This is a basic transcript of our Facebook Live on Monday, March 16th at 7:30pm.
We are in the middle of an unprecedented situation – information is changing on a daily basis, if not hourly, and we are trying to keep up as best as we can. Your wedding vendors are trying to navigate through this at the same time you are, so let’s all show each other a little empathy and patience while we all figure out what this means for each of us.
Governor Evers has placed a ban on any gatherings over 50 people. We don’t believe he has set an end date, but its safe to say weddings within the next 4-8 weeks will be impacted. If the ban matches the CDC’s recommendations, it will go for at least 8 weeks, which brings us to mid-May.
Now that it is officially a ban instead of just a recommendation, if you try to still move forward with your wedding plans (larger than 50 guests), you will be asking your vendors to go against government orders. This is not a good position to ask anyone to be in. If you still want to try to press on, a few options for you:
- reduce your guest list to less than 50 guests, and don’t forget that you, your fiance, and your vendors count towards that 50. You might have to relocate to a smaller venue or a private home / backyard.
- use technology to include those who can’t be there with you. You can livestream the wedding with Facebook Live, Zoom, or a similar program.
The other option is to postpone the wedding. For weddings closer to the 6-8 week mark, please note that the courthouses are currently closed to the public and are not issuing new marriage licenses (or scheduling any civil ceremonies) until at least April 4th. (Our phone conversation with them was a little murky but this is the best as we understand it.)
If you have your marriage license already, you can still have the ceremony now and move the reception to another date. A party is a party no matter when it happens!
If you purchased wedding insurance BEFORE the outbreak, you might be covered for cancellation or postponement. You should also be covered should you or your fiance fall ill with COVID-19. However, you cannot get insurance to cover it now, because once the outbreak is known about, it is no longer covered. It was best explained to me as you cannot get hurricane insurance when one is about to reach land. Regardless, if you already have insurance, reach out now and find out your options (and be aware they are experiencing higher than normal customer service wait times). If you don’t have insurance – and this goes for all couples – please consider it. It can range from $300 – $600 but as you can see, can be very beneficial.
If you are postponing your wedding, depending on your contract, your final payment might still be due now. Some vendors may be generous and not charge a rescheduling / postponement fee. Please keep in mind a majority of wedding businesses are solo operators or mom & pop shops. They will depend on this income to survive.
If you do reschedule your wedding, do so now. 2020 is a popular wedding year and many venues/vendors will already be booked out. You might have to be flexible with Friday/Sunday options, or look a year out, if you don’t want to or can’t be flexible with certain options (guest count, vision, etc). If you are a 2021 bride just listening in – don’t delay in getting your vendors booked, because suddenly a lot more people might be looking at 2021 too.
If you plan to cancel (we hope you don’t), know you are likely to lose all your initial deposits and payments made. Deposits are typically non-refundable and some contracts even have cancellation policies that when enacted, require the outstanding payments to be due as well. (A good argument for postponing rather than cancelling.) Our best recommendation? CHECK YOUR CONTRACTS. And do it now.
We’ve partnered with MJ Creative Co. to provide any brides having to postpone their wedding with a complimentary “Change the Date” editable download that you can send your guests if need be. You can find that download here.
Timeless Events is here for you if you need any assistance with postponing or cancelling your wedding. If you didn’t see the value in a wedding planner before, this situation makes a really good argument for why you want someone like us by your side. 🙂
We know everything looks dark and bleak now. Hopefully we’ve all acted quickly enough to combat a large explosion of infections and things can return to normal sooner than later. Just remember, the ultimate goal is to celebrate your love, and there are a lot of ways to do that. In the end, it’s about you two getting married. Sure, maybe you have to change how that looks, but at the end of the day, as long as you are husband & wife, wife & wife, or husband & husband, that’s really all that matters. <3
EDIT AS OF MARCH 17TH: The ban has been changed to now limit gatherings to no more than 10 guests. This will impact even more couples now. Please reach out if you need any assistance, advice, or just need a shoulder to cry on.