This is a truly challenging time for so many people, and whether your wedding or elopement is planned for 2020, or you are looking further ahead to 2021 and 2022, I’m sure that you have many questions right now. If your wedding has already been affected by this crisis, and you’ve been forced to cancel or reschedule, I’m truly sorry. I can only imagine how gutting it is to look forward to something for so long, and then have it taken away from you for reasons completely out of your control. Planning a destination wedding during the Coronavirus crisis is a challenge that neither couples or the wedding industry (or anyone for that matter) as ever had to deal with before, and most people are working things out as they go along.
Being someone who believes in looking for the positives, and for always having a plan, I wanted to come up with a few tips to help you navigate destination wedding planning during this coronavirus crisis. Let’s talk about what is the best course of action for you right now, whether you’ve been affected by this crisis already or not.
If Your Wedding Is In 2020
Unfortunately, all of my couples who were set to have their ski weddings at the end of the winter season in the Alps have already had to make the hard decision about what to do next, and all of them are postponing until next winter. But if your wedding or elopement date is coming up in the next few months and you’re not sure what to do, here are some suggestions:
Check Your Insurance
If you purchased wedding and/or travel insurance for your trip, see what you are covered for. Whilst a pandemic itself might not be covered in your insurance, government restrictions, travel bans or venue closures might be covered.
Reach Out To Your Team & See What Your Options Are
This situation sucks for everyone involved, so it’s likely that you’ll all want to find a solution. If you haven’t heard from your team of vendors already, then reach out to them and see what their processes are right now should you need to reschedule your date.
Check The Government Travel Advice Website
Each country usually has a government website that publishes up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. If your date is still a few months away and you want to keep an eye on the situation, this is one of the best ways to get accurate information on what things are like in the country you are travelling to.
For couples in the USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html
For couples in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
For couples in Australia: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Reschedule Rather Than Cancel
If your wedding is less than 2 months away, and your pretty sure things won’t be able to go ahead, try to find a way to reschedule your date. Most vendors and many airlines, travel companies and hotels are offering the option to change the date for free instead of cancelling and potentially losing the money you’ve already paid. If your wedding is still more than 4 months away, I’d recommend waiting and making a decision closer to the time. You can still find out what your options are, but don’t rush into making any decisions until you know if you’re going to be affected.If you are being forced to reschedule your wedding day, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with all of your key vendors. With some weddings being booked up to 2 years in advance, you may find that the new date you’re looking at has already been booked, so try to be as flexible as you can. As soon as you have a new date in mind, check in with all of your vendors to make sure they are available before confirming. Once your new date is confirmed, if you are able to keep paying your vendors as per the original payment schedule, this will help them to stay in business during this difficult time, and it means that when your wedding day comes around, you won’t have as much to pay for.
Consider Eloping Instead
If you’ve got wedding insurance that is coving the cost your your cancelled wedding, and you can’t imagine having to start the process again, why not consider an intimate wedding or elopement instead. If you’ve found planning a big wedding to be way more stressful than fun, if the guest list was getting out of hand, or the budget was taking on a life of it’s own, why not use this as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and plan a day that does excite you.
If Your Wedding Isn’t Booked Yet
I’m serious. Why not use this quieter time to plan your dream wedding day without all the distractions of “normal” life. Right now there is so much going on in the world that you can’t control, but planning the best day of your lives together is something you can do to get yourselves stoked for the future.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding or elopement at the moment, here are a few things to bear in mind:
Contact Your Favourite Vendors Early
Dates for 2021 are filling up even faster than usual as many 2020 weddings are getting pushed back to 2021. This means 2021 is most likely going to be a big year for people getting married. If you’ve already found a photographer or planner you’d love to work with, or a cute little AirBnb that you want to book, I recommend getting in touch with them now to check availability and to secure your date.
Book As Much As You Can Now
Not only will booking now secure your date so that you can continue putting the rest of your plans in place, but your deposits will also be a lifeline to your vendors right now, helping them to stay in business so that they can be a part of making your wedding day awesome.
Ask About Payment Plans
If you are worried about the financial commitment of booking things right now, be honest. There are uncertain times for everyone, and not wanting to put all your savings into your wedding right now is understandable. For some of my couples, I’ve offered them the option to split the usual 50% booking fee into smaller payments, and I’ve worked out bespoke payment plans for couples that have requested it. This means that their date is secure and we can commence planning.
Look at what options you have for insurance. If you’re having a destination wedding with a venue, you’re almost certainly going to want wedding insurance. For smaller weddings and elopements, have a look at what options are out there. You’ll also need to get travel insurance to cover the non-wedding aspects of your trip.
Just remember, this current state is temporary. It will pass, and you’ll still be able to have your dream wedding day. And I promise it’ll be worth the wait!
Lots of love,
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