What’s Your Wedding Plan B During the Pandemic?

A bride and groom at their elopement saying their vows overlooking a river.

It’s been weeks since states ordered lockdowns on all non-essential businesses and large gatherings, causing a lot of events—including weddings—to be postponed or canceled. Flattening the curve and social distancing has been everyone’s focus, though soon-to-wed couples and wedding vendors are also facing the crises of moving and re-planning weddings and events.

While weddings from April, May and even June have been forced to reschedule, everything is still up in the air for the rest of this year. States are slowly reopening, but there is fear of a second wave of the virus that has everyone vigilant and worried. If you’re a couple getting married this summer or fall, it’s best to start creating a Plan B (and even Plan C) for your affair. The goal is to stay healthy, keep your loved ones safe, and make sure that when the time comes for your special day, your guests are comfortable enough to travel and be there to celebrate with you. Here’s three options you have going forward with your wedding plans.

Have a Micro Wedding: Scale Down to a Smaller Guest List

A table set for a micro wedding reception.

Micro weddings actually aren’t a new thing. They’re intimate weddings of less than 50 guests, but not like elopements where the ceremony is done quickly and the reception is less formal. Micro weddings can still be intricately planned—just with a smaller number of guests. Getting married surrounded by the people who are closest to you is intimate, fun, and economical.

If you are going this route, make sure that you check with the CDC and your state’s guidelines for events to determine how many guests and vendors you can have present at your wedding. Be on the lookout for daily updates, continue communicating with your family and friends, and find ways to be able to share the day with the rest of your guests. It can be via online streaming, or a short edited video that you post on your social media or personally send to everyone.

Postpone Your Wedding to a Later Date

A wedding invitation suite with a save the date card.

Most weddings are now being moved to the latter part of 2020 and as far as 2021. This is something to consider if you are having a destination wedding, or if the majority of your guests will be traveling from out-of-state or from other countries. It’s best to communicate with your guests and how they’re home states are dealing with the pandemic. Even as states are slowly re-opening, travel is something that needs to be considered because of border controls and advisories and, more importantly, the travelers themselves. You may consider getting married on a weekday, which may be common for the next year or so, with all the postponements that are happening.

Check-in with your venue about postponing to a later date, and then work your way through the other vendors. Another risk of changing your wedding date is losing your vendor dream team, as it is hard to get everyone on the same date. These are unprecedented times, and wedding vendors are all coming together to figure out the best way to help their clients. If your vendor is not available on your new date, they may be able to refer you to a trusted vendor who can take over for them. Remember that everyone is experiencing this situation for the first time, and while vendors don’t have all the answers or a crystal ball to predict the future, they will try their best to navigate through this with you. Most wedding vendors are small businesses and have been hit hard with the COVID-19 pandemic, and would most likely be flexible in changes and adjustments.

Whether your new date is in a new venue or a new season, revisit your initial plans and see what needs to be adjusted—from seasonal flowers to the wedding day timeline. This will help renew your excitement in wedding planning, and might even save you some bucks in the long run.

Elope Now and Celebrate Big Later!

A bride and groom standing alone in the dessert.

Love need not be canceled! Some couples chose their wedding date because it has a special meaning to them, and simply cannot imagine tying the knot on any other date. A viable option is to elope on the said date, and go big with the celebration later on.

As of now, the CDC’s guidelines state gatherings should be no more than 10 guests—this group would include the couple, officiant, a witness, parents, and maybe a photographer and videographer. (You probably still want your elopement ceremony to be documented!)

Whatever you decide for your special day, the most important thing remains: you are going to marry the love of your life and start a new chapter together. Focus on that, and the rest of the things you overcame during this pandemic will be a good story to share with your children and grandchildren.

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