Wedding Planning Around COVID-19Words by Kristi Blane
Photos courtesy of Gertrude & Mabel
Tips From The Pros
Under normal circumstances, planning can be tricky and planning a destination wedding during a global pandemic can be downright anxiety-inducing. So we pulled some sage advice from some of the wedding industry’s finest to help you navigate yourself down the aisle with ease.
Engage with your wedding vendors.
“A lot more people will be looking closely at their wedding contracts and deposits they have paid. I do think it’s a time for couples to engage with all their wedding vendors, no matter what stage in the planning process they are at.” — Tara Fay, Tara Fay Events
Call your venue first.
Venues are doing their best to work with couples to make sure their events can happen when they want. “We are being very flexible with our policies, helping clients to find the perfect date to reschedule within the year with no extra charge to change. Basically, their wedding is still exactly as they dreamed it, just on a different date.” — Ana Tiznado, Wedding Specialist at Velas Resorts
Do your gown shopping from home.
Many companies have try-at-home programs for brides. “Ladies can try-on different styles and sizes before ordering their dress from home. Otherwise, our online assortment of bridesmaid and wedding dresses on kleinfeldbridalparty.com are returnable and if a style does not work – the customer can return and/or exchange for a different style.” — Jennette Kruszka, Kleinfeld Bridal
Stream your wedding.
“We know the hardest part of planning your wedding during COVID-19 is choosing between getting married and not having some very important people in your lives there due to pre-existing conditions or being high risk. One solution we’ve found is streaming the event to loved ones back home so they can feel involved.” — Aimee Monihan, Founder of Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions
Think outside the box with invitations.
In addition to your printed invites, safeguard yourself by creating a digital version that can change in case of emergency. “Have your stationer also prepare a digital graphic that you can share with guests via email, text or social. As for a PNG or JPEG file, they are easy to send and show quickly in any mobile or web browser.” — Kaleigh Wiese, MELDEEN
Book your vendors ASAP.
“Regardless if you’re planning now or if you had to postpone your wedding to 2021, book your vendors right now or at least six months out. If you wait too long to reserve your hair and make up artists, florists, photographers, planners etc., there won’t be many qualified artists left.” — Katelyn McCullough, Elwynn + Cass
Create a “COVID Comfort Station.”
“Having a ‘COVID Comfort Station’ has been a huge hit. As guests arrive we have a station with masks for all, hand sanitizer and a collection of bracelets that are different colors. Each bracelet color indicates the guests comfort level. One bracelet color might indicate they are okay with hugs and sharing space, where another shows they are keeping their distance.” — Aimee Monihan, Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions
Want a big wedding? Push your date as far as possible.
If you have your heart set on a large event, that’s okay. Just make sure you set your dates for as far out as possible to ensure you won’t have to postpone anything. You’re probably safe to go for late 2021 or early 2022. The bonus? You have a lot of time to plan and save.” — Jennifer Stein, Destination I Do Magazine
Play up your décor.
“People often believe that because they are traveling somewhere for their wedding or because the guest list is more intimate they feel their event doesn’t necessarily need to be designed. I love when my destination clients have a cohesive vision and we can create something really layered and experiential.” — Michelle Durpetti, Michelle Durpetti Events
Cross items off your wedding “to-do” list.
“Work on your song list for your DJ or band and your shot list for your photographer. These items always come up quickly, so it’s a great idea to start working on them now while you have more time at home together.” — Ali Phillips, Engaging Events by Ali
When it comes to downsizing your guest list, make sure you know how it affects your budget. “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, however, (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.” — Amy Nichols, Amy Nichols Special Events and Intimate I Dos
Double-check your contracts.
Get your group tested.“Request that all your guests get tested before attending your event as it is a great safety measure. It will put you at ease knowing your guests are not at risk of spreading the virus at your event. A bonus: you can hug the people you love on this incredibly important day.” — Aimee Monihan, Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions
The above photos are courtesy of Gertrude & Mable and designed by Amy Nichols. This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Special Digital Edition 2020.
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