The world of weddings has never seen anything like the disruption caused by Covid-19.
A recent survey from Hitched found that only one in 10 couples who were planning to tie the knot between April and July 2020 had not yet scrapped their ‘save-the-dates’. As an average of 970 weddings take place every single day in England and Wales alone between April and September, that means there are currently lots of stressed brides and grooms-to-be.
However, help is at hand from renowned wedding planner Helen Davies, who was kind enough to offer LifetimesMAG her top tips for those who are facing the postponement of their wedding day.
Here is what she had to say…
A world of uncertainty…
The impact of Covid-19 on the world is unprecedented. There are no sets of guidelines or handbooks explaining what couples who are preparing for their weddings should do.
It is incredibly confusing…
Following the most recent guidance issued by the UK Government, many couples have approached me with a sense of urgency for advice as they face having to take the drastic action of postponing their wedding. I really want to share my knowledge and experience and help any couples who are contemplating what to do.
Every wedding is unique
In my experience of planning over 250 weddings and events, I have learned that every couple’s expectation and vision for their perfect day is unique. What needs to be remembered is that the decision relating to whether or not to postpone your wedding is likely to be driven by concerns, anxieties and feelings which are personal to you and your individual set of circumstances, which at this moment in time are beyond your control.
What needs to be considered?
Before reaching any decision about postponing your wedding, I suggest giving some careful thought to the following points:
1) Attendance shortfall
Even when the restrictions currently imposed by the UK Government are lifted, allowing gatherings to take place, a proportion of your guests or members of your wedding party may be unable to participate in your wedding. As a result, it is worth asking:
- Are you happy to accept that fewer people may be able to join you on your wedding day?
- Are your venue and catering arrangements subject to a minimum number of guests?
- Would you consider creating a ‘reserve’ list? This can be a list of friends or friends of the family who can easily attend, or attend at short notice.
- Would you consider offering some of your evening guests the opportunity to participate during the day?
For very special people such as grandparents and other elderly relatives to whom attending a large gathering of people presents a real risk to their health and wellbeing, could you film some of the essential parts of your day, such as the ceremony and speeches, or share them in real time via Facetime, Skype or Facebook Live?
2) Key steps to safeguard your wedding
‘Un-saving the date’ and postponing your wedding involves a significant amount of work, which can be broken down into a step-by-step approach:
a) Choose your preferred alternative timeframe for your wedding. This could be determined by other plans or events you may need to work around.
b) Check the availability of your venue and all your suppliers within your chosen timeframe. This involves lots of effort!
c) Understand your venue and suppliers’ policies relating to postponement. Are they willing to honour the original deposit payment against a different date (subject to availability)? Are there any postponement fees? Do their terms specify that any interim or balance payments must be paid in accordance with the original timeline or are they willing to defer payments to a later date?
Terms may vary from one venue or supplier to another. Although the vast majority will always try to be as flexible as possible, small independent businesses often rely on being paid on specific dates as they are entirely dependent on regular cash flow to guarantee their own continuity.
d) When you have identified a date when all or most of your suppliers are available, inform them in writing of your intention to change the date and request that they update their booking agreements or contracts with you accordingly. Make sure the details are confirmed in writing.
Help is Available
For many people, wedding planning is a stressful undertaking, even at the best of times.
You need to have a high tolerance to stressful situations to be able to cope with the impact of a global pandemic in the midst of your wedding plans. It will almost certainly diminish your resilience and optimism.
With this in mind, I would like to offer an hour of my time to ANY couple needing advice or guidance. This offer comes with absolutely no obligation and is entirely free of charge.
Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you are at and whatever you choose to devote the time to is up to you. I am happy to share my knowledge and experience with couples who would appreciate some support during these challenging times.
You are welcome to call me on 07561 107888 or email email@example.com.
LifetimesMAG would like to thank Helen Davies for her time. Visit https://withhelendavies.com/ to find out more.