If you decide ‘yes’, then how can you plan around the constantly changing and unpredictable regulations surrounding large gatherings?
Understandably, many engaged couple’s fears include:
“Will my 100+ guest list be limited due to government restrictions?”
“Will I have to dis-invite some of my guests?”
“Will I lose my deposit if I change the date?”
“Will important family/friends miss out on attending due to lockdowns/health risks?”
The truth is, no-one can really answer any of these questions, as none of us have a crystal ball. With the constant uncertainty right now, it can be difficult for anyone to make firm plans and everyone is in the same boat.
That depends – what is truly important to you? What does your ‘dream wedding’ look like?
If a large wedding with lots of friends and family is non-negotiable, this is probably your biggest hurdle. Look for a venue and service providers that will allow for flexibility around deposits and changing of dates (check the t’s & c’s carefully prior to signing anything).
Having said that, there is a backlog of couples still waiting to be married, so you may also need to be flexible with dates and times if you have a dream wedding in mind.
Search for a venue that offers reasonable flexibility, even if it means compromising on other areas that may not be as important to you, such as getting married mid-week or limited menu selections.
Be creative. Some venues have different licensing for different areas, meaning they may be able to offer you multiple breakaway rooms, with all of your guests still able to attend!
The key is finding whatever works best for YOUR circumstances – you don’t have to please everyone and you definitely don’t need to follow tradition.
You could also have an outdoor/beach wedding in a public space or tie the knot at a friend’s property, where there is no loss of business on the line for the venue, no loss of deposit on the line for you and you can change the date at the last minute if needed – less pressure for everyone involved.
Some private accommodation venues (e.g. on Stayz) even allow weddings to be held on-site without requiring you to pay for extras such as catering – only the accommodation fee.
So, if you did need to reschedule and can’t obtain a refund, you could simply use it as a mini holiday or ‘trial run’ with friends, prior to the (new) big day.
If numbers aren’t that important to you, consider eloping or having a smaller wedding.
This can mean different things to different people. This could be just the two of you on a romantic getaway; close family and friends only; an official ceremony with a reception planned at a later date; a ceremony that is live-streamed to guests (check with your venue and celebrant if they have the resources to do this); or giving your guests a ‘tentative’ invite dependent on restrictions.
As long as you are up-front with people (read: no dis-inviting), then they should be understanding of whatever you choose.
Many venues are set-up to accommodate most of these options and can provide elopement/small wedding packages at a special rate.
There are some great benefits to eloping right now. If a big ‘white wedding’ isn’t important to you (or freaks you out), COVID provides you with the perfect excuse to let down those disappointed second cousins and work acquaintances easily!
You will save a lot of money on big ticket items such as catering; and perhaps be able to spend more on wish list items, such as a five star hotel or a premium photography package, which you may ordinarily have been unable to afford.
Small weddings or elopements also allow you to have more time in your day for epic location shots – if that’s what you’re wanting! You could get those dream shots that other couples can only imagine!
Carefully monitor rules, regulations and restrictions in your area (but try not to panic) and be prepared to make changes to your plans when you need to. If it looks like you might need to change the date or reduce guest numbers, make the call ASAP to avoid problems such as losing your deposit or leaving inter-state guests out-of-pocket on flights.
Just like you would for wet weather conditions, always have a contingency plan in place.
If you go into wedding planning mode with the mindset that there are circumstances beyond your control and ‘what will be will be’, then you won’t be disappointed on the day.
Remember, whatever your wedding looks like, it IS going to be perfect. Most importantly, you are marrying the love of your life!
Plus, anyone getting married during COVID will no doubt have many crazy tales to tell future generations about their unique wedding…
If you would like a beautiful shoot that perfectly captures your individuality as a couple, please feel free to check out my portfolio or fill out the contact form if you would like more information or a copy of my pricing guide.
Happy wedding planning!