Love isn’t Cancelled
But, should you cancel or postpone your wedding due to Covid-19?
love isn’t cancelled
But, should you cancel or Postpone your wedding during Covid-19?
COVID-19 and Weddings
Did your wedding plans get turned totally upside down by Coronavirus? There are so many people in the same boat as you. Whether you are still waiting to reschedule your big party, or wondering whether or not a small wedding is right for the two of you, I’m going to talk through all the in’s and out’s so you know you’re not alone in all of this.
should you reschedule your big wedding because of Covid-19?
If you are one of the people still hanging onto your wedding date, I feel you!! It is so hard to plan a wedding under normal circumstances, nevermind trying to maintain plans while having no idea what the next few months are going to look like. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no sure fire way to know.
- Are you okay with a smaller guest list?
- As we have seen, some of the first guidelines put in place during a COVID wave are restrictions on the size of groups that can get together to party. My guess is that this fall we will still have similar limitations in place, so ask yourselves if you are okay going ahead with the party if you have 10 guests, 20 guests, or 30 guests? Is it more important to keep the date and get married then and there than have the larger group you’re imagining. If you’re okay flexing with the restrictions, you may want to consider keeping the date for now!
- Is your venue primarily outdoors?
- More restrictions put in place on indoor spaces like restaurants and shopping malls. So, if you have an outdoor venue your chances of having a “normal” wedding are significantly higher! If you have an all indoor space, communicate with the owners or coordinators about how they plan to manage that, and keep an eye on state and county guidelines for indoor spaces. Some may be opening with a limited capacity (like 25% of normal) so you again may have to consider cutting down on the guest list.
- How many of your guests are “high risk”?
- While younger people are still at risk, it is worth considering if you want to ask elderly or immunocompromised members of your family to travel, and be in large groups of people. If you know they won’t travel, or don’t want them to, are you okay with them “Zoom” attending your wedding and not being there in person? If no, consider looking at a date later on when it may be safer for them to attend your wedding.
- What are your vendors’ cancellation/rescheduling policies?
- Hopefully this is something you’ve chatted to them about already, if not, it’s probably a good idea to know where all your vendors stand on rescheduling or cancelling your wedding.
- Are you good with your wedding looking a little different than what you imagined?
- This is a big one, and the kicker that many of my clients who are rescheduling have mentioned. Many of them don’t want to have spent the time and effort to plan their big wedding to then have it not go down how they imagined it would. If you know you won’t be happy without the big wedding, then start checking with your vendors for dates that work for postponement.
should you still have a small ceremony if you postpone or cancel your wedding?
Once you’ve decided how to handle the big wedding, there’s still the question of how you celebrate this year. My sister was supposed to get married in a castle in Scotland this June, and we made the decision to reschedule the big wedding due to travel safety and elderly relatives. But, she still wanted to mark this year with an occasion, and more importantly, she and her fiance just want to be frickin’ married already! She decided to do a small wedding with just the immediate family so that they don’t have to just be “engaged” for a whole ‘nother year. Here’s the decision process she went through…
- Is it important to you to be married right meow!?
- Kinda the most important question in all of this, right? If it’s super important for you to be married right here, right now. Figure out a way to do it!
- Is it more important that you have friends and family there when you do officially get married?
- Weddings are about community in so many ways, so if it won’t feel right to you to do the thing without your family and friends by your side, it is totally okay to wait. I fully give you permission to sit in the bathtub in your wedding dress and cry it out, thinking about how unfair it is that the world has done this to you. But, dig yourself out, and get excited about that big dream wedding later on, too 😉
- Is there a location that will make you happy?
- So, if you decide to have a smaller wedding, you then have to decide what that looks like and where you do it. Many of the courthouses are still closed, but if you want to wait until they open, I have a page all about doing a courthouse wedding here. There are tons of small ceremony sites littered through the front range that are absolutely stunning, but those again go hand in hand with restrictions (many are closed at least through June 1st). The safest way to make sure you can still get married on the day you want is a ceremony on private property (like your backyard)! Again, this pretty much comes down to whether you want to do it only on your terms, or if you can play by some rules. Take a peek at my guide on small ceremony sites in Boulder if you’re okay waiting until mid-June/July for your ceremony.
- If you have a small ceremony, who should you include?
- Do you still want an officiant? Family members? Best friends? Check out what your group restrictions are and think about who (if anyone) you want there with you. Apart from guests, there are vendors too! Do you still want photos? A cake? Flowers? See if the people working your big party can hook you up with some smaller tokens for your mini-wedding to make it feel extra special.
How do you keep everyone safe at your COVID-19 Wedding?
COVID-19 Safety and your guests
So, if you do move forward with a wedding, you’ll need figure out what keeping your friends and family safe looks like to you. Each person needs to have their own assessment of risk versus reward, so within the limits of what is legal in your county and city, you can figure out how to move forward. That may involve masks, additional hygiene measures like hand sanitizer, and keeping social distance between family groups. You also need to make sure your guests “buy in” to what you want your safety measures to include. If you are more comfortable with your guests all wearing masks, you’ll need to address that with folks who don’t feel that is how they want to celebrate with you? If you don’t want people wearing masks, how will you keep the people who do attend and feel they need to wear masks for safety in spaces where they feel comfortable as well?
Covid-19 Safety and Your vendors
There are other people who’ll be attending your wedding beyond your guests, and they are contractually bound to show up and do their job despite the safety measures that each wedding will be putting into place. Think about what vendors go through in a full wedding season… your catering staff will have been to two to three other weddings in the same weekend during peak season, your officiant may have worked another ceremony this morning, and yours truly, a photographer worked a wedding last weekend too. We are 100% a transmission vector and don’t have control over the safety measures in place at the weddings we attend. Keeping that in mind, think of ways to keep the vendors safe from guests so we can keep working other weddings, but also keep your guests safe from vendors who may have more exposure risk than others. Consider having your food buffet outdoors if your venue allows it to minimize close contact with your catering team, or have your dance party outdoors so you don’t have the 8 members of a live band crammed into the dance floor inside the venue with you. For photography, I’ve been advising moving getting ready photos into larger spaces, encouraging family formal photos to take place outdoors, and photographing dancing from more of a distance than I normally do.
Wedding Photography + COVID-19 FAQs
Here’s what I’ve put together to make sure that I’m keeping my clients, and myself as safe as possible while working photo sessions and weddings during COVID-19.
Planning a microwedding, elopement, or backyard wedding during COVID-19?
If going the smaller wedding route is the right fit, you might be feeling SO MUCH OVERWHELM that you now need to plan a whole ‘nother wedding. Here’s some posts you might find helpful in your new planning journey.
need a photographer?
I know you may already have an AMAZING photographer booked for your big wedding who will love working with you for your smaller wedding too, but if your original wedding was out of state, or your photographer is booked, I would love to be there by your side!