Empty venue with chairs, decorated tables, and chandeliers with "Tips for Wedding Planning During Coronavirus (COVID-19)." Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

Tips for Wedding Planning During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

One minute you’re sending out wedding invitations and signing vendor contracts and the next you’re staring out your bedroom window while a hundred “what ifs” and “now whats” fill your mind. During such uncertain times, it’s normal to feel anxious and disheartened. Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 15, it has not been business as usual for anyone, including those of us in the wedding industry and couples beginning or in the midst of planning their weddings.

The situation remains fluid and no one is completely sure of how long we’ll be social distancing or wearing masks! But as of the time of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control recommends postponing events of 10 or more attendees and limiting participation in mass gatherings (read more about mass gatherings and community events at the CDC website).

As a result, it’s safe to say that any wedding in 2020 will look different than originally planned, whether it’s allowed to happen on a smaller scale or at a later date. The best piece of advice is to be prepared for anything, follow the news closely, and stay in communication with your vendors and guests.

Wherever you’re at in this, you probably have a lot of questions about how to navigate wedding planning during COVID-19. I may not have all the answers, but I am here to help you, as best I can, as you think about your upcoming nuptials.

FAQs About Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Weddings

Should we postpone our wedding?

If your wedding is in the next two months, then it may be a good idea to postpone. In fact, many couples have moved their summer and fall weddings to next spring or summer given that group gatherings over 50 aren’t anticipated to be encouraged until well into winter. As an alternative, and dependent on your vendors, consider having a small gathering (<10 people) to celebrate your commitment. For an even more intimate option, you and your partner could have a self-quarantined celebration on your scheduled date. Turn off the news, bake a cake, drink some wine, put on a wedding playlist – just have fun while keeping yourselves and others safe and healthy.

Related: Simple Self-Care Ideas for Brides

Bride and groom holding hands during outdoor wedding ceremony before the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

How far into the future should we postpone the wedding?

Since the progression back to some level of normality varies by state and is liable to change frequently, it’s hard to give a conclusive answer to this question. The best thing you can do is continue to monitor the CDC, WHO, and your local government announcements concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19), while maintaining an open conversation with your vendors and guests.

If our wedding is planned after September, should we postpone?

At the time of this writing, it’s maybe okay to keep things as is and plan on moving forward with your wedding plans. That being said, consider having a Plan B back-up date where the majority of your guests are local and stay in communication with your venue and vendors about your options should you need to adjust your day or postpone. Now is a good time to revisit any contracts you’ve signed and get in touch with the vendors if you have questions.

How do we postpone/cancel our wedding?

Brides has an in-depth article on how to rebook and replan a postponed wedding, as well as what to do if you need to cancel the wedding altogether. A few tips:

  • Check your contracts for what happens to deposits.
  • Contact your venue to find out what options you have/what dates are available.
  • Communicate with other high-priority vendors about future dates.
  • Let your guests know what’s happening and that you will keep them informed.
  • Update your wedding website.
Flat-lay of save the date, wedding invitation, vows, engagement and wedding rings, earrings, and shoes. Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

Wedding Planning Advice Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Inform your guests.

You may be social distancing, but you can still keep your wedding guests informed through email, your wedding website, social media, etc. Set up a private Facebook group, chat, or other online group for you and your guests so that everyone can keep informed on your wedding plans.

Update your website.

Add a blurb to your wedding website and a link to the CDC website so that guests can stay up-to-date on travel and accommodation information.

Related: 18 Questions to Answer on Your Wedding Website FAQ Page

Follow CDC and local government guidelines regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Practice extra hygiene and never underestimate the power of a bar of soap. Wash your hands like you’ve just cut up a handful of chili peppers, but you need to scratch your eye/nose/face.

Bride walking up stairs in a lace wedding gown. Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Safe shop for your wedding gown.

If you’re waiting for your dress to ship from overseas, you may be waiting for a long time. Even local salons, who employ designers based in the U.S., are pushing back ship dates to 20 weeks. Shipping cancelations and delays can also affect wedding-day details like favors, flowers, and decor. The best thing to do at this point is order (way) ahead, shop off-the-rack, shop locally and at small businesses (always a good idea!), and use what’s available. If there was ever a time to get creative, now is it!

Life may feel a bit upside down right now, but it’s important to take it one day at a time. Take care of yourself and try not to worry. Communicate with your wedding vendors, stay informed, and make educated decisions as things unfold. We are all in this together.

For more information about planning and weddings during the coronavirus, The Knot has opened up a dedicated hotline to answer any and all questions. They can be reached at (833) 998-2865 or help@theknot.com.

Feel free to also reach out to me if you have any questions about the wedding planning process or how to connect with your vendors during this time.

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