to another date I’m available for later this year, there will be no extra fees or complications. I don’t believe cost shouldn’t be a factor in this decision; there’s enough going on right now.
- An intimate wedding or an elopement.
You may decide it’s necessary to have many less guests present, or perhaps even none. I totally respect you for still committing your love to each other no matter what is going on, and I will be there for you just the same! Plus, you can totally have a gathering later on with everyone there to celebrate with you. If this type of plan changes necessitates a change in date or hours of wedding coverage, give me a heads up that you’re thinking about it. I’ll help however I can, and the same thing goes.
With all that in mind, there are lots of things that I’m doing too to make sure that I stay safe because I’m needed for you.
Here’s what I’m doing:
- Social distancing as much as possible.
I’m staying away from gatherings, except the ones I’m hired for. I’m actually almost never leaving my house at all, which is a weird change for someone who is almost always on the go. But it’s sort of nice to just be here with my dog, and it’s what’s safe for you too. (Plus, I forgot how much I love delivery pizza)
- Minimizing contact as much as possible in the 2 weeks before weddings.
I’ve decided to reschedule all sessions coming within 2 weeks before a wedding. There are lots of days in a year I can reschedule sessions to, but right now, I really need to prioritize my wedding clients’ health and minimize my own exposure for the sake of all their guests.
- Keeping a distance from others.
A real, physical distance, which means I can’t hug you at the end of sessions anymore. (Sorry)
In the midst of this, please remember to take care of yourself too, not just physically, but also mentally.
Here’s how to take care of yourself:
- Social distancing.
Avoid large gatherings and unnecessary contact with others. Seriously. Talk with friends over Facetime while you each make your own coffee. I know it isn’t the same, but there are so many nice ways to spend time together so you’re not alone, but also so that you’re not at risk of exposure (and inadvertently exposing others before you know you’re sick).
- Don’t just stock up on groceries, but get a sugar scrub and some Almond Joys too.
One of the most helpful things I’ve read recently is when you’re getting groceries and stocking up on anything you think you might need, don’t just go for the bare essentials. Yes, get rice, get water, get soap, but also get a couple things you like. Get that candy or that luxurious lotion that makes your skin so soft. Get some things that bring you joy. And enjoy them! This is a time when it’s really hard to focus on yourself, but you should at least a tiny bit, because your wellbeing in the midst of this is crucial.
I’m pulling out all the stops to be healthy and there for you, however you need me, and I’m here to listen to whatever thoughts are running through your mind, even if that’s just a panicked rant. When you hired me, you hired more than just a person with a camera, and I will do absolutely anything I can to help you figure everything out. This is important to me too.
All my prayers and thoughts are with you everyday. Send me a message. Let’s talk. We can even drink some wine together–virtually, of course.