2020 has not been the best year for making plans, but if you’re trying to plan a wedding, well, every part of our hearts go out to you. That’s not just because we know how hard this year has been from a venue point of view but because the people writing this blog are in that very boat. That’s right, our names are Will and Tor and we got engaged in February with the hopes of getting married next year.
The problem is, the world is still blanketed in a thick layer of uncertainty, and that’s made planning a gorgeous Norfolk wedding more overwhelming than we could have ever imagined. Cancelling your big day, postponing your wedding, moving to a totally different season or just wondering whether your hopes and dreams for a 2021 bash will be thrown into disarray -- planning a wedding during the current pandemic has come with so much heartbreak.
Thankfully, we have found one amazing source of reassurance and they are wedding planners. That’s not to say they have crystal balls or anything, but they have been working with gorgeous couples across Norfolk, helping them make sense of these totally unprecedented moments and doing all they can to find solutions, keep spirits high and make the future look as romantic as possible.
They’ve been that support group we needed while planning our wedding, which is what made us reach out to some of the best wedding planners in the business and get their must-know do’s and don’ts for anyone planning a wedding during the Coronavirus Era -- no matter how far into the planning process you may be. Trust us: you may want to bookmark this page:
Do Be Realistic About Your Date
You know how we said wedding planners don’t crystal balls, well neither do those in government. So as awful as it is to hear, no one knows when all this will be over, when the vaccine will be ready or large weddings will be safe to go ahead again. That’s why almost every supplier we spoke to said the same thing: “try and avoid any unnecessary stress by planning for a 2022 wedding.” Of course, if you don’t want to wait that long and are willing to allow some risk into your planning process, plan for an April 2021 wedding at the earliest. But 2022 is your safest bet right now.
Don’t Book Anything Without Reading The Small Print
Every single supplier you speak to will have different terms and conditions, which is only natural. But one thing you should make sure they all have in common is a clause that lets you move your wedding should the pandemic interrupt your planned date. You also want to know what the postponement deadlines are, if there are any costs and what the costs are. The other thing we found out from speaking to our suppliers is to get clear information in writing where possible, especially when it comes to their policies on cancellations or reducing your guest list, and most importantly of all, how these policies may change if any revisions need to be triggered by you, or them or even the government.
Do Talk About Your Finances
Even before the pandemic took over our lives, working out your budget and then planning your wedding around that was always the most sensible place to start - and this has become even more important. There is a lot of uncertainty about the economy and jobs, and that unfortunately needs to be in your mind. You want your wedding to be the day of your dreams, but you don’t want to put yourselves at financial risk as a result either, so make sure you talk to each other about your finances, as well as any family contributions, especially if anyone suffers any changes in their circumstances.
As for those big financial outlays that come with planning a wedding, try to avoid paying anything without having secured wedding insurance, which is almost impossible to get right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t pay deposits to secure this and that, it just means making sure you’re absolutely clear on each supplier’s terms and conditions when it comes to postponing or cancelling.
Don’t Wait Too Long To Postpone
The idea of having to push back your wedding date, possible a whole year or more, is absolutely heartbreaking. Trust us, we both know. But if you’re still deciding whether to postpone or not, we recommend you set a time limit so that you’re giving your suppliers enough time to avoid any unnecessary costs and your guests are able to rearrange their travel plans. Only you can know what your gut is saying, but if you think postponing might be the safest move to make, don’t hesitate to call your vendors straight away to discuss a contingency plan: what dates they can do later next year or even 2022, what financial issues may arise etc. As for an inside tip, think about having a midweek wedding or looking at non-peak periods so that you have more chance of keeping the same wedding squad.
Do Focus On The Positives
There may be a bunch of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and when the world will return to normal, but that doesn’t mean everything is doom and gloom. There are still things you can be focussing on, which is exactly what you should be doing. Shop for your dream wedding gown, speak to your florist about all those gorgeous arrangements you’ve pinned, book in socially distanced cake tastings and have a Zoom call with your photographer to plan that shot list. A lot of us have more free-time (you know, with less time to socialise and commutes being a walk to the spare bedroom), so use that time to plan the parts of your wedding that can still be planned.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourselves (Or Others)
We’re pretty positive people, but if we had to give you just one piece of advice, it would be this: do not underestimate how draining and difficult it is to stay positive while planning a wedding right now. That’s why you need to be as kind to yourself as possible. Keep checking in with your feelings, schedule in some breaks, pause the planning now and then and do those things that help you relax -- it’s the only way you can get into the right headspace and feel motivated to plan your big day.
Seriously, we can’t stress this enough. Forget your wedding for a moment, staying mentally and emotionally healthy is one of the most important things you can do at this crazy time, so put aside a little time every day to love yourself and those around you. Please.
Do Think About The Big Picture
With the thought of postponing or cancelling or not getting the wedding you had planned for so long, it can be hard to think about anything else. But don’t let those thoughts take over. Instead, take a deep breath, tell yourself you can do this and remind the person in the mirror that you will still have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
Of course, it’s absolutely fine and totally understandable for your emotions to become too much, but feeling confused, sad, disappointed or angry is so valid and so normal. No one could have anticipated this pandemic, and the toll it has taken is bound to make you emotional, but it’s okay to feel that way. When these moments happen, though, try and keep your eye on the bigger picture, the wedding you will have and the love you feel; channel your positive energy, use it to be productive and don’t let the news overwhelm you. You will get to walk down that aisle, and you’ll still get to be happily engaged until then.
Don’t Forget Things Can Keep Changing
The biggest heartache we’ve found is the ongoing changes. It’s that feeling of uncertainty and a lack of government guidance on what is happening with weddings. It’s made us anxious, something that is apparently so common among other bride and grooms to be according to the suppliers we spoke to. The problem is, these anxious feelings probably won’t go away until all this over. However, there are certain resources that have been brilliantly helpful for us, such as this support group called Plan to Postpone, which helps couples navigate this super-stressful time.
Other than that, the best thing you can do is keep checking in with those involved with your wedding to get updates that are more tailored to you: the church you’re getting married in, the legal guidelines, your venue’s ongoing efforts to make things safe, your local council, wedding planner, everyone. Trust us, you’ll feel a lot less anxious after speaking to these people.