How To Prepare For Major Event Changes
Wedding planning is stressful to begin with. You’re spending a lot of money on a major milestone, and there are always a lot of priorities and opinions to balance. Throw a pandemic in there, and it can start to feel like you have no control at all!
We’re unfortunately a year and a half into this pandemic and COVID is still a part of our daily language. While it’s certainly not enjoyable to think about, there is still a chance that certain restrictions could come into play within the next few months.
Naturally, as wedding planners, we want to make sure you are as prepared as possible for something that is very unpredictable. It’s overwhelming to consider a pandemic wreaking havoc on your special day that you have been planning for months, and we totally get that. Follow these tips to assist you in making decisions when it comes to major event changes.
Don’t be emotionally charged when making decisions
With anything related to COVID, planning ahead is key. While no one wants to think about a pandemic ruining their big day, we unfortunately can’t predict the future (as much as we wish we could!), and you may be faced with different restrictions in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding. Making a plan of your responses to certain restrictions will help you avoid in-the-moment, emotional decision-making.
There are a few different scenarios to think through when evaluating how COVID could affect your event (more on that in a minute). These decisions don’t need to be rushed - take your time to really think through each one and its consequences so that you make the best decision for you, your partner, and your guests.
Have a plan
While we can’t predict how the infection rates or restrictions of the city or state will change, we can use past data to make educated decisions on how COVID may impact your day. At the time of this blog, all individuals are required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status in the city of Chicago. If you’ve already booked a venue, check with them on their specific restrictions to see how they will handle this on wedding day.
Based on past restrictions, there may be a variety of other factors that come into play when considering your event and COVID. Think through each one to determine what your plan would be if that restriction were to go in place: would you continue planning despite the restrictions? Would you prefer to postpone or reschedule? Or, would you cancel for the time being and pick planning back up once COVID has settled down?
A few other scenarios that we’ve seen in the past could be that the city restricts event capacity to 100 or 50 people. What does this mean for your guest list? Would you be comfortable cutting your guest list if needed? Another past restriction would be the inability to have a dance floor. Is this a make-or-break factor for your wedding day, or do you like the idea of having alternative entertainment for guests?
Talk with your vendors
If any of those scenarios have you considering a reschedule, postponement, or even cancelation, make sure to read carefully through your contracts and chat with your vendors about what this would be mean for your paid deposits. Most vendors require non-refundable deposits to hold your wedding date, but they may have added fees if asked to reschedule a different date. Chat with each vendor about what this might look like.
Also consider your vendors’ calendars. If you’re looking to reschedule to a certain future date, all your vendors might not have that date available. If there’s a certain vendor (or all your vendors) that you don’t want to part with, confirm their availability for your new date before signing any contract addendums.
Purchase event insurance
You’ve probably already realized, but weddings are expensive! And having the pressure of COVID changes only adds to the stresses of planning a wedding. Purchasing event insurance is the best way to protect your investment from any unforeseeable changes. In the most basic sense, event insurance will cover those non-refundable deposits that you’ve paid in the case of events like a pandemic, business closure (i.e. think: if your venue were to shut down a month prior to your wedding), etc.
Nowadays, many venues are starting to require their clients purchase event insurance. If this isn’t the case for your venue, we still highly encourage you to read more about it and see if it is the right choice for you. Some of the most popular event insurance companies are WedSafe and Wedsure.
COVID is scary! We know it. It’s intimidating, stressful, and frustrating having to consider a pandemic altering your wedding vision. But having a plan and taking the time to consider your wants and needs when it comes to your wedding will ensure your day is still as you envisioned.
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