After you’ve spent months planning the perfect wedding day, the last thing you want is something unexpected to ruin all your plans. Again. COVID-19 is still prompting couples to consider whether a 2021 wedding is going to happen in the way that they want. And so, I offer you a list of 6 things to do if COVID cancels your wedding, for the first time or again.
- Keep an eye on the news, but try not to obsess.
It can definitely be stressful to watch the constant updates of closings and hospitalizations, vaccine roll outs and effectiveness, but keeping an eye on the latest coronavirus news will help you decide what to do about your wedding day. If your wedding is in the next two to three months and you’re planning a large wedding, you should postpone. As restrictions change heading into summer, refer to the BC Centres of Disease Control updates on event planning.
2. Check cancellation policies
Wedding vendors and wedding clients had a steep learning curve in 2020. It was a shock to many to learn that a pandemic under most circumstances does not fall under an Act of God clause. Act of God clauses pertain to unforeseen, sudden, uncontrollable events like natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, fire) but your wedding choices during a pandemic are adjustable, however uncomfortable or saddening those changes are. As you plan your wedding for this year, review those cancellation policies thoroughly. Talk with your vendors, and agree to COVID-specific terms.
3. Check wedding insurance
Entering year two of the pandemic, cancellation policies have changed. Most will not cover a postponement or cancellation due to COVID, since it is a known risk. If your wedding isn’t until later in the year, especially if it’s outdoors or in the fall, you might not want to cancel right away. Instead, talk with your vendors about a date by which you would want to make the call. Create a back up plan for a small COVID-friendly wedding if you think you’ll move ahead regardless of the restrictions, or prep your guests for the possibility of a 2022 wedding.
4. Plan for a smaller guest list–or plan a COVID SPECIAL!
If you’re sure 2021 is your year, plan for an outdoor wedding with less than 50 people. If you want a big party, postpone until 2022. Or, if you want both, talk with your vendors, especially your wedding photographer and wedding coordinator (Wild Smile Events, Made with Grace Events). You can opt for a COVID SPECIAL: plan an elopement or micro wedding this year, and a giant party next year! Because we’re all going to need a few parties when this is over!
5. Shop local, and order items without the wedding date
Shopping local keeps money in your community, helps sustain small centres and rural areas, and supports vendors who can’t otherwise compete with giant corporations. It also adds diversity and uniqueness to the economy–how cool is it when you can only get something from a special place or from the very person who made it? Here’s a resource to help you support local BC vendors.
But if you are planning on ordering anything from outside of Canada, order them well in advance. Shipping times are well behind normal, especially if anything is coming from another continent.
Another tip… order your items without the wedding date. It might not be the date you first expect!
6. Talk with your vendors
If possible, consider having your wedding as planned—local businesses definitely need your support and you want to get married! Some couples live-stream their ceremony to guests who are unable to travel. It’s not ideal, but it’s an option if you are far along in the planning process and don’t want to postpone.
As you’re deciding whether to continue with your wedding day as planned, the most important thing is to follow local government guidelines and talk openly with your vendors. You’re not alone and we want you to have the best day ever, so please don’t hesitate to explore with your vendors all the things you can do if COVID cancels your wedding.