Weddings are celebrations of life! They are family events with friends and loved ones. Social events that connect people in many ways.
Now enter the age of social distancing and sheltering in place and the wedding scene is totally turned upside down.
The hospitality industry has been hit hard with venues, photographers, florists, limo drivers and DJs/Musicians taking it right on the chin. Essentially, what we do for our livelihood as wedding professionals has been made illegal with many states shutting off gatherings of 10 or more. So where does that leave couples planning their weddings right now and in the immediate future? Here are some answers based upon facts and numbers about the COVID-19 spread and the potential timeline predicted.
If you have a wedding, or any event planned for April and May of 2020 it would be prudent to postpone and reschedule for later this year or 2021. Keep this in mind. If you are considering a Saturday in fall of 2020 understand those are the MOST popular wedding dates to begin with and many of those dates are already booked up solid! You may not have Saturdays in September and October as an option but take a look into Fridays and Sundays. Those might work? Also consider a romantic December holiday themed wedding. Christmas weddings can be beautiful and very special.
June weddings are on the block for considering a postponement. I think it might be too soon to make the change yet but at the very least you should be making calls and investigate what you can do and prepare a secondary back up date. Based on the numbers you are right on the line. Things can be getting back to normal or still in distress. That is yet to be seen.
July and August weddings should consider a postponement date and call your venue for availability BUT don’t make the move yet. Just be prepared. There is nothing that suggests that by summer of 2020 that we will all still be hiding in our homes. There is a ton of doom and gloom out there but those dire predictions and counter balanced with other predictions of a fairly quick recovering as herd immunity develops and the warm and humid summer days approach. I say, split the difference from the extremes and lets plan in the middle.
September an October weddings, you should be just fine! Just be thankyou you selected the fall season and keep in mind your disruption should be minimal. God willing!
What should every couple planning a wedding do right now? Contact your vendor team and review the contracts and policy. If your wedding vendor won’t be available for your back up date you should know as soon as possible. Which is why I recommend planning a back up date and just prepare yourself accordingly. Also, make sure your wedding professional acts professional and offers you change of date with NO penalties or fees. These should not apply on a legal basis as this is under the acts of God clause. That does NOT mean you have a total and complete right to a total refund. Just verify the funds you have paid so far are 100% applicable to your new date with no loss to you.
So, DON’T PANIC! Have a plan, contact your vendors and be willing to be flexible. Everything will be fine and your wedding celebration will be met with incredible enthusiasm as people celebrate life and getting back to normalcy!
Blessings to you and be healthy!
Mike Fernino * Founder of Music In Motion Entertainment