Taking Control of COVID-19 Throughout Your Wedding

I’ve been considering how much to comment on Coronavirus as there is so much coverage it can get a bit confusing, leaving you feeling swamped and, quite frankly, a bit lost. That said I wanted to come on here to show my support to every single couple and every single wedding supplier.

What we have witnessed this week in particular is that everything just got really real. With Disney closing its parks, Las Vegas shutting-shop (something I never thought I’d see) sports, music, festivals, schools, all closing or being postponed. I am sending my very best wishes to everyone in the wedding industry. I’m with you. I started my wedding blog from Dorset last summer so it’s still very new and I’ve met SO many incredible wedding suppliers that I hate the thought of any of us suffering because of the current situation we have found ourselves in.

To all the couples about to get married, to the couples planning for the next few months, we don’t have a crystal ball but what we have is each other. We have kindness, gratitude, community and more than likely a bit more time on our hands for the interim. Why not use this time to focus on yourself (self-care is everything!) or start the book you’ve always wanted to read, learn a new language via an online platform, check-in with relatives more often via WhatsApp, email or phone. On the wedding front, take the additional time to get extra wedding planning done. Get ahead of the curve as this situation will pass and you don’t want to be left behind or have to rush. My overall advice as someone who has planned a wedding and helped endless friends plan theirs, is to take control of this situation rather than the other way around.

In terms of weddings right now, I feel for every couple about to get married. I have friends getting married in three weeks which throws up a multitude of questions; will it still take place? Should we still go?

I can’t imagine how they must feel. If the build-up to my own wedding is anything to go on I’d be thinking will guests still come? Will they travel? What precautions do we need to take as a couple? If I think about our wedding I had guests flying in from France, Barbados and Australia.

In light of the current circumstances here are my top-tips for couples to take charge of the situation and feel a bit more in control. It doesn’t have to be ‘doom and gloom’ and in fact the wedding industry seems to be amazing. You’re all full of support, positivity, acceptance and resilience. I salute you all and let’s keep sticking together! This situation is temporary. It will pass, and I’m here if anyone wants a chat.

Let’s Talk Wedding Insurance

I hope you have invested in wedding insurance, something I’ve always believed is important for the one time you need it. That situation you never envisage happening… now! If you have wedding insurance then print out the documents they are much easier to digest and read-through as a hard copy. Understand what financial position you are in if your wedding venue needs to postpone. If cancellation is on their terms how much money will you get back? If it’s a Government decision what other business insurances are there? You will feel better when you know the facts. Clarity is key.

If you don’t have wedding insurance don’t lose faith. I am confident that because this is a global pandemic out of everyone’s control that wedding suppliers will do their very best to honour your wedding booking. I have seen wedding photographers, make-up artists, and so on putting out statements that until they hear otherwise they will deliver on their agreements with couples. My advice is to contact every supplier personally for total peace of mind. Remember, the majority of people are not in the risk/high-risk category for COVID-19 and if that is the case with your wedding supplier then ‘the show will go on’.

I am convinced your chosen wedding suppliers will work with you to find a suitable Plan B if the worst does happen and you are forced to postpone your wedding. A wedding supplier could fall ill, be stuck abroad, or worse, at any point regardless of COVID-19, we just don’t like to think about it when we’re getting married. I’ve been keeping an eye on various channels and the majority of wedding suppliers are committed to their couples, running business as usual unless they show symptoms of course, and are upbeat that if anything needs to be postponed they will find a way.

Reach Out to Your Wedding Suppliers

For complete peace of mind check in with each and every supplier. I would advise this being via email to back-up any phone call so that you have everything in writing. You will more than likely have built a great rapport with many of your wedding suppliers so they will be expecting the questions and you can agree the best way forward to suit you both. Remember, the supplier will want to make an income, you still want to get married! There is ‘skin in the game’ on both sides.

I also believe wedding suppliers will be as flexible as they can under the circumstances. We’re in this together and none of it is anyone’s fault. Have the conversations. Work out the best plan of action depending when your wedding is taking place and I have every faith the wedding community will do the very best they can.

Communicate and Share

To express that you are taking every precaution to look after yourselves, family, friends and all your wedding guests I would draft an email and send it out sooner rather than later to remind your wedding guests this is a very special time for you as a couple so the unforeseen circumstances have not been ideal but you won’t go down without a fight. Therefore you appreciate their support at this time.

My advice is to use this reassuring update as an opportunity to find out if some guests will need to bow-out because of underlying health issues so you know who to expect on the day. Your new reality. This will allow you to update the venue on numbers as these factors affect seating, catering, etc. From here you know where you stand and you can relay this to the venue and other relevant wedding suppliers. For example, if you are expecting 20-less guests, your catering company ‘should’ under these circumstances charge you a bit less on your final payment (depending when you are getting married of course) as even though it’s not ideal for them either, they would rather make some money than none (ie. the wedding is still going ahead), plus it’s less food for them to buy in and serve. I feel there should be fair conversations around guest numbers taking place.

The other purpose of this email is to put your guests minds’ at rest that you are fit and healthy as a couple (as long as you are) and that you are taking every precaution in line with Government guidelines to protect yourselves as a couple and each wedding guest on the day. You should be offering plenty of hand wipes, hand sanitiser, and soap in the bathrooms as standard. Reassuring guests and understanding who is attending (or who needs to bow-out) will help you to take control of the situation. Hopefully only older or pregnant guests will have to bow-out and I think that can be considered fair enough?

If you’re wedding is still going ahead I would advise that kissing and hugging between guests is kept to a minimum (sorry to say!). Rubbish I know but we have to be practical in these times.

Self-Care is Number 1

Last but by no means least for this first round of tips is to remind the Front Row Bride audience that I don’t know what the next month or even three months are going to look like but what I do know is we have each other and now more than ever I recommend looking after yourself. Self-care is everything.

Don’t allow yourself to worry too much or let fear and anxiety take over. You cannot change what is happening so acceptance is key. Then go into solutions mode.

Run a bath, light some candles, meditate… you might not feel like you have an hour spare but I guarantee you WILL feel better if you stop for a moment, breathe, and clear your mind.

I promise you one thing; one day soon COVID-19 will be a distant memory and whether it’s now or in the future you will get married and it will be the best day of your life.

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