If you were planning to get married in 2020 and are holding steady on your desire to celebrate your wedding with all your friends and family regardless of COVID-19, right on! We get it. COVID spits on you, you spit back. Well hopefully not; it should be said Artisan Rose Event Co. highly discourages spitting, ever again, not even with a face mask on.
But seriously, if you are considering moving forward all sails ahead, there are some cold hard truths and implications that anyone who is planning a wedding for 2020 (and maybe even beyond) should understand. The biggest of these truths is the umbrella over all we will discuss down below: your wedding will look different than you imagined. Now let’s break that down:
Changes To Your Layout and Guest List
While there is no way of telling when/if/how capacity limits like the one currently imposed on restaurants and venues (25%) will affect your wedding day, there is one thing that we can almost guarantee will be with us until a vaccine is found and/or herd immunity is achieved, and that is that the 6ft rule is one of the best defenses we have against the spread of this virus. With that being said, in the scenario that capacity percentage restrictions are lifted and only the 6ft rule remains, re-working your layout to find a new “6ft capacity” may be the best way to estimate how many guests you can safely invite to your wedding. Below is an example of what we mean.
It’s important to understand that public perception of the safety measures taken at your wedding will affect the number of guests who decide to attend. There will be guests who either fear for their own health, fear for the health of a loved one they are regularly in contact with, or fear for public backlash they may receive for attending a large gathering during this time. If you plan to move forward with your wedding, and safety is a priority for you, we highly recommend you let your guests know this by A) providing guests with onsite, day-of, fail-safes and B) communicating what types of precautions you will have for them in a note with your invitation. This will allow your guests to assess the risk themselves as they consider RSVPing to your wedding.
What kinds of fail-safes are we talking about? We are talking about ways to protect your guests in case there are attendees at your wedding who may be carriers of the virus and do not know it. The minimum has already been mentioned, and that is, adjusting your layout so that small groups are sat 6ft or more apart from eachother. Other suggestions include:
Catering is such a huge player on your wedding day. In most situations, they are the ones dressing your guest tables, serving your appetizers, entrees, and desserts, and working your bar service. They touch almost everything your guests touch! So naturally, we wanted to talk to them about how they plan to minimize risk for their COVID-19 events. Here is what some of the leading local caterers had to say:
If you made it through this blog post, and you are feeling less convinced about your decision to move forward than before, let us offer some encouraging truths as well. The guests who decide to attend your wedding, despite all the risks, are going to be there for you and they are going to be there for a good time. These are the types of guests that will add the most positive and most genuine type of energy to your event.
There is also something to be said, quite frankly about the unknown end-date to this global pandemic. Some scientists are estimating a total of two years before a vaccine is found, tested, manufactured, and widely distributed. If you choose to postpone again, who is to say the new date you are choosing will be any better than the one you’ve already chosen. I’ve used this line before to promote the decision to postpone (man, how things change), but you can take the power back from this uncertainty by accepting that things may look different; you may lose some guests; but the show will go on and you will get married regardless!
The choice is obviously yours. Just know that Artisan Rose Event Co. will always encourage you to promote safety over preference and to focus on the aspects of a wedding celebration that matter most to you. If that means you need to wait to have your dream wedding with your entire guest list, then let's postpone to 2021. If it means we party like it's 2019, then know that we will do everything we can to set you up for success while also protecting the health and safety of our own team.
We are not scientists, nor politicians, nor journalists, but remain as informed as we can for you. This post was written on 5/8/2020 and may become obsolete as more information regarding COVID-19 is released.
The only thing that is certain anymore is how uncertain COVID-19 has made everything. In the midst of a global pandemic, people are seeking out normalcy and joy however they can find it. For many engaged couples, this means grieving the lost vision of their ultimate wedding day and considering alternatives to celebrating their love. If you are wondering if you should postpone your wedding celebration, this blog post is for you. We hope this provides you with some perspective and background as you move to make a decision.
When COVID-19 hit the United States in mid-March, everything happened very quickly. Wedding planners, photographers, venues, florists, and everyone in between were working swiftly and aggressively with their clients to postpone their wedding date for later in 2020. The trending policy at the time, among the wedding vendor community, was not to charge couples any additional fees, as long as those clients were postponing to a date still within 2020. Vendor attitudes were compassionate and hopeful that this was the best fix for all those involved. At the time, it was also widely anticipated that whatever this coranavirus was, it was a short-term issue. With every couple of days that passed however, more couples were making the decision to postpone their wedding dates and vendors of all types were completely overhauling their spring and summer wedding schedules and pushing a year’s worth of contracts into the later half of 2020. By the time we hit April 1st, just two weeks after COVID-19 hit our local radar, Artisan Rose Event Co. had officially postponed all our March through June weddings.
When Dallas County made the decision to close all non-essential businesses and effectively shut the greater metroplex down until April 30th, 2020, the local wedding industry (along with so many others) started to panic. We were now entering a territory of needing to protect and prepare our businesses for an indefinite hibernation as global knowledge of the virus began to pose a much more long-term threat. Companies were furloughing employees, instituting “work from home,” and applying for government relief, all while trying to continue to serve their clients. In similar fashion, Brides and Grooms with wedding dates for later in the year became nervous, and started reaching out to vendors to understand their options. This time however, they were met with less than flexible responses.
By far, the biggest push-back came from their venues- the teams that had hefty rents and mortgages to pay regardless of the thousands of dollars of revenue per weekend they were losing in postponements. We started seeing more rescheduling fees, Sunday or weekday only options for new wedding dates, and restrictions on what constituted a Force Majeure clause in their contracts. Fear for your wedding date or potential loss of guest count was no longer considered a good enough reason to postpone. You needed actual proof that your wedding contracts could not be fulfilled: a government mandate, an illness in the immediate family, or a death. Otherwise, you needed to be prepared to pay and share the burden of your vendors' loss of business.
If you didn’t ride the initial free-for all postponement wave in mid-March, the likelihood is that you’ll need to continue to play the waiting game. States and counties are releasing staged plans to open the economy back up, and Texas Governor, Abbott has started his re-opening with limiting capacities at weddings and outlining health protocols for attendees. You can find his May 5, 2020 declaration on this here: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.
The 2-14 day virus incubation period means we are unlikely to see the effects of any staged openings until about 2 weeks later. While this experimental re-opening of the economy plays out, it is safe to say that major vendors like venues are going to also wait to understand how aggressive their recovery plans should be moving forward. Remember, every new date a wedding venue or other day-of vendor gives to a COVID-19 postponement, is a loss of income to them. So, if you’re looking to postpone your wedding into 2021, be aware you may incur some extra costs here- as venues and vendors may or may not be struggling to keep their doors open in the meantime.
When to Decide
We’ve received quite a few questions from our couples about when to make the decision regarding further postponements. To help you with this, we’ve created a little decision tree for you:
It's important to remember during this time that your vendors are not your enemies. Their businesses have always been and remain a labor of love. Some of them will have more flexibility as you consider postponement, while others will not. These policies most likely stem from a place of necessity, not of opportunism. If you have a special case where your wedding is still many months away, but you need to reschedule regardless, reach out to your wedding venue first and open up this discussion with them. Otherwise, the wisest thing for you to do is wait to see how things are operating at the 3 month mark.
As always, we are here to help. If you'd like to discuss your options further, reach out to your planner! Till then, Cheers.