Planning a wedding can be a nightmare. There are so many moving pieces and so much that could go wrong. The venue could get double-booked, your caterer could bail at the last minute, or your wedding cake could end up smashed on the floor next to a guilty-looking pageboy. Now try planning a wedding during a pandemic. The stress is next level, and everything is in overdrive as disappointed 2020 couples join the throng of 2021 couples scrambling to make sense of these unprecedented times. Below are some tips to help you navigate through all the madness and plan a successful wedding next year.
- Start planning now
As mentioned earlier, couples planning for a 2021 wedding currently include not only newly-engaged couples who’ve already been planning to have their weddings next year but also couples whose big days had to be canceled this year because of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, venues, vendors, and wedding planners are getting booked solid, months, and months in advance. If you’re absolutely certain that you want to go ahead and plan your wedding for next year, don’t wait any longer. Start planning for it now. Ask vendors important questions, scrutinize your contracts for the bit about cancellations and go with those whose terms you are absolutely comfortable with. When you find vendors you feel good about, book them quickly.
Now is not the time to be hung up on one particular venue, one specific vendor, or one non-negotiable date. There’s just too much uncertainty. Information about the crisis changes on almost a weekly basis, and there is still no knowing exactly when things will calm down enough for restrictions to ease adequately. Re-evaluate your priorities and take a second look at your plans. If you are determined to have guests at your wedding who need to fly into the country, you’ll probably be better off postponing the wedding to 2022. However, if you feel you can tolerate slashing down the guest list and opting for a more intimate ceremony, you might be able to pull it off next year.
- Have a backup for your backup
You started your plans early, and you’re as flexible as possible. The natural next step is to make sure you have contingency plans for almost everything. Have a plan for alternative dates and draw up an essential guest list to allow for restrictions on gatherings. Understand that some of your guests may not be able to make it due to the financial impact of the pandemic, health concerns, or travel restrictions. The good news is that most early deposits made to vendors do not specify an exact number of guests, though a lot of the costs are priced per person.
- Hire a wedding planner
Things can get extremely frustrating if you’re trying to juggle multiple plans and their contingencies. A wedding planner may seem like a luxury, but in such a chaotic time, you will learn that hiring a wedding planner could be the best decision for you. Wedding planners have been trained throughout their careers to prepare for multiple unexpected scenarios and are already familiar with numerous quality vendors in the industry. By hiring a wedding planner, you are more likely to have a good team of professionals who will work together to seamlessly execute the plans for your wedding. The hassle involved with rescheduling several plans will be taken care of, and you will be better equipped to manage any curveballs that may come your way.
- Destination weddings
For obvious reasons, several(if not all) destination weddings have had to be canceled this year. If you’re among the couples who have had to make this difficult decision, fret not because all hope is not lost to COVID-19. International & domestic travel is currently restricted, but you can still monitor the situation by following the latest updates. Certain countries that are popular destinations for weddings still allow the entry of foreign nationals with added precautions such as mandatory quarantine. However, your health and safety – and that of your guests – should be your foremost priority in these times. While you continue to monitor the situation and plan accordingly, you should be prepared for the likelihood of a 2022 wedding.
- Use a vision board
Apart from being a source of inspiration, a vision board can help you organize your thoughts and see the big picture. Pinterest is a good place to start and has several great ideas for cakes, décor, and more. By visualizing the bigger picture, you won’t get bogged down by details that are ever-changing due to unexpected events.
- Have virtual hangouts with your bridal party
Planning your wedding from home can be a bit of a drag. Cheer yourself up and communicate regularly with your bridal tribe by scheduling regular video chats with them to help you cope with all the stress. You can also bounce ideas off each other while catching up to help ease your anxiety about the wedding plans. Some couples are even opting for virtual bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, or even entirely live-streamed weddings. This can save you tonnes of money you would have otherwise had to spend on catering, decorations, and venue space.
- Consider wedding insurance
While there probably isn’t a pandemic clause in your wedding insurance, looking into insurance may help protect some of the several investments you’ve made towards the big day. The COVID-19 crisis has shown to everyone just how quickly and drastically the unexpected can change life as you know it. Wedding insurance, also known as special event insurance, will help cover you if you have to make any cancellations and postponements. Get some coverage for your wedding plans just in case, so that you can weather any unanticipated storms.
- What about the dress?
Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue once again. Several wedding dress designers, shops, and brands are offering virtual appointments and try-on sessions. You can enjoy a bridal salon experience from the comfort of your home, thanks to video chatting apps such as Zoom, Facebook, and Whatsapp. Some brands even offer to deliver the gown straight to your doorstep for you to physically try it on before making your final decision.
- Budget wisely
The financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been colossal. In order to cushion the blow to your pocket, it might be prudent to cut down on the extra frills in your budget. Scale down on catering and supplies to match your shrunken guest list, and maybe substitute the elaborate floral arrangements for something simpler yet elegant. Funnel funds from other areas of your life that have been put on hold by the pandemic to help you cover extra cancellation fees that can pile up. Money that would have been spent on things such as your gym membership and outings with friends can now be incorporated into your wedding finances.
- Should you ditch the dance floor?
The days of sweaty crowds of revelers packed on a dancefloor may be over for a while, but if you’re determined to have a dance-off with your guests, you’ll have to consider open-space venues with ample ventilation and room for adequate social distancing. You may also consider cabaret-style entertainment on the dance floor that you and your guests can sit and enjoy.
Couples planning their nuptials during this crisis are faced with an uphill battle. However, following some of these steps can help guide you through the bumps and dips on the road to your wedding day. Remember to stay positive throughout the process and know that no matter what, your big day is still, first and foremost, a celebration of love between you and your partner.