Engagement season is nearly upon us and a huge number of couples will shortly be looking to plan their dream wedding. This fills us with so much joy and we are hopeful that the with the government rolling out the vaccination programme; the wedding industry will bounce back and we look forward to beautiful weddings taking place this summer.
Having said this, with the government constantly changing the guidelines related to weddings, some of which have been enforced without an ideal notice period, it is prudent to be better prepared than ever before.
So if you find yourself asking “How do I plan a wedding during the pandemic?”, we have you covered!
Choosing a wedding date
The starting point when choosing your wedding date is to give yourself at least 12 to 18 months to work with if possible. Next, choose a range of dates that will work for you and your guests.
If you already have a dream date, for example, the anniversary of when you met or the day you got engaged, a pro tip is to be extremely organised. Contact your chosen venue as soon as you can to arrange a virtual viewing/socially distanced tours (ask your venue if they offer this) and once you have done that, secure your chosen date.
The government has announced that after the current third lockdown, the country is likely to return to the tier system. If social distancing guidelines, government restrictions and/or tier system are likely to remain in force when you get married, it is important to think about these when choosing your wedding date.
With the pandemic and government guidelines resulting in so many postponed/cancelled weddings, act quickly to book your preferred venue and suppliers as soon as you can to avoid disappointment as couples who had to unfortunately cancel or postpone will be looking to secure their preferred dates and suppliers as soon as possible.
Choosing your wedding venue
Again, if social distancing guidelines are likely to remain in force when you get married, you will have to think about these when deciding whether or not the space is adequate. Choose a venue closer to home as the tier system might (when the lockdown restrictions are eased) affect whether or not your guests are allowed to travel for your wedding.
When picturing your perfect wedding, be sure to consider your wedding style/vibe. Pinterest, wedding magazines and social media are a good place to look for inspiration and spot the current trends. Does the venue fit in with what you want your dream wedding to look like? When negotiating a package with your venue, check what the venue offering as part of the package. If the venue offer accommodation, can they offer you some accommodation as part of the package such as a bridal suite? Are there any extra costs such as parking for your guests and suppliers? It is also important to think about access for suppliers and your guests.
Pro tip: Ask your venue to give you a quote for hiring items such as furniture, linen, dancefloor, bar etc and then compare it to the cost of hiring these from an external supplier. Also, compare the weekend and weekday packages offered by the venue as often weekday packages cost less than weekend packages. Doing the above can help you save some costs.
Ask your venue what their policy is in case you have to change your wedding date; are their penalties or extra costs if you have to move your wedding to 2022 or cancel due to government guidance? Will they be flexible and adjust easily if you are forced to postpone? It is more important than ever before to read and understand the contracts you will be signing with your venue and suppliers.
Hire a wedding planner
Wedding planning is a huge commitment and the thought of planning a wedding can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
A wedding planner can not only help you choose your wedding venue and preferred suppliers, he/she can also help you stay on track, advise you on the latest government guidelines which can be really confusing, help you consider supplier contracts, advise you on latest wedding trends, manage your wedding budget and of course plan an amazing yet safe wedding.
You can work with your preferred wedding planner to create a package which is suitable for you. Consider what is important to you, your style, your budget and leave the rest to the professionals! Hiring a wedding planner during these unprecedented times is highly recommended as it can really save you a lot of time, costs and ensure that you have a great time as the planner will ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
A very popular current wedding trend during the pandemic is to host a sequel wedding. We understand that for some couples, it is important to tie the knot as soon as they are able to, so they can plan their future together. For such couples, our advice is to plan an intimate ceremony later in 2021 with your special guests and then a much bigger and extravagant wedding reception in 2022! It will mean you can still have your dream wedding as you will have time to save for and plan your big day, get to wear more than one beautiful outfit, glam up again and of course have double the fun.
The pandemic has made us all realise the importance of people who are special to us. When planning an intimate wedding during the pandemic, you can still make absent friends and family feel involved. You can send your wedding invitations, event order and any personalised favours to your guests ahead of the wedding. Ask your videographer if they can stream your wedding live so that your absent guests can follow the action from the comfort of their own homes. You can also create a wedding hashtag and request the attendees to use it when uploading photos of your wedding day on social media.
Think about what is important to you as a couple and how you can ensure that your wedding day is truly unique and memorable.
It is important to mention that when planning both a wedding in 2021 or 2022; apart from your usual priorities, ensure that your guests feel safe when at the venue and that they adhere to simple safety measures such as wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance.
Insure your wedding
The pandemic has made it even more important to have appropriate wedding insurance in place. Check the policy carefully and ensure that you are covered for situations such as cancellation or postponement due to epidemic or pandemic, government acts/bans etc. If you are unsure, seek advice or call your insurer for further guidance.
BLOG Written by VLW Events
Photo credits: Nanide Perez Photography, Virginia Florista, VLW Events, Lou Paper