CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR WEDDING

How the Coronavirus is affecting weddings around the United States

We’ve been home since March and finally starting to open our communities more.  But the public health crisis of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been affecting brides at all kinds of levels all over the country!  So it’s understandable why so many brides getting married this year are super concerned.   

Without wanting to cause panic, it would be irresponsible of me as a wedding photographer to not talk about how it can affect your wedding.  It may very well affect many of the weddings this year in so many ways, from catering, to travel and hotels for guests, to your wedding dresses or bridesmaid dresses (as a lot of them are manufactured overseas), and many small businesses are being hurt by the economic downturn and potential future economic finances moving forward.

Today I am going to discuss some things you can actively do to ensure that you have backup plans in place.

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Jen Vazquez

Owner / Photographer, Jen Vazquez Photogaphy

Here are some things to think about:

Wedding Dresses and Bridesmaid Gowns

It would be a smart move to check-in with your wedding dress store (retail or online).  Ask them about the timing of dress(s) arrival and where it (they) are coming from.  Knowledge is king.  If they won’t arrive on time, you need to know if the store can help you or if you’ll need to pick something off the rack as a backup.

If you are purchasing or attempting to purchase a wedding dress – make sure the store is open and that they are making them.  If you are ordering online, give PLENTY of time for it to be made and arrive and for alterations.  It should probably be one of the first things that you decide and purchase to allow plenty of time to ship – since shipments all around are taking longer that a few months ago.

Wedding Vendors  

Likewise, it would be smart to check-in with each of your wedding vendors.  Talk about their flexibility if you have to move your date due to an outbreak in your immediate community.  I am very open to doing so for my brides at no added costs.

While you are at it, check with them on a backup plan if they or their staff gets sick.  For me, I have always had a back-up plan if I’m “hit by a bus”, I have a list of photographers that can back me up.  And I would back them up also.

Plus, check to see if your wedding vendor has any issues with working even if your community is open.  Some wedding vendors have gone out of business or don’t plan on photographing until 2021.  Before hiring someone, make sure that they are prepared to work with the specific county you are getting married in allows it.

Venue

I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but check with your venue to discuss their plans or backup plans if the county they are located in says no public events.  Will they change your date with no additional cost? Also what they do as a backup if their onsite coordinator isn’t available.

When scheduling, make sure what social distancing or rules (like the total number of people) they may have in place that will be different than what was originally planned or what you and your fiance want to have. 

If you just scheduling your wedding, perhaps an outdoor venue may be a good choice as there is much more flexibility because it’s outdoors.

Catering

Speak with your caterer (if different then your venue) to discuss what their plans are in this state of emergency.  Are there specific guildines they will follow? Will they change up the type of food they serve.  Will they or you choose to not have any food in the event of a new outbreak in the community and consider not having dinner if there is a concern with food service as the virus spreads.

Guests 

Either call, email, or send a note via the mail about the fact that you are aware of what’s going on and that you will update them if you need to postpone and you will be making that decision from what the specific county says.  Having people RSVP online may be the way to go, so you can get emails and be able to give in the moment updates.

Additionally, if anyone is sick in any way, asking them kindly to not attend. And that you may consider no hugs and kisses on the day if it’s known to be something that the CDC recommends moving forward.

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

You’ll need to be very informed about the airlines and the country you are going to see if you need to postpone.  Every country, state and county has different rules now, but note the CDC says (as of March 7, 2020):

Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.”

Trip Insurance/Wedding Insurance

It would be very smart to read through all of your insurance (trip for the honeymoon or wedding).  Some trip insurance  and wedding insurance may not cover the Coronavirus unless the CDC or United States informs the public that you can’t travel.  Carefully go over it all and enlist the help of the company or your attorney, especially if you don’t understand what your paperwork means.

Don’t Panic but Be Logical

This is the really important part!!!!  This is not the time to panic!

It is time to be logical and read through all contracts and contact all vendors to get information.  Then with that knowledge and the current information your find on the CDC page, you can make an intelligent decision on things moving forward.  And if you have to postpone, you will still be marrying your best friend, just when it’s safe to do so.

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