Checklist: Get proactive on wedding planning in the face of Covid-19

Following Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s press conference yesterday, people are scared. Before, we all knew the situation was serious but for many it was a crisis elsewhere and nothing to concern us in our own homes. Now, with so many restrictions in place, businesses closing or utilising remote working until at least March 29, 2020, many are left feeling uncertain for what the future holds and events, in particular weddings, will be majorly affected. However, we here at WeddingDates still feel the love in the air and so should you! Your big day will come, so let’s get proactive!

 

 Check with your venue

This should be the first thing you do. The venue is where all the other aspects of your wedding come together, so it’s important to know if your venue is still open or will still host you. When you speak with them remind them of how many guests you have coming, especially if there are to be over 100. The venue will have this information already but remember, it’s doubtful you’re the only one calling with concerns – you might be the tenth bride they’ve heard from today! And don’t forget, if you’re having your ceremony in a religious building or elsewhere aside from your reception venue, check with them too, and again, remind them of the number of guests you are expecting. Ask about your deposits too and if the one you paid will cover your next date or if it’s refundable.

Check with your solemniser

Whether you’re getting married by a priest, a rabbi, a celebrant or someone else, it’s important that you check in with them. Are they still available on the day? Are they still working during this period? Again, remind them if there are to be over 100 guests – it is only fair to give them the opportunity to remove themselves from the situation if they are uncomfortable with the exposure risk to their own health.

Check with your suppliers

It is so important to check in with your suppliers as soon as possible. Whether they are booked in for the big day – make-up and hair, band etc – or are to have their wares delivered to you or the venue by the big day – wedding favours etc – you need to know soon whether they will still be available or will be able to meet your deadline. Remember, your suppliers have their own suppliers and might have production delays due to restrictions on transport and delivery. As with your venue, ask about your deposit – will it cover the booking you’ve made for your new date, if it refundable etc.

Let your guests know

The sooner your guests know about the status of your wedding the better. Whether it is postponed or going ahead, draft a message to your guests and email or WhatsApp each of them. We recommend WhatsApp and have your Read Receipts turned on. That way you can tick off your list who you know has been informed even if they don’t respond right away. And they might not respond straight away – it’s difficult to know what to say to a bride or groom who has had to make this decision.

Check with your insurance

Many of you (we’re hoping all!) have wedding insurance. It’s paramount to check with your insurance company if you are still covered should your wedding be postponed due to Covid19. Covid19 is an unprecedented situation for many of us and especially small businesses. Your policy may not cover you in such an event as this. Find out what parts of your policy still apply if you are postponing. If you have travel insurance, check on the validity of your policy too. This is important for destination weddings or anyone going on honeymoon.

Check with your travel agent / honeymoon accommodation / booked tours

Even if your wedding still happens here at home your honeymoon may very well not happen when you’d planned. Check with your travel agent about not only your flights but the status of Covid19 at your destination. Ask about your flights and the airline you were going with, your accommodation and any tours you may have booked. Travel agents will be keeping up with these as you definitely won’t be the first person to ask. If you didn’t use a travel agent, be sure to check on each of the bookings you made yourself.

Check on your dresses, suits and alterations

When you think about your suppliers, your wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses and groomswear may slip your mind because you’d planned on having them well before your wedding. However, if you don’t have them yet you need to check if you will. Your garments could be coming from outside of the country or may have been sent elsewhere for alterations and travel and delivery delays may mean they won’t get to you in time for your big day. If they won’t, consider buying off the rack.

Ask for a list of available dates

When you check on each of the above ask them for a list of available dates for the rest of the year and tell them you’ll be back to them as soon as possible. Have a provisional date picked out based upon what your venue has offered and see if you can arrange for all your preferred suppliers and your guests to be available on that, your new big day!

Consider getting married and celebrating later

If the date of your wedding means something special to you – it’s the anniversary of the day you met or it’s two years to the day you got engaged etc – consider getting married officially and celebrating later. Arrange for your marriage license, sign it, hand it in and voila, you have the wedding anniversary you’ve always wanted and the excitement of your big celebration is still ahead!

Mind yourself

Most importantly, look after yourself. Even if your wedding is all arranged or rearranged and that pressure is off your shoulders, Covid19 and the news and rumours surrounding it may affect your mental health far more than your physical health. Reduce your social media time and only get your news about the pandemic from trusted news and health services, such as World Health Organization (WHO). If you’re self-isolating or are following guidelines and have reduced your physical interactions, remember to keep in touch with friends and family, particularly over video chat, like Zoom or WhatsApp video calls – there are still so many ways we can interact socially, keeping our mental and physical health on top notch condition!

Depending on how far away your wedding is, you may want to run through this checklist more than once. Should the global health situation escalate or simply continue as it is right now, you should make your enquiries again and we’d recommend doing so for all weddings planned before the end of June, 2020.

Stay safe and remember:

  • Wash your hands frequently. Find out how to properly wash your hands from the HSE.
  • Maintain social distancing. Maintain at least 1m distance from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets entering your body.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene. Cough and sneeze into a tissue, or into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
  • If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention – but call in advance. Don’t show up to A&E randomly.
Pam Ryan
WeddingDates Contributors
A Fairytale Match – Maria & Ray in Markree Castle

This Markree wedding was like a fairytale for the bride and groom.