Covid-19 – to postpone or not postpone…..

Covid-19 – Destination Wedding Planner

NB – this blog is dated 15 March 2020.  Covid-19 is new to all of us, every hour of every day there are new updates which I will be reviewing.  It is purely my own advice and is not legal in any way.  

Bride ThinkingPlanning a wedding is a very stressful time for the Bride and Groom both emotionally and financially.  They will be full of excitement for their dream wedding along with the overwhelming feelings involved in planning one of the most significant events of their life.

A destination wedding also involves the logistics of organising the trip abroad for your loved ones.  Finding a location accessible to everyone, including flights and various hotel options on a range of budgets.  Guests may have had this holiday booked for some time.

Throw in an unexpected worldwide pandemic and you cannot even begin to imagine the stress and emotion that the Bride and Groom are now going through.

All parties involved in making this dream wedding a success are struggling with the uncertainty that this has brought to their clients and their businesses.  My job now is to support the Bride and Groom, provide contingencies for the worst-case scenario and minimise risk.

Global Pandemic

Cover and recovery of costs

Insurance

I have been in touch with a couple of wedding insurers – they will cover all irrecoverable costs but only if the venue were to cancel before the government puts bans in place.  Not very useful!!!

Venue and Supplier terms

My advice, and what I am now doing for my clients, is to contact the venue and all the suppliers involved to find out their cancellation terms or what would happen to the money you have already paid if the wedding were to be rescheduled to a new date next year.

The suppliers I have spoken with so far have all confirmed that they would be happy to move all payments over to a new date next year based on their availability.  Suppliers will try to be as flexible as possible but bear in mind they still have their own costs to cover.  Rescheduling to a later date would cause less damage to both the Bride and Groom and the supplier as cancelling completely could mean no refund of deposit payments, whereas rescheduling would hopefully mean carrying payments over.

NB: Please speak to your venue and suppliers for their terms and conditions

 

To postpone or not to postpone?

Alarm BellHave a think about how many guests/which guests cancelling would mean you would rather postpone, the age and vulnerability of the guests, is your guest count already going down or are guests willing to ride it out, how far are people travelling and where are they travelling from?   If someone very important cannot be there would you still want to go ahead?  Speak to your guests and family members and see what they are thinking about travelling.  What is the date of your wedding and how much time do you have before your scheduled date? There are lots of factors that make everyone’s situation different.

If you decide to keep your wedding date as it is for this summer and to continue planning in the hope that things improve, then consider putting a backup contingency plan in place.  Speak to the venue to see if you can hold a date for next year and check this date with the main suppliers, keep updated with the news, and regularly review and update.  Put a timeline in place with checkpoints based on your wedding date.

You can check for updates on the following websites along with news channels:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus – UK.  For more detailed advice on Covid-19 and the effects to your country, check your local Government website.

 

Guests

Check-in with your guests and see how they are feeling, put an update on your wedding website, also try and keep guests themselves motivated by continuing with planning (if that’s what you are doing) – send them the menu to have a look at or ask which song they would like to hear played.

Advise guests to contact their travel insurance.  Is their accommodation booked with a cancellation policy?  I have contacted a couple of hotels this week who are happy to move non-refundable deposits over to a new date next year and I think you will find that most people will be supportive and do their best to help.

If a credit card was used for any payments, this may be covered by the card provider.

 

If your wedding is still going ahead – Health and Safety first!

All being well and your wedding can still proceed, Health and Safety is now even more important, and measures should be put into place.

Ask the venue for their plan – can they have extra handwashing facilities, hand sanitising, disinfectant wipes around the venue.

Bear holding disinfectantSpeak to the caterer regarding ways to reduce risk such as having appetisers passed around by staff rather than table displays which guests would be touching.

At the usual greeting line following the ceremony, perhaps bring in a rule of no kissing, hugging.

Have any of the suppliers travelled to countries at risk / are they or their staff at risk?  Do they have back up staff who can be brought in?

If anyone does have symptoms or is considered at risk and cannot attend, you can consider live streaming of the ceremony.

Stay positive and remember your wellbeing / mental health is the most important thing.  If your wedding is cancelled or postponed, you will still enjoy your special day at a later date knowing you did all you could.

If you have a honeymoon booked and can still travel to that country, go and enjoy it, even if it is no longer a honeymoon.  You will be grateful of the time to relax.

I wish you all the best with your weddings and contact me if I can help in any way.

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