What Will Happen to my Wedding this Summer? - 2020 Weddings and Coronavirus
What is the situation with my Wedding this summer and Coronavirus?
If your wedding is due to take place this summer, or any time in 2020, you’re likely to be very worried and anxious about what may happen to your wedding plans. With the information we have so far, it’s difficult to predict where we may be with our July, August, September and even December weddings. However, we’ve listened to all of your questions and answered with our verdict to help put your mind at rest:
Can I still get married if we are under social distancing restrictions?
It’s almost certain that once the UK’s lockdown is lifted, we will still be under strict social distancing guidelines. This may mean you need to consider whether are able follow these guidelines with your chosen venue. If your venue consists of smaller rooms where distancing isn’t possible you may need to consider postponing further or finding a venue with more open spaces.
With the initial restriction for wedding limiting the maximum amount of people present, before being completely cancelled, are limited guests something that we should expect? If so, you may be looking at slimming down the guest list. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to celebrate with everyone in the future, but if you want to keep your wedding date, you may have a smaller select party on the day.
If we revert back to the measures that were in place and these last for a long time, this will mean you will be permitted to have the officiants, the couple and your two witnesses which is the legal minimum allowed.
When will weddings be allowed again?
That is the information we all want to know - and unfortunately there isn’t a straightforward answer. Once the wedding restrictions started to come in, most venues took the decision to postpone all weddings in May and June this year to protect their team and their guests. Not long after this, the Government made it official by cancelling all weddings due to take place.
As much as it isn’t something you may want to consider, the same registrars that look after your legal wedding documentation are also responsible for the registry of all deaths. Sadly, they are a lot busier than usual with this side of their responsibilities and are also abiding by social distancing rules, with skeleton staff in their offices.
Whilst we don’t know exactly when weddings will be allowed to take place again, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel as we are past the peak.
What if weddings are allowed and my venue is operating but I’m not comfortable with social distancing and want to postpone?
If you have a wedding booked later in the year, perhaps even next year, and are worried about what the future holds, don’t worry, you are not alone! A lot of us will still be very aware and want to social distance for longer than advised if we are vulnerable or anxious.
The best thing you can do in this situation is have an open and honest conversation with your venue. Hopefully you've been getting to know your dedicated venue wedding organiser over the time you’ve had your wedding booked - they will understand your concerns and will be able to offer a solution. Don't forget, they're humans too!
This is a new scenario for venues, and chances are that although they may put guidelines in places for rescheduling your wedding, if you have a conversation and discuss your worries your venue will be as accommodating as possible. If you’re concerned about your venue being open and operating but wanting to postpone your wedding further, then pick up the phone and have the conversation to save yourself the stress.
What happens if my wedding goes ahead but some of my guests are vulnerable and isolating?
Although we are still a while away from this being a reality, it may be something you’re worried about for the future. Even once everything slips back in to place and social distancing guidelines are relaxed, Weddings will still be impacted. Guests who are high risk or vulnerable may be advised to isolate for an extended period of time.
Wedding venues and suppliers are likely to be very flexible once everything begins to ease. They should understand the dilemma faced and allow flexibility on your minimum numbers or final number if you had already given these.
Live streaming is almost certainly about to become hugely popular to reach those who are self-isolating or vulnerable. This isn’t something that is new. The technology has been around for a long time. You may have watched graduation ceremonies online or conferences virtually. Wedding ceremonies will be shared online with family who are unable to attend.
Will my wedding insurance cover the Coronavirus?
As this is such an unprecedented time, it’s difficult to know if your insurance will cover for this or not and will very much depend on the terms of your policy. By now, most insurers will have established a position with their underwriters on this one, and you’ll need to contact your provider for clarity.
If you don’t have insurance, it’s best to contact your suppliers directly and speak to them regarding any deposits and the movement of dates. We have found that all of the suppliers we work with have been very flexible with pencilling in potential new dates and moving deposits over, whilst trying to make it as easy and painless as possible for our already frustrated Brides and Grooms. At a time where we need to treat each other with kindness, patience and understanding has been greatly appreciated on both ends of the conversation. Understandably, the current lockdown and social distancing situation wasn’t foreseen, and therefore won’t be found in the small print under postponements or cancellation policies.
That said, you may find that if you decide to cancel and book a different venue or supplier for whatever reason rather than postpone your wedding, it's likely that this will incur cancellation charges. If the vendor is able to accommodate you for an alternative date, then cancellation could be on your terms and you could find yourself in sticky grounds. Try to keep the process as pleasant as possible for all parties, this is most magical event of your life so keep the theme upbeat and positive and avoid going down the position of courts and insurers favours if possible.
We have had to postpone our wedding, but the venue doesn’t have availability on the dates we want to re-book?
Popular dates are often booked up years in advance, particularly weekend dates and bank holidays. If you’ve chosen a prime date at a well-loved venue you may be finding that your new ideal date isn’t available at your venue. Our recommendation is to be flexible; unless there's a sentimental reason why you want a particular date, most venues will be in the same position and the process will be much smoother if you choose a date that your current venue does have available.
Alternatively, your venue is part of a group, it’s worth considering if any of their other venues are suitable and if they have any of your new ideal dates available. This may save you any additional stress of compromising your dates further or going down the long task of cancelling and finding another venue (and it’s likely all venue’s will be in the same situation).
The other option may be to postpone further but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to be looking in to 2022, or 2023 if you were due to be married this year and you may find suppliers less accommodating with longer time scales.
What if we find a new date to re-schedule our wedding but not all of our suppliers are available?
If happen to be in the situation where you’re considering a new date but some of your suppliers are already unavailable, then you are not the only one. This is going to be a common theme throughout the re-scheduling process. We empathise that putting all your hard work and love into a wedding to have it postponed can be frustrating and upsetting but, you’re not back at square one. If anything, you could use this opportunity to reflect and enhance your plan A to make plan B even better!
Our top tip on handling this transition is to treat every change in your wedding as a new booking. This means ensure you have everything in writing, renewed contracts and relevant information. Ensure you inform all the pertinent people about each decision you make without giving them information overload – don’t let your important information get lost in the waffle!
Many suppliers are teaming up together to transfer booking to colleagues or trusted competitors in order to provide the best outcome for you if they are unavailable. Many suppliers are also now offering a booking with confidence agreement, assuring that if your wedding is impacted for a second time, they move the date for you again, so not deposits are lost.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, remember that you’re not the only one. There are many, many Bride and Grooms who are finding themselves in the same situations and it’s comforting to know that you’re not the only one.
This is a very new and unique situation for suppliers and venues alike. Move forward with flexibility, understanding and patience as everyone tries to adapt and reschedule in the best and safest way possible. Your wedding is one of the happiest events of your life to plan, so don’t let fear and frustration taint the experience for you and pull together with your venue and suppliers to build better relationships that will make the day even more magical.
We understand it’s a really difficult time, and many of you will also be facing losing at the same time, but remember that your wedding will go ahead and it will be as spectacular as you imagined, if not even better! Don’t forget we’re here to help in any way that you need us, whether it be simple advice for managing that situation on your behalf.