As Stay at Home Orders shift week after week, it’s made it difficult to plan pretty much anything while under quarantine. As couples scramble to come up with a Plan B for their nuptials, it’s hard to be certain that their Plan B, or Plan C for that matter, will actually be able to be fulfilled. Even once we are allowed to emerge from our homes, and gather in larger groups, we don’t currently know if 175 person weddings will be practical a few months from now. So what should you do when you need to make plans in an ever-changing world, when one of the happiest days of your life is on the line? Although, like everyone else, we are searching for the best answers that can be given at this moment, we want to share our best advice based on our predictions of what may take place in the coming months and what it may mean for your wedding plans.
Expect a Lower Guest Count and Plan Accordingly
This expectation should be considered two-fold. The first reason that you may have to plan for a lower guest count is because of government mandated large gathering bans. Based on your state and the local jurisdiction in which your wedding is taking place, you may be at the mercy of your guest count being dictated by large gathering guidelines, which will be increased slowly over time. If you choose to keep your original wedding date, just be mindful that your 200 person soiree may turn into an intimate 50 person celebration.
So what if you have to make the call now to start sending out invitations, or notifying guests of a postponement? Our best advice in this case is to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. If you are planning on moving forward with your current wedding date, we recommend sending your invitations out in phases, starting with your top 50 guests whom you cannot imagine your wedding without. This will give these VIP guests ample time to make plans and decide if they can make the big day. It also gives you a bit of time to see how the world evolves after this first round of invites go out. If things move in the right direction, send another set of 25-50 out, making sure that you are still in the “safe zone” as the allowance increases.
The second thing that you should be mindful of are the limitations of your guests because of the Coronavirus. Just a short few months ago, the same guests who would have gladly hopped on a plane to celebrate with you, may now be limited by the financial hardships that have been inflicted by the pandemic, or may just not feel comfortable traveling at the moment out of fear. Older guests may also have concerns about exposing themselves to large groups long after the government orders are lifted.
Prepare Yourself for Postponement
We know how difficult it is to have to change plans after a year or more of planning the perfect event for yourself and your loved ones. The thought of having to change your wedding date is an extreme source of anxiety and stress as your date creps closer. To be quite honest, in these times of uncertainty, quite a few of our couples have been relieved once they made the call to postpone their event. Not because they weren’t super excited to celebrate, but because they have come to the realization that by waiting, they will be able to have the type of celebration that they had spent countless hours dreaming up.
Be Prepared for Your Wedding to Look Different Than You Originally Imagined
When giving advice, I always remind our couples that if they do choose to host their weddings on their original 2020 dates, it may look quite different then they originally imagined. Socially distant tables and dance floors will become quite the reality as venues try to maintain good health practices. Family style and buffet dining may not be as reasonable as it was 6 months ago. Family members and friends may or may not feel comfortable taking those groups photos without wearing masks. These are all things that may be concerns as we approach the “new normal” at wedding celebrations. Knowing this beforehand can mentally prepare you for your post quarantine event.
The most important thing to remember when making all of your considerations, is that even though your celebration may need to wait, your love for your significant other is the thing that matters most. If you truly can’t wait to tie the knot until next year, who says that you have to? Many couples are opting to get the best of both worlds by hosting a small ceremony on their original wedding date, and planning for an epic wedding celebration next year. Whatever you do, remember… Love is not cancelled (or postponed).