2020 Wedding Options {COVID-19}

Breaking Down Your 2020 Wedding Options is a guest post by Erin Bouchard, owner of Once Upon a Time Weddings in Strathroy.

Photo Above: HRM Photography

Brides and grooms who are planning an April, May or June wedding are facing an impossible decision as we approach their weddings. First, I want to say: This sucks. It sucks for brides and grooms. It sucks for vendors. It sucks for guests. It sucks for so many reasons. I’m sorry for all those facing these decisions now and in the weeks to come.

2020 Wedding Options

On Wednesday nights, Rob Aitken from Music Central Entertainment hosts a zoom chat for engaged couples and wedding professionals to discuss questions, concerns, and ideas. I’ve sat in on a few of these chats. And I’ve been working closely with my brides as well. I thought I’d spend a few minutes weighing out your 2020 wedding options these affected brides and grooms.

Keep your current date

Some vendors are suggesting that you keep your original wedding date for now and have a small wedding on that date. Then you plan a big reception to be held later in the fall, preferably on a Friday or Sunday or even another weekday. Let’s explore this option first.

For this to happen, we need the ban of non-essential businesses to be lifted. Otherwise, an officiant can’t legally marry you. A photographer can’t legally capture that day. Your venue can’t legally open for any part of your ceremony or reception. A seamstress can’t legally do your final fittings. And currently, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Obviously, the hope would be that by May we can be open to do those things and the gathering would be higher than five.

But that’s a big risk at this point as we aren’t seeing even progress towards that.

The other thing that needs to be factored in here is the cost to essentially host two weddings. You must book the venue twice. You will need to pay the photographer to come to your wedding twice. You will need to pay for hair and make up a second time. You may even need to do alterations twice. These vendors are losing so much of their season; you can’t ask them to give you two Saturdays for the same cost as one. So if this is the route you’re thinking of taking, be sure to discuss with your vendors any additional costs. You’ll need to make a plan for how you’d notify guests of this option.

Another possibility along the same lines would be to do a small backyard ceremony on your original wedding date. If businesses can open and if the gathering of five people has been increased. This would cut down some of the additional costs associated with having two weddings.

2020 Wedding Options Bride and Bride, Same-sex weddings, HRM Photography
Photo Above: HRM Photography

Reschedule for a later date

Brides and grooms are least happy with this 2020 wedding options: rescheduling. As your date draws closer, and social distancing measures, increase, you may need to look at postponing your wedding. Pushing it back until fall or even into 2021. Again a great option would be to look at doing a Friday or Sunday wedding. Most Saturdays in 2020 are likely to be booked at this point. Couples need to weigh out their options here. Are you married to the idea of a wedding on a Saturday? How do you feel about postponing for an entire year?

This option hopefully allows your vendors to move with you to a new date. In order to do that, you’ll need to contact them first before choosing a new date. Reach out to your venue and see what days they have available first and then reach out to your vendors to see if there’s an overlap in availability. Some vendors may ask for an additional payment or retainer to make the switch.

Choosing a fall date may carry some risk as there’s a possibility you may have to postpone again because no one knows how long this will last. I think that’s what makes this situation so difficult. We can’t know with any certainty when this will be over.

No Change: holding onto hope

I’m seeing a lot of couples holding on to hope that they will get to keep their May and June weddings. I hear you! You’ve planned this wedding and you were so excited to celebrate with your loved ones and tie the knot.

However, as we head into April and new information is brought forth, the chances of our world returning to normal in May is decreasing. I’d hate for a bride to wait too long and then have even fewer options because later weddings have already rescheduled. It’s easy to bury our heads in the sand when things feel overwhelming. But knowledge really is power. Looking at all your options, weighing out the pros and cons will make you feel a bit more in control. Just because you ask your venue about options, doesn’t mean you’re for sure going to change.

Many vendors right now are being flexible and allowing brides and grooms to tentatively hold a second date if they do need to postpone their wedding. But remember every vendor is different. Discuss your options with them. Some vendors, like photographers, or videographers can only do one wedding a weekend. Other vendors like planners, hair, and make-up have teams of people are therefore able to book multiple weddings in a weekend.

2020 Wedding options, bride and groom in the moonlight by HRM Photography
Photo Above: HRM Photography

Moving forward

You’re allowed to spend a little time grieving your original wedding date. You had your heart set on the wedding you planned. You have the right to grief the loss of that wedding dream.

Then try to get a back-up plan in place. Push through the grief and sadness so that you’ll get the wedding you’ve always wanted.

One local wedding vendor, Jodi Hall from Something New Officiant, discussed with us that now is the time for wedding couples to get the wedding they have always wanted. Sometimes we’re pressured into doing certain things for our weddings because it’s what our parents wanted. Now is the time to re-evaluate why you are doing certain aspects and plan the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

Make sure you communicate with your vendors. Reach out to them. All of the wedding vendors are passionate about what they do. They love weddings. And they want to see you get the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

For more thoughts and ideas on how weddings have been affected by COVID-19 see Should I Postpone My Wedding and How to Plan Your Wedding During Coronavirus.

About Once Upon a Time Weddings

Once Upon A Time Weddings is located in downtown Strathroy. Celebrating 10 years in business this September they are best known for their amazing service, individual bridal suites and attention to detail. When it comes to your wedding gown, don’t make it just a decision, make it an experience. You can find out more at their website or through the form below.

COVID-19, HRM Photography, Music Central Entertainment, Once Upon A Time Weddings, Something New Officiant