I’m a wedding photographer who depends on the impulse that people have to be close to one another. But every morning in March, I sat in a chair with my coffee and crossed my fingers as I read the news, hoping against all odds that no one would have to say, “COVID-19 postponed my wedding.”
Those first days were optimistic, but as social distancing and closures became our new reality, I learned to wait for the emails. Heartfelt words from couples worried about their loved ones, concerned about logistics, scared about money, and gutted that hugging and dancing with their people would not be allowed. It sucked to make the decision to postpone and in some cases, cancel.
I’ve spent the last few weeks talking with couples about how COVID-19 changed their wedding plans. Here’s a list of ideas that might help ease the disappointment, and perhaps make your wedding plans even more special.
Celebrate the Original Date
- Splurge on a new outfit or even wear your wedding clothes. Go somewhere really important to you, somewhere you wouldn’t be able to go on your wedding day.
- Have a private vow ceremony. Read your vows, or write special ones for this original day, acknowledging how this world event has led you down another path together.
- Schedule an engagement session on your original date. If your wedding package included engagement photos or you didn’t think you wanted them, doing your engagement session on your original wedding date would be a perfect way to celebrate.
Have a Smaller Celebration
Most provinces now have parameters as to how many people can gather together. If you were planning a really big wedding, you could still have that at another time. But this year, on your original date, plan a smaller get together with your very closest people. Or, have a family-only wedding with the people you’ve been missing. If you have grandparents, you could do a vow ceremony and dinner just with them.
Some of my clients have added a few extra hours to their wedding package to split between a small celebration this year, and a larger reception day next year. It’s a genius way to have your cake and eat it, too!
Elopements are really special. They’re completely focused on the two of you. You can go wherever you’d like for as long as you want, without the additional costs of food and venue. Some couples who elope end up having a reception later on, so that is always an option. But if your 2020 date is really important, eloping is a romantic way to enter into the next chapter of your relationship now.
Postpone & make it Magical / Postpone & save some Money
COVID-19 Postponed My Wedding…. and postponing is disappointing. There’s no doubt about that. But now that you have some extra time, you could stockpile some cash and splurge on some of the things you perhaps had to give up for this year. Maybe it was a longer honeymoon, or somewhere further away. Maybe you wanted a certain venue that was booked in 2020, and might now be open in 2021 or 2022.
Communicate with all your vendors and your wedding photographer right away about any changes you want to make. Not only are 2020 couples looking at 2021 dates, but so are 2021 couples… and there aren’t enough Saturdays for everyone.
- If that wedding photographer or other vendor you wanted wasn’t available in 2020, they might now be. Some of us are offering 2020 prices for 2021 or 2022 weddings. Ask about postponement pricing!
- Postpone to a non-Saturday. There might even be a deal for Friday or Sunday weddings, because 2021 couples are now also looking for Saturdays.
- Sometimes there’s incentive to pay with cash or cheque. Credit card fees add up for vendors and since a lot of us will barely survive 2020, not having to pay these fees really helps.
Having to say “COVID-19 postponed my wedding” hurts. While none of these suggestions will change how disappointing it is to have your wedding plans kiboshed, I hope some of these options will ease the burden, and perhaps give you something new to look forward to. I’m entirely open to any ideas you might have. Please don’t hesitate to contact me whether it’s for a shoulder to cry on, or a brain to share ideas with!