The world is going through something we have never gone through before – The COVID-19 Virus has effected everyone in every way, including the wedding industry, and those of you who are getting married! We know this unpredictable and scary time has been very unsettling for those who have their wedding date falling sometime in the next few months! As planners, our job is to be there for our clients through every situation, so we wanted to continue our work & help all of you by listing & answering the most common questions we have received from our current clients & those that have reached out on our social media platforms!
Note, our answers are based on our most updated knowledge & news as of 3/20/20.
How do we make the decision of moving forward with a postponement or not?
As of right now, our couples in the next 8 weeks are making the decision to postpone, especially with the CDC’s advisement of canceling all events that have 50 people or more until 5/15/20. If your wedding date falls between now & then, we advise that you start the postponement process right away (see below on how we suggest to go about this in the most efficient way).
Unfortunately since this is very unpredictable & uncharted territory, everyone is going day by day since rules & advisements can change at any time. So those couples in June or later dates, as of right now, can continue the planning process as normal. If you are worried about your date & availability, it is not a bad idea to at least check in with your venue & most important vendors to see what dates they have available, and then have those conversations with your fiancé & loved ones to see if a postponement is the better option for you, or if you want to wait it out a bit more.
We decided to move forward with a postponement, now what?
Spend some time to make a priority list when it comes to your vendors! Key things to note are:
Your relationship (IE would your wedding not be the same without them)
Do they take multiple weddings the same day/weekend?
How much money have you spent with them?
Your contract (how much of the deposits are non-refundable)
Can you use their services in a different way? (Example: baker – birthday cakes/etc).
Once you have established your top priority vendors, reach out to them & your venue to establish the date(s) where they are all available.
Put a hold on that date, and confirm this with your loved ones before officially moving forward.
Once confirmed, let the venue and your priority vendors know right away, & start the transition process with each of them!
Next, you will reach out to the remaining vendors, let them know about the new date, ask if they are available, about your deposit/future payments will be applied, and what steps/paperwork are necessary to officially confirm they will be there for your big day!
Ashley Ebert, the Owner of Simply Elegant, is also a coach for wedding processionals & she has to tell couples out there, “WOW it has been so beautiful to watch this industry come together to take care of couples. They are coming together to be as flexible as possible with postponements. Remember your vendors are in this WITH you. So open communication is super super important”.
Next step is canceling the room block(s) & rebooking them for your new wedding weekend! This is important to get done right away & before you notify guests so when they find out about needing to reschedule their travel plans, everything is ready for them to do so!
Note: it is absolutely common that room prices may vary from your original wedding weekend. Prices are going to be determined by the time of year, and if there are any big events going on that may effect the demand for rooms! So if this is important to you, keep this in mind as well when choosing a new date!
Notify your guests as soon as you can (see below as to how you can get the word out)!
Then alter your task list due dates & continue the planning process as normal!
If a vendor is not available for my new date, can I get my deposit back?
Dive into your contracts. This is where each individual vendor will have what their deposit policy is. Typically in this industry, because it is +90% small businesses, deposits are typically non-refundable.
Act of God? We want to answer this by first establishing that we are not lawyers. We have consulted with many over the last week, but this is our personal understanding as of right now. The Act of God or a Force Majeure clause depends greatly on how it is written in each vendor’s contract. This one you will want to read, and re-read very carefully and not make any assumptions here. Oftentimes it does not allow your deposit to be refundable.
How can I best notify my guests?
As we noted above, it is important to let guests know as soon as you can that your wedding date has been changed so they can immediately begin canceling their current flights/accommodations, and changing it to your new wedding weekend. As we said, make sure to have your venue & vendors confirmed, have your new room block set-up, and update your wedding website with new details before reaching out to your guests!
Ways that you can notify your guests as soon as possible are:
Posting on Social Media – there are very cute templates that say things like “Same Couple, Same Details, Same Marriage, but we have a New Date” and then directing your guests to your website for guidance on how to rebook their rooms & plan accordingly!
If you are able to obtain all emails from your guests, you can send out an email/E-vite!
If you have a few guests that do not use the internet, you can personally give them a call or send them a letter in the mail with the new details regarding your new wedding date!
You can create, order, & send new RSVP/detail cards to your guests that shows the new date, directs them to your website, and then of course so they can RSVP for your new date!
We hope the questions & answers truly assist you with making your decision and how to best proceed! Those of you who hired
a planner (hopefully us) we hope you are patting yourself on the back right now because you do have that support during this uncertain time! If you decided not to hire a planner but want guidance, support, & expertise especially now with everything going on, we are absolutely here to assist you to make the planning process as smooth as possible, and to make sure your day is everything you dreamt it would be! Please head to our website www.thesimplyelegantgroup.com & contact us today to schedule your free consultation!
Stay safe & healthy all! We are here for you! xoxo