What do we do now?
Where to begin? With the world trying to figure out how to function, how are you supposed to plan your wedding? Do you just carry on and hope that it doesn't affect you? Do you postpone to next year? Do you cancel and re-book when everything has calmed down? Will it ever truly 'calm down'? I'm afraid there is no general right answer... only what is right for the two of you. Let's look at the options...
Keeping your cool and going with the flow...
Some couples are choosing to keep their wedding firmly booked into the diary and unless we go into a full-on-lockdown and it is literally illegal to hold your wedding, you are going to go ahead as planned. The majority of your suppliers are so happy to have kept your business that they are more than happy to keep your booking and simply amend it to accommodate current guidelines. However, please remember that some businesses need a minimum number in order to make a profit and the current 15 may not be financially viable for them. Believe me when I say that they don't want to cancel your booking but some suppliers may need to, or at least work with a minimum guest/order number, in order to stay afloat. The majority of suppliers are happy to keep your date and will only push for you to change it if they don't plan on being open!
Even though the current guest limit is only 15,
I have personally found the atmosphere of these 'micro weddings' to be incredibly intimate. Your guests are all the more grateful to be invited because they have made the cut so the general feeling of celebration is still in the air and there is such a wonderful sense of family on the day; it feels like home. Everybody is understanding of the situation and there is no awkwardness. Wearing a mask has become the norm. Walking into a room and immediately searching for hand sanitiser has become the norm. Standing a minimum of 1 metre away whilst sharing their congratulations with you has become the norm. Your guests simply feel lucky to have been able to celebrate with you. It's amazing how full a room can feel with 'just' 15 people in it! Your evening reception has become a casual affair with easy conversation, background music, drinks brought to the table and of course... cake. And even though you currently need to finish your celebrations by 10pm, you have had a wonderful celebration and you can go to sleep surrounded by an utter sense of bliss.
Keeping your cool and going with the flow can pay off if you have the patience. And let's face it, the overall cost is going to be lower due to guest numbers so your start to married life will be a little more lucrative than planned! One of your first decisions as a married couple... save or spend?
Choosing to cancel and wait it out...
All I can say is that every couple is different and you may feel you want to cancel completely. I honestly advise postponing, not only because the wedding industry needs you but quite frankly for yourselves. In these difficult times, it's really easy to forget why you started planning your wedding in the first place and I am meeting more and more couples who say they 'just want to get it over with' and this, as a statement, makes all of us in the wedding industry so, so sad. We love weddings and we love helping you plan and realise your perfect day and it breaks our hearts just a little more each time we hear you say it. We will do anything to help you so please remember that you are not alone. Ultimately, the desicion is yours but this is a very big decision so I implore you to talk to each other and weigh your options first.
Postponing or splitting your date...
This has by far been the most popular choice and the majority of couples have postponed their weddings to next year. While the idea of holding on to see how it goes sounds simple enough, very few of us actually have the nerve to see how it goes and feel better moving the date. Most couples have moved to 2021 and have been asked by their venues to move to similar dates i.e. if you were originally booked for a Friday in April then idally you move to another Friday in April. This is the same for all suppliers - the wedding industry has peak seasons and off-peak seasons. As you will be aware, it is cheaper to book in the off-peak seasons so obviously your supplier is not going to want to move your date from an off-peak date onto a peak date as they can book that date at a higher rate.
Most suppliers are simply happy that you are not cancelling all together so are generally more than happy to postpone your date without any charges. However, some of the smaller businesses simply cannot afford to do this. In some cases, when your wedding was originally only a few weeks away for example, your deposit may have already been spent on supplies. So while your suppliers know this is upsetting and frustrating and believe me when I say that none us want to have the 'no, sorry, you can't have your deposit back' conversation, sometimes we simply don't have a choice. And as above, if you are postponing to a peak date from an off-peak date then you may find a charge for this. It's different with each supplier so just make sure to ask the question. The entire wedding industry is trying to be as accommodating as possible and if they can help you, they will.
Some couples have opted for a little of both. They have chosen to host their legal ceremony and wedding breakfast this year followed by a larger evening celebration next year. Some have even opted to book a Civil Celebrant for the second celebration so that they can have another (non-legal) ceremony to include everybody. Plus, who doesn't want to wear their wedding dress twice?! I have found this to be a really popular option and I have to say, very beneficial to both your wedding suppliers as well as yourselves. The impact of the current situation on your mental health has most certainly started to take its toll, whether you realise it or not, and I have found that the couples who have split their celebrations in half are a little higher in spirits. As a lover of all things wedding, it truly saddens me to see my couples without their usual excitement.
Please remember, you are not alone. The Wedding Industry is simply GINORMOUS not only with suppliers but with couples just like you. There is plenty of help and advice out there, though it may not always feel like it. If you haven't already, I definitely advise you to look up Guides for Brides on Facebook (other suppliers available). I have found Alison Hargreaves (their CEO) to be an inspiration throughout everything going on and she has been a huge support for so many couples out there.
Let me know if you need any help. Stay safe and speak soon.