The underlying issue of this pandemic is the uncertainty. I have always told people to spend less time worrying about things that are out of their control. Although that is easier said than done, this is 100% the best advice that I can give to anyone going through any type of hardship because of this pandemic. When you are postponing your wedding and asking others, “when do you think this will be over?” you are basically saying, “when will things go back to normal? When can I have my life back?” The hard truth in the situation is that none of us are going to get our life back. It's okay to grieve, it's okay to feel like you lost a piece of yourself. Things are not going to be the same after this. For example, think about traveling before 9/11 and what traveling was like after 9/11. After a catastrophic event, companies changed, companies were lost, families changed, loved ones were lost and everybody had to create a new normal and reshape how that event effected their life. What we can control is the present moment that we are living in. We are in the middle of a history lesson in the making.
Your options... to postpone, cancel or elope?
Right now, our couples are facing three options. What we are recommending to our couples is that postponing is going to be your best bet. This too shall pass. When you postpone, your vendors are working hard to accommodate you & we are our advocating for each and every one of our couples by putting their best interest and health first. It hurts us to remind you that right now hosting a gathering this large is not safe, but it could be deadly to some of those attending. We are encouraging our couples to postpone to a time where the pandemic has slowed down or burned out. This is an unfortunate situation for everybody - we know you have been looking forward to this day your whole life, and we have been looking forward to executing this day since we met you. When we walk away from every wedding, we can only hope for the longevity and great health of every relationship we encounter. Locally, we are encouraging everyone to follow the governor’s orders and continue to shelter in place to avoid exposure.
OF COURSE, we don’t want you to cancel. We want everyone’s love to be unstoppable, but with a global pandemic we can completely understand and validate defeated feelings or hesitations. We are taking this case by case, but have only seen weddings cancel where the bride, groom, or their family members travel plans have been completely halted. If it is against your culture to not wed without your father present, or if your mother in laws work has banned her ability to travel we can understand why you would want to cancel. We just want everyone to know that this is the last thing that we would ever want for our couples and we will do everything in our power to work with every vendor to make sure that you don’t have to cancel your wedding.
And then there is eloping… which we are here for! We just want you to be safe. Where we are at with having 40 out of the 50 states sheltering in place, ANY type of non-essential work needs to be put off until further notice. So if you’re not in the medical field, pharmacy, or grocery industry we are wanting our couples to please hold off. Let’s remember that WE have the POWER to stop the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic’s exposure lies in our hands and we all have to unite to beat this so EVERYONE can get back to their new normal. Whether you are eloping with just your spouse, photographer, and coordinator, we still are expressing the urgency of waiting until after this is over. Stay home, please.
Where do we fit in? I can’t speak for each vendor. You have a contract in place that is so different from one vendor to the next, so we recommend you start by reading the contracts you signed. Unfortunately, most of your deposits you have in place with your vendors are going to be non-refundable which is also why we encourage postponing vs. cancelling. I would dive deeper into seeing if anyone has listed any type of date change or postponement fee. Keep in mind when “new date shopping” that your date needs to be fair to match your vendors - a Friday in Spring would be comparable to a Friday in fall, but also keep in mind that your date may not be available & unless the business has several employees you may not get the person with the company you first wanted. We want to accommodate everyone. TRUST US. We don’t want to lose you, which is why we also suggest giving everyone a few options. You can start by asking each vendor if they have any dates that are absolutely, positively not available - for example, 10/10/2020 has been blocked off for most of us for close to a year now. Naturally, we all want to root for your wedding to happen in the same year it was scheduled, but as things progress I think everyone is starting to understand how this may trickle into the following spring. Please remember the closer that you choose to postpone or cancel, that some vendors with overhead have already placed orders. Your caterer may have already ordered the food or your florist may have already ordered your flowers.
Be prepared to talk money. Everybody has been effected financially by this crisis. If we can’t conduct weddings, we don’t have an income. If you’re not an essential worker, you probably don’t have an income either. We understand. What we are trying to help everyone understand is that no body’s income is more important than someone else's. There cannot be ANY level of self importance when there is a global pandemic. We all need to pay for the roof over our head, the car that we drive, and we all have mouths to feed whether they’re our own, our children, or our pets. Please express your situation in confidentiality to your vendors and see what they can do for you. Everyone has a plan in place and I promise that end of the day, we ALL are looking out for the best interest of our couples. WITHOUT YOU, we would have nothing. We can’t run the risk of losing you. Don't forget to get a new contract or subcontract in place. Since the future is uncertain, ask what would happen if you would need to postpone a second time due to the same circumstance.
If you already have your marriage license, don’t fret. Although you are holding a document with a deadline since businesses are not operating right now we can only hope that they will be flexible with either extending dates or offering a new one that is valid, when the open back up. Don’t feel rushed to make any decisions just because you are holding a timely structured document.
HEY! The best part about this situation is that we can help stimulate the economy and the industries that are hurting the most. Guess what is SUPER cheap right now?! AIRFARE! Contact your travel agencies, airlines, and hotels. They don’t want to lose you as much as we don’t want to lose you. It is never a bad idea to put a gap in between your wedding and your honeymoon. I may be biased because we took three months off in between, but it allowed me to take in each celebration with patience and really soak in the appreciation of the changed moments in my life. I felt that I was able to celebrate my wedding, get back to work, get my head back in place so I could focus on the anticipation of enjoying even more time off in the future with my husband.
The US is not issuing passports right now, just as a heads up if you were looking to get one or renew.
He said, “Will I wake up tomorrow? I don’t know. But, you know what I do know? I know that I woke up today and I had a choice to drink and I chose not to. I don’t know if I am going to wake up tomorrow and if I do, I will make that choice tomorrow.”
I encourage you to apply this state of mind to your life..,
Did you wake up today? Yes!
Do you have a choice on your perspective? Yes!
I applaud those are doing their best to live presently, in this moment, and with joy. Remember, at the end the day you are with the love of your life; an opportunity and feeling not everyone has & others yearn for. If you take this situation day by day without deep diving your thoughts into the uncertainty of the future, you can still find joy in the moment.