2020 was mean’t to be a beautiful year, the year when you celebrated an amazing wedding day with friends and family. Fast forward five months and Covid-19 has impacted the world irrevocably. Life as we know it, has transformed beyond recognition. Weddings are firmly in the eye of the storm because this deadly disease is so highly infectious. Whilst everything is still uncertain we have put together some great wedding advice and tips that may steer you through the difficult decisions you will be facing.
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For now and since March 23rd weddings in the UK are not taking place and as yet there are no firm indications or timescale to restart. For anyone planning their wedding right now up until June should by now be taking steps to reschedule their wedding day. For those planning their wedding in the Summer restrictions may have eased but don’t bank on this. For those caught in limbo you may just want to sit tight and see how things develop. Even if you decide not to change anything right now, I would still communicate with suppliers to advise what you are thinking right now. Suppliers may then tell you when they will be committing to perishables so you have a clear cut off for when you really need to make those decisions.
How to postpone your wedding.
There are no right or wrong ways to do this, everyone’s situation will be very different. Therefore you must judge what is best for your circumstances.
The first question you should be asking is are you wanting to postpone the date or cancel altogether.
- If you have a wedding contract it’s worth checking through this to see if it offers any guidance.
- Check your wedding insurance policy. The chances are your policy will not cover you for cancelling your wedding under these circumstances.
- Trying to claim back refunds against a credit card payment needs checking first. You may not get the refund you are looking for depending on the terms and the card provider. According to Which Mastercard are allowing charge backs and refunds even where there are government imposed restrictions. However, Visa are not so please check with your provider.
Once you have looked at the above details you may find that cancelling is not as quick and as financially viable solution as it sounds.
- Contact suppliers in writing, explain the situation. Good Suppliers should honour date changes without any financial penalty to you.
- Some suppliers may not be able to accommodate your new date changes, in which case they should offer a refund.
- Always negotiate in a positive mindset do not start out with a demanding approach no matter how stressed and under pressure you feel.
- Make sure you communicate in writing so you have chance to vet what your saying. Ask for a response within a reasonable timescale. Situations can be tense and stressed on both sides. Everyone is/has been in lockdown including your suppliers.
The Impact on your 2020 wedding plans
One thing is for sure that the impact is going to be far reaching and possibly affecting our weddings for in the very least for months to come. Here are a list of challenges that you will face planning your wedding in 2020 and 2021.
Flower supplies are being affected globally. With the sudden stop, growers were unable to harvest flowers and crops have been destroyed. Flower variety will be impacted and you may find that your florist has to substitute flowers due to availability. Be as flexible as possible and trust that your florist is a creative professional that can work with this.
The supply and price of flowers are sold through European auctions and prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. Supplies to the Auctions are limited and this has pushed up prices. This is likely to stay this way for some time. If you are looking to book your florist in the next 12 months prices could be higher.
We are in an unprecedented situation that is far from being under control and you may unfortunately be subject to postponing your wedding more than once.
Availability of Dates and Suppliers
Wedding suppliers that are booked in ready to provide for your wedding now may not be able to accommodate your new wedding date. Communication is key don’t assume that suppliers will supply your wedding, if they themselves assess the risk to them to be too high.
As demand and supply effects the supply chain across the board, expect to see price fluctuations. This is particularly true with Honeymoon travel.
Delivery dates could take longer
Those last minute purchases are going to take longer. Its super important that you get really organised and don’t leave things late. This particularly applies to ordering your wedding dress, either through a retailer or online.
International travel is really up in the air. If you have already booked your honeymoon then for now you will have to follow the guidance on international travel. Hopefully, the worst case scenario is you get to take your honeymoon at a different time than your wedding.
Guest Number Restrictions
Going forward weddings may be governed by strict social distancing rules for large gatherings. If you haven’t sent out invites then hang fire until you know more.
Guest numbers may be impacted because they deem the risk of the event too high to take part. It’s important to go back through your
Suppliers going bust
This is going to be a big risk going forward many businesses will not survive the financial hardship that the lockdown and virus is imposing.
Planning your wedding in 2021
You might be safe in thinking that things will be back to normal next year. Many couples are postponing weddings for dates in 2021 but these are some of the things you should be watching out for.
- Wedding Insurance policies will undoubtedly change and perhaps even increase in price. For those deciding to forgo insurance make sure your venue is aware as this may invalidate their insurance.
- Try to book services closer to your wedding date. Instead of 12 months plus in advance which has become the norm. This will possibly reduce your supplier choices but it will mitigate supplier risks.
- Many couples now are throwing off the shackles of a typical wedding with all the bells and whistles. Understandably, the focus is shifting back to what is important, rather than all of the frivolity.
- The smaller the wedding, the more flexibility and reduced financial risk you will face.
- Consider more DIY taking things under your control will reduce your stress levels and again give you greater flexibility.
Stay Strong and Be Positive
The over riding message is to not panic and make rash decisions, be open in your communication. Be flexible in your thinking, yes things are not going to be as you had imagined. Yes, you may even lose some money. It’s not just a case of making the most of the situation but reflect on what is important. Marrying the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and keeping your family and friends safe must be your over riding responsibility.