If you’re worried your wedding won’t be able to happen or isn’t happening because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. Truly and deeply I am sorry. It’s okay to feel all the emotions right now, and yes, crying is okay!! (I’ve even cried a bit during these times). As I’ve been watching this crazy pandemic spread across our world I have felt prompted to give a little hope. And maybe some new ideas to those of you who feel totally defeated right now.
Keep Calm, Take Deep Breaths and Stay Positive.
One of my favorite things to do in times of stress is to breathe. As we all know, panicking doesn’t help anyone, including yourself. Dr. Caroline Leaf has some absolutely INCREDIBLE podcasts and blogs about managing stress, anxiety and fear especially during this time with the coronavirus. No, this is not sponsored, this is just something that I have found so incredibly soothing to my soul. And during this wild time I thought that a lot of other people could benefit. Also, did you know that positivity and laughter can actually boost your immune system? Honestly, just do yourself a favor now and follow @drcarolineleaf on Instagram. She has incredible content and staying positive during this time is so vital! (Yes, there is actual proven science behind all of this!).
Talk With All Your Vendors
If you haven’t already, talk with your vendors! Communication is key during this time. Even if your wedding is still months away it’s a good idea to start having conversations of possible scenarios, plan b’s and c’s. Look through your contract again and see what their postponement and cancellation policies are that you guys have agreed upon. I know that myself and a lot of other photographers are doing our best to be flexible! We are trying to work with all or our couples to stay positive and roll with whatever happens!
Reschedule or Cancel Your Wedding?
If you do decide that your wedding needs to be moved to another date I would highly suggest rescheduling and not canceling. A lot of times rescheduling allows the retainer that you have paid with your vendor to be transferred to a new date. Where sometimes if you cancel you would have to forfeit your retainer or the money that you have already paid. This does vary depending on the vendor so make sure that you look through your contract and talk to them about all possibilities. And just a heads up, sometimes there is a fee for rescheduling. But I know that myself and quite a few other fellow vendors are waiving fees in the wake of the pandemic to help people out.
If you have chosen a wedding date that means a lot to you and your significant other then there is still a way to keep it…
You can always elope on your special day and hold a reception or party later in the year when the social distancing restrictions from the coronavirus have been lifted. If you need some elopement inspiration, check this out. Now if this idea sounds like a great plan to you, you may need to take into consideration a few things that are impacting people getting married at this time. Granted, things have been changing so quickly that this could easily not be accurate in a week’s time.
- Marriage licenses have been suspended.
- Choosing your location.
- Number of people at your ceremony.
An increasing number of county clerks offices have been shutting down due to the coronavirus. This is resulting in a lot of couples not being able to get their marriage licenses before their big day. This does vary per county so make sure you get in contact with your local county clerk office and see how they are operating. I encourage you not to let this be the only thing stopping you from getting married! I believe that saying your vows to your partner and making the spiritual commitment to each other is one of the most important things. Granted, these times are very sensitive so if you can make a commitment to each other while taking the proper precautions our government has put into place then I say go for it. Especially if this is something that is important to you and your partner. And if need be, take care of the legal things down the line when things start to open up.
Choosing Your Location.
Typically I have very different things to say about choosing an elopement location. However, Covid-19 is no joke. Our government has put into place things like social distancing and the closure of certain places to help prevent the spread of it. If you do decide to keep your wedding date and elope please choose a safe location to do so. Obviously traveling is a no-go at this point so try to choose something close to home. I’m going to give you a few ideas but note, with how quickly things are changing, please do your own research and make sure that it is safe and legal for everyone who will be there.
- You could look into a backyard or open land elopement. If you have access to open land or a friend’s backyard, it could be worth looking into! Of course please minimize physical contact, calling would be a great alternative 😉
- If there is BLM land near you that is still operational this could also be a good idea. But please check the website before making any decisions. Also make sure you are getting the proper permits (whether photography or event/wedding permit)!
- Lastly, you could do it in the comfort of your own home! You could always Zoom/FaceTime all your favorite people in!
Number of people at your ceremony.
If you have found a safe and legal place to hold your elopement please be mindful of the people you have there. Currently, the White House has released a statement that you should avoid gatherings in groups larger than 10 people. Make sure you are in line with the current updates and that whoever is present at your ceremony is healthy and not at-risk (including any vendors)!
Ultimately I want to encourage you to do what is best for you and your significant other. If that means waiting and postponing your whole wedding or elopement to a later date when it is safe for all guests to be present or it’s safe to be in your dream location, then I say do it! If you want to keep that special date and elope now and have a reception later, then I also say do it! I urge you to sit down, think through what is best for you as a couple and go from there.