If you’re in any bridal groups on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a ton of brides talking about the coronavirus affecting their wedding day. From guest cancellations to venue cancellations! You’ve worked SO hard to plan your dream day and now it feels like it’s all falling apart. It’s obvious that the Coronavirus has truly disturbed the wedding industry as a whole. And no matter if you’re having your wedding in your home state or somewhere abroad, there is a lot to think about when dealing with this outbreak.
First of all, it’s going to be okay. I know that might be hard to believe right now but it will. Take a deep breath and let’s chat about what you CAN do.
If your wedding is in a country that has a travel ban, you’re probably already doing what you can to reorganize your wedding day: either moving the wedding to another destination or cancelling it altogether. If you’re still not sure what to do, here’s some tips and things to keep in mind!
Stay informed and inform others: If your wedding is not in a country or area that has been infected and you don’t want to cancel it, stay up to date with all your vendors – especially your venue. Some areas will have bans on large gatherings. If this is the case, contact your guests to confirm who is planning to come to the wedding. Some may not be able to attend anymore anyways. To stay up-to-date with the latest information, check out the World Health Organization’s website here.
Postpone or Cancel: If you’re in an area that has been infected or you’re not comfortable hosting your wedding, reach out to all your vendors to confirm that you can postpone your wedding day without losing your deposit. Most vendors should be understanding of the circumstances! With that said, if one of your wedding vendors chooses to cancel due to the coronavirus, you should also be understanding of their situation! If you’re going to lose your deposit or have limited time to cancel without losing your deposit, don’t rush into cancelling. Figure out when the latest time you can cancel is (without losing your deposit or more) and decide then. Look for alternative backups and talk to your vendors about all cases so you can be prepared. Another thing to keep in mind is that your wedding vendors have been depending on that money for up to or more than a year. Even if they decide to refund you, give them time if they need it. This situation is devestating for you and your vendors.
Some information about your deposit/payments/refunds: The most accurate information regarding your exact situation can usually be found directly in the contract that you signed with each of your wedding vendors. You may read things like “non-refundable retainer” and “acts of God”. Legally, your vendor that uses the termonaligy “non-refundable retainer” (or something similar) can keep the retainer you paid them when you hired them. This is because they held that date and time just for you/your wedding. However, if your vendor cancels on you, you might and should be able to receive all of the money you paid to them (since it wasn’t your choice to cancel). Now, this gets a bit tricky when the government forces a shut down. Some vendors may want or need (remember, they have bills and families too) to keep your retainer. Some vendors may allow you to change or postpone your wedding date without paying a new retainer/deposit – and some, will not allow that! It all depends on the vendor. This is no time to be shaming or threatening your vendors. It’s easy for people to only think about their own situation but please remember that although this is heartwrenching for you, they are struggling as well. They have already put several hours into your wedding day (emailing you, meeting you, phone calls with you, creating timelines with/for you, designing everything that they have given you – welcome packets, gifts, etc). They deserve to be paid for the time they already put into your wedding day. And vendors, think about how much time, energy, and love couples have put into this one day (that they have liking been planning for a year or more). Remember to be reasonable, kind, and understanding with your couples.
Still having your wedding? Don’t forget to put lots of extra hand sanitizers out for your guests. Even give each person their own mini bottle. Be aware that although you’re still having the wedding, it’s likely that some of your guests may cancel. Be prepared for a smaller guest count and discuss with your caterer and venue ahead of time. If you still need to do some shopping for your wedding day, try to shop local. Many suppliers may be shipping in from China and shipping could be delayed! It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, much like any other situation, keep your guests informed! Let them know that the wedding is still on! This will give your guests the opportunity to plan or re-plan if they need to.
If you or your guests plan to wear masks, please make sure you’re using the masks correctly. Here is more information on when and how to use a mask properly.
Whether you’re traveling for, postponing, cancelling, or not changing your wedding day plans, make sure you review all of your contracts and insurance plans!
If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding day and it’s scheduled for later in the year, keep planning but add that extra layer of protection by opting in for insurance and adding important notes to your contracts.
If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding tips, tricks, and ideas, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!
Mary Taylor <3