I think we can all agree this is something no one prepared for. Whether you are a wedding vendor or planning your wedding, prepping for a pandemic was not on the to do list.
It is so easy in a time of fear and unknowing, to want to make rash decisions. I am hoping some of this advice will help you find what will work best for YOU as a couple while keeping your dreams alive.
I will be going over ways to not forfeit retainers, not simply do a court house elopement, and not lose out on a dream wedding.
Is rescheduling your best option?
As of March 18 CDC is still advising and now enforcing that events of 50 people or more must be canceled or postponed, including weddings. YIKES! Now before you make a rash decision, this announcement was made with an 8 week expiry date. As of May 2nd they will look at the cases and decide if they can be more lenient. At this point, from the info I have read from CDC and WHO, they are doing extreme measures now, so that things can get back to normal sooner. They want to slow the infection rate to stop hospitals from being overwhelmed. This is good news. This means if your wedding is after May 2nd there is a chance your whole guest list may attend. So the question is now, if your date is before this time, is rescheduling to a later date a more comforting option than lowering your guest count? For those who have a date past May 2nd, it is easy to want to make a decision now to have more time, less stress and answers of what is happening. I recommend reaching out to each vendor. Ask them if they are able to reschedule for no additional fee to save money by not canceling and forfeiting all payments. Figure out the required dates to let them know by. This will give you a time line to wait out to see if the CDC has changed their suggestions. IF things have not changed by that time, you can then let all vendors know of your plan to reschedule, lower guest list, or consider an intimate wedding outdoors on that date.
Would you like an intimate wedding?
Now a dream wedding is exciting! Although it is busy and stressful, it might have been how you envisioned your wedding. Would you ever consider cutting the guest count? For my husband and my wedding, we had 400 guests. It was crazy! If we were ever to “re-do” our wedding we would have happily chosen an intimate wedding where we could slow down, spend more time actually focused on each other and our guests. We can film the entire day so that you can share it later at a large party/ reception with an extended guest list.
Is elopement an option?
While our grandparents imagine an Elopement as a cheap, hastily planned, last minute, shameful way of getting married… THAT’S NOT WHAT ELOPING MEANS ANYMORE. An elopement is a wedding, going back to what truly matters: the two of you, committing your lives to each other. It strips away all of the “stuff,” the “fluff” and often the stress and anxiety with standing in front of hundreds of people. An elopement is an intentionally small, intimate, meaningful, authentic wedding day that’s a true reflection of your relationship—where the focus of the day is really about YOU TWO. There are so many ways to create a FULL day of incredible adventures. Would you two like to climb a mountain and share your vows with the clouds and lakes below, maybe sharing the moment with a few family members and friends? It could be inviting your immediate family and closest friends to experience your intimate ceremony at the bottom of a waterfall within driving distance. It could be travelling to incredible locations that are still safe with Covid-19. Maybe a breathtaking view in Banff National Park or a similar view in Tumbler Ridge or between Jasper and Banff. Maybe you want to head south and enjoy the wedding beside a beautiful lake and include an intimate dinner on the beach where you can all sit together and hear stories and speeches that your closest friends and family share in front of you. Or bring your 20 closest friends and family to take a trip somewhere warmer in the country on the side of a stunning beach. THE BEST THING ABOUT ELOPING IS THAT THERE ARE NO RULES AND YOU CAN CREATE AN INTENTIONALLY INTIMATE WEDDING DAY THAT TRULY REFLECTS WHO YOU ARE. We love the authentic and intimate nature of these weddings and would love to help you in any planning, searching or timelines. We will help you find incredible florals, outstanding views, a timeline that will reflect your favourite activities, and a full weekend of love. The best part, we will be able to film it all, putting together a film of the full day and a full ceremony video so that when things become safe and the CDC releases new updates, you can throw a large party/ reception, and share the film so everyone can witness your ceremony later. We live in a wonderful time of technology and could even live stream the ceremony to those who could not be a part of the day. Let’s focus on you two, your love and your memories.
At this point the main weddings needing to be concerned are those from March-May 2020. The CDC has requested the public compliance in limiting mass gatherings and in some places it has gone down to 10 people. There should be an update as of May 2nd on whether things are clearing up or staying as they are. Once you accept there is a high chance you need to postpone your wedding, it can be an incredible overwhelming feeling. You are allowed to feel what you feel. It is not selfish to mourn the loss of the date and work put into it. Remember so many couples are feeling the same way as well. Now is the time to review your contracts, contact your vendors and work together to create magic for you two still. Inform your wedding guests of the postponement and clearly communicate your plans. It’s okay to not have a new date yet.
Lastly, check in with your partner. You guys are going through this together and it is hard. This is something no one could imagine and my heart truly breaks for you. I can not imagine the emotions that come with this. Work through this together and I know you can still have a wedding that represents your love and commitment. Embrace the idea of eloping, now more than ever your guests will understand and it will allow you to still have a celebration that is focused on you two and your love.
For those with June and beyond weddings, I know it is hard to hear, but patience is important. New information is coming out every day for every province and country. We don’t know what the coming months will look like. While you’re waiting for the date and new news, prepare that it may be the same situation, so stay in contact with vendors as you wait. Keep planning and have a back up plan and remember, you wedding is only the first day of the rest of your marriage together, and that is something to be so excited about 🙂
At the end of the day your wedding is all about you two as a couple. What will make you feel happiest, what will reduce stress and help you focus on your love, commitment and importance of your wedding? This is a very uncertain time and everyone is in the same boat, so your guests will, of course, understand whatever decision you have to decide.
If you are looking to elope on a weekday we will have discounted packages for couples wanting their special day captured.