Wedding planning takes a ton of time and effort no matter when you choose to tie the knot, but add in a global pandemic and the process becomes 100x more challenging. You have to figure out how to celebrate without putting any of your loved ones and their health in danger, as well as prepare for the possibility of rescheduling or even canceling your big day.
The wedding industry has been dramatically affected by COVID-19 and likely won’t be back to normal for at least the next few years. So, if you’re planning a wedding in 2021 or 2022, it may be a challenge to book a venue and vendors and ensure that your day goes exactly how you’ve dreamed.
While planning a wedding right now is full of uncertainty, it’s not impossible. Couples just have to be more flexible and have a solid Plan B (or Plan C or D) in place. How COVID-19 will affect your wedding plans depends on the details of your big day, including your date, number of guests and chosen location. Just keep in mind that any wedding in the near future is going to look different, whether you hold a much smaller ceremony now or reschedule.
Postponing your wedding day
If you’ve already planned most of your wedding and have your heart set on a big gathering, you may have to move your date farther into the future when more of your guests are likely to be vaccinated, and it’s safe again to hold large events. Earlier in 2020, many couples postponed their weddings by a few months, but it’s safer to think a little farther ahead if you decide to reschedule.
If you decide to postpone, contract your venue first to find out what dates they have available in the next year. Once you have a list of dates, contact your vendors and see which ones work best. You may have trouble finding a date that fits everyone’s schedule, which could force you to lose your deposits and find some new vendors. Be prepared to look for the best possible solution and remember that you’re not alone. Many weddings have been postponed due to the pandemic, and your venue and vendors are likely to be understanding.
Elope now, party later
Some couples don’t want to wait to get married, even if they can’t have the big gathering they planned. In this case, you may want to visit the courthouse and simply get legally married and plan on having a proper wedding reception at a later date. You can also say your vows with your pastor in front of your friends and family. This option allows you to still hang on and look forward to that big celebration with your family and friends that you had planned while avoiding a long wait until you get to say “I do” to the love of your life.
This option isn’t for everyone. Some people absolutely can’t imagine getting married without their parents, siblings or close friends present, and that’s okay! The final decision is yours, and you have to do what works best for you.
Downsize your big day
For other couples, postponing their wedding is the last thing they want to do, and they would rather have a smaller ceremony instead. If you’ve already been planning and looking forward to your wedding for a while, you may be reluctant to put it off. You don’t have to wait! Smaller, more intimate weddings are all the rage right now. You can still celebrate with your closest family and friends and have all the traditional wedding trappings of the dress, cake, flowers and even dancing, just with fewer people. Some brides are adding beautiful masks that go with their wedding gown.
If you choose to plan a smaller wedding, be sure to follow all recommended health guidelines for social distancing and masking to ensure everyone stays safe, especially if you plan to have older or immunocompromised guests in attendance. You may even want to offer hand-sanitizing or hand-washing stations to keep everything clean and healthy.
No matter how you choose to celebrate your marriage, whether you decide to postpone your big day or keep your wedding small, there are definitely ways to ensure your wedding remains meaningful and special to you. After all, you deserve to have the perfect wedding day, even if it doesn’t look exactly like you may have imagined.