The Coronavirus has touched everyone everywhere, most especially my brides and grooms who are making the difficult decision whether to re-schedule their wedding day. What should you do? May I suggest, as you consider your choices, try to make your decision as quickly as you can. As I write this in late March, if your wedding is just weeks away, obviously the decision is made for you. But what if your wedding is months away?
Even if you don’t want to consider the possibility of rescheduling, you can guarantee that at least some of your friends and family are already thinking about it. Is there travel involved? Elderly relatives? Pregnant friends? The federal mandate currently is 10 people or less. That could rise to 50 or less come late summer? But, who knows? And what about your honeymoon and the traveling involved for that special trip.
It’s impossible to look ahead and try to guess what the situation could be in the future. Months from now people might be so frustrated with being under “house arrest” they will love to see a bride walk down the aisle, but will wonder about the “protocols.” Or they might be too anxious to even consider coming. Either way, it’s problematic. Are you ready to update your seating plan for social distancing? Make hand washing stations available? In general, concern about hygiene tends to be a buzz kill.
Don’t torture yourself. Making the decision is the hardest part. Once you do, you will be surprised at how freeing that will be. Remember, you are not alone. Alyson Krueger’s recent article in the NY TIMES “Finding Support after calling off the wedding” reminds us how important it is to reach out to others. She recommends contacting other brides-to-be for support or just to “lament your loss without judgement.” And don’t forget the grooms… Plus, there is now a great way of sending the news: If social media wasn’t made for this, what was it made for? In an instant you can alert your guests of the change of date or a TBD decision. You will be surprised how that changes the dynamic. Your guests will be relieved and impressed by your quick decision. No pity party. You are taking control of the narrative, not the other way around.
What’s left? Contact your vendors. Making the decision quickly means your florist, cake baker, caterer, photographer, musicians will be happy to hear that they will not lose your business and as a result you most likely will not take a financial hit. You are still using them, just at a future date.
Obviously, finding a date that now works for everyone may seem challenging. What about a January or February wedding? Your current venue will absolutely have availability in off season months as will other venues if you choose to go elsewhere. Yes, you may have signed a contract, but this is a pandemic. No decent venue is going to refuse to return your deposit considering these circumstances. Nobody wants the kind of social media pushback that would be inevitably unleashed and rightly so.
I am not a public health expert. And I am certainly not in the business of discouraging brides and grooms from getting married. Nothing would make me happier than to see things quickly get back to normal. But I am also trying to be practical and realistic. While parts of the economy are going to come back faster than others, I worry whether large celebratory events with dozens of people in attendance will be among them.
Rest assured, whenever it takes place, your day will be extraordinary, just as it was meant to be.
It’s awfully nice to be planning again, isn’t it?