2020 was a nightmare for every engaged couple. Unfortunately, it looks like 2021 is shaping up to similar fears. With continued guidelines restricting guestcounts, rising numbers in some states and an overall fear of coming down with Covid, many brides continue to face the same question — host their wedding anyway or continue to wait until restrictions are lifted? Here are some considerations you can make that will help you make your decisions.
Your guest list. Take a look at your guest list. Consider how many guests you’ve invited that are over 65, have pre-existing conditions or would have to travel out of state or potentially need to follow quarantine restrictions upon returning home. This will be the biggest determination as to whether you decide to wait or move forward. If a large portion of your guest list has anyone in these categories and you want everyone to attend, you’ll want to wait.
What you already have. If you’ve already booked your vendors and rescheduled with them once, purchased your dress/formal attire and even have your silicone wedding bands ready to go, it might make more sense to go through with the wedding than to continue postponing. Making modifications to your guest list or changing the amount of food you’re getting can be much easier in the long run than continuing to postpone and keeping your vendors in limbo.
Your budget. Many vendors are adding new fees or even keeping larger portions of deposits if you reschedule too many times or cancel altogether. This is because they have to keep their businesses afloat and, if you keep postponing, they might not be around when things finally get back up and running in full. If your budget won’t allow for you to lose all your deposits and then pay new ones to new vendors later on, you should go forward with your event. If you’re comfortable with paying new deposits, then you can continue to wait.
Guidelines and regulations. Each locality across the nation — and each country — has different guidelines and regulations they’ve been putting in place. Venues run by localities, such as community centers or historical sites, have to follow government mandates more than private businesses do. That might mean they have stricter rules and procedures than private venues, such as country clubs or restaurants. You’ll want to consider these regulations and aspects as you decide whether or not to have your wedding.
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The availability of your vendors and venue. If you have a slew of vendors for your event, you should check with them about their availability for your potential new date. If a majority of them aren’t available, then it’s probably better to move forward and have your event within whatever restrictions are in place. Moving an event and losing all your vendors but one can make your planning more stressful — and you’re probably already stressed enough!
Your feelings about elopements. Elopements are starting to rise as couples decide to forgo the larger events. Other couples are having microweddings, where people are present but the guest list is under 25 people. Many people incorrectly assume eloping involves fewer than 10 people, but it’s actually when only the bride, groom and officiant are present — and, historically, the couple would run away and wed in secret! If you still want people attending your event, downsize your guestlist and send out new invitations that indicate you’re having a microwedding!
Backorders and shipping delays. Your vendors might also run into delays with shipping and ordering the items needed for your event. If that happens, you should consider postponing. However, a delay in wedding bands should be a reason to postpone — ordering a set of alternative bands, such as silicone women’s stackable rings, can be the perfect way to move forward without losing your other vendors.
Speaking of elopements, here are some ideas you can do to make your elopement feel more like a traditional event:
Bring your photographer. Your photographer and/or videographer can capture the ceremony and any additional events you do to send to family or friends who couldn’t be there. It’s a great way to commemorate the event without having too many people present. Plus, you can still get those perfect bridal portraits, capturing your newlywed glow.
Have a cake cutting. Did you think eloping meant no cake cutting? Wrong! Many couples are incorporating the cake cutting into their elopement. You see, the elopement is the ceremonial part of the event. The cake cutting is something typically done at the reception, so you’re not violating any elopement rules by having a cake cutting. Ask your baker to modify your order to a smaller two-tiered or one-tiered cake or individual cupcakes, get a couple of decorative cake knives and work with a designer to create a sweetheart table you can sit at to munch on your cake or snacks after the ceremony.
Get bridal flowers. A bridal bouquet and boutonnieres are quintessential aspects of a wedding. Having them during your elopement can make for a more traditional feeling event. If your florist is also a designer, talk with them about creating a makeshift aisle for your elopement, especially if you’re doing it at an outdoor venue.
Do a champagne toast. Get a pair of champagne flutes and your favorite brand of bubbly and do a fun photoshoot of a champagne toast! Your photographer will love capturing this moment with the two of you.
Have a first dance. Using your phone or portable speaker, blast your favorite song and dance together. You can do the traditional slow dance or opt for something more up-beat. Either way, dancing together for the first time as newlyweds can make your elopement feel more traditional!
Wear the dress. While you might have gotten your wedding dress to wow your guests, the truly important person at your nuptials is your fiance. Wear the dress to your elopement and watch them cry or look on in surprise as you approach them. It’s a beautifully magical moment!
By weighing all the considerations and figuring out what aspects of your wedding are most important to you, you’ll soon be able to style a ceremony and reception that work the best for you, your fiance and your friends and family members while following best practices concerning the pandemic and your budget.