COVID: Switch Your W-Day Timeline

August 31, 2020
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Gertrude & Mabel

How to Reorganize Your Budget and Timeline Due to COVID

If you’re among the group of engaged couples who have been forced to change their plans due to COVID-19, we’re sending you a big ol’ hug. No one wants to have to forgo a celebration they’ve been dreaming of because of a pandemic… or for any reason. So let’s just recognize your disappointment for a minute. It’s okay to throw yourself a little pity party in lieu of your destination wedding…we’ll wait while you do that.

Now, when you’re done wallowing (and understandably so!), let’s look on the bright side. You might end up with more than one celebration…you can marry now and party later! Read on to hear from expert Amy Nichols, Founder of Amy Nichols Special Events and Intimate I Dos (member of the Small Wedding Society) on how to pivot your budget and timeline to reimagine your wedding re-do.

Reorganizing your budget (based on a smaller guest list)

  • With COVID forcing weddings to be smaller for the foreseeable future, many couples will be asking themselves how they should adjust their budget in light of recent events. A few things to keep in mind — are you planning two celebrations? If so, you might need to reallocate parts of your budget for your micro wedding or elopement, and then a larger chunk for your celebration when you party later (ideally when those restrictions on crowded dance floors are lifted!). That said, if you’re pushing your big celebration out to 2021 or further, that may also give you more time to save for your dream wedding. 
  • With a smaller guest list, you should have many expenses that are lower, due to a smaller guest count. Certain costs (flowers, food & beverage) will be substantially lower if your guest count has shrunk. Other costs though (your planner, venue, photographer) may stay the same regardless of your wedding size. Take a look at your contracts and talk to your creative team to learn how their fees might adjust based on a more intimate celebration. If for instance, you’re planning a micro wedding or an elopement now, but then a bigger celebration later, your vendors may not charge you double. We all know that these are crazy extenuating circumstances and want to help our couples get married as soon as they wish. 
  • Prioritize a venue that’s meaningful to you (if possible!) and photography even with a smaller guest count. And having an experienced planner will ensure the process goes smoothly. 

Adjusting your wedding timeline due to COVID

  • This is such a complicated and loaded topic for many couples. Chances are, if you’re engaged, you’re incredibly excited to start your lives together, and you wanted to get married in 2020 for a reason — and certainly didn’t envision pushing things out a year (or two). 
  • Couples faced with needing to downsize (to meet COVID safety requirements) are left with two choices — downsize or postpone. Many people don’t want to have two celebrations, and want their wedding day to be their one and only. In that case, I’d recommend moving forward with a downsized celebration this year. 
  • If you have your heart set on a big(ger) wedding with all of the fun and merriment (think crowded dance floor), then pushing out to the second half of 2021 or even 2022 is going to be a safer bet. Many planners are urging clients to not reschedule to a new date that’s too soon, since this virus will be with us for at least another 18 months. 
  • If you have other bigger life goals (waiting to live together until you’re married, starting a family) it may make sense for you to have your wedding this year, rather than waiting another 12-24 months. If you do find yourself wanting to move forward w/ a smaller celebration, you don’t need as long of a planning window — you could easily get your celebration planned with a couple month’s notice. 

No matter what you decide, if it’s to get married now with an elopement or small guest list or to push your large celebration off to a later date, just remember the why behind getting married. Your celebration might not be what you imagined, but isn’t it with the who you imagined it with?

Vendors: Photography: Gertrude & Mabel; Planning and Design: Amy Nichols Special Events & Intimate I Dos Floral Design; Prop Styling: Kelly Oshiro; Invitations: Bella Figura; Linens: La Tavola Linen; Rentals: My Lovely Events; Hair & Makeup: Janet Villa

Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva

Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.