WEDDINGS DURING A NATIONAL EMERGENCY

 

What do you do when the most important day of your life is planned but a public health tsunami has slammed the nation? Stop, take a breath. It’s going to be okay. We’re here to help in any way we can.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Check out these practical steps

 

1. Admit it. You’ve had your hopes set on this day, and it means the world to you.
Everyone understands that. And everyone empathizes with your situation. A recent ZOOM video conference with a couple set to be married in five days began with the bride saying, “I’m sorry if I start to cry while we talk.” I assured her that’s natural and okay. Right now, lots of people feel this way.

2. Accept how you feel, but keep your head as you make decisions.
I’m not suggesting that you don’t feel bad. I’m saying that your feelings shouldn’t dictate how you will address the challenge that confronts you — whether to go ahead with the wedding as planned or reschedule it for a time when you know more about the risks and trends related to the spread of the virus and its lethality.

3. You’re about to be married, so talk to each other.
Most couples don’t face challenges like this until much later in their marriages. If you’re going to spend the rest of your lives together, there’s no better time to figure out the best course of action. Yes, your family and friends all have a stake in this special moment. It is, after all, a communal celebration, a rite of passage. So lots of people in your circle will be affected by what you decide. But fundamentally this is a decision you and your fiancĂ© have to make together. You’re a team. Do this together. Both of you must be on the same page. And because time is of the essence, you can’t put off having this urgent discussion. Do it now.

4. Take action now.
Of course this isn’t your first choice. But often second, third, and fourth choices work out to be as wonderful (and sometimes even better) than we could have imagined. Once you understand the need to select an alternate date and time, it will be easier for you to take the steps necessary to reschedule your special day. My video conference couple are doing that because, “We couldn’t live with ourselves if anything happened to the people we love who want to be there for us.”

5. Contact your vendors now to find out your options.
Lots of venues are cancelling, postponing, and rescheduling events that have already been contracted. Because this national emergency is new territory for everyone, you can’t assume that your venue, planner, caterer, officiant, florist, photographer, musicians (and other services) will be able to honor your current date.They are facing unexpected  limitations and restrictions just as you are. A popular venue in Tampa has already closed its doors for the next 30 days even though they had lots of events on their books. Why? Out of an abundance of concern for the health and safety of their staff, the public and wedding clients like you.Contact all your vendors.

6. Work with your vendors and let them work with you.
Find out what your vendors can and cannot do.You selected your team because you trust them with the most important day of your life. This is the time to act on that trust. They want to provide you with their very best services. Don’t assume that if you reschedule you’ll automatically have to pay more. Do everything you can to let your vendors help you through this unforeseen crisis. They will happily work with you to find a new date to celebrate your special day if it is at all possible. Review your contracts before you contact them so you know what is and what is not addressed in your agreements.

7. Be flexible.
Those who survive and prosper are those who are most flexible. In the high winds that hurricanes routinely deliver to Florida each year, it’s the trees that bend the most that survive; rigid structures get blown off their foundations. None of us want to deal with the inconveniences that this national emergency has thrust upon us. But we all have the ability to make a difficult situation better by being flexible. Be smart, be resilient — allow life to happen without rigidly trying to resist it. Later, when you look back on all of this, you’ll be proud of the wise decisions you made to cope with life when things didn’t go exactly the way you had planned.

8. Communicate with your guests.
Currently, the CDC has been saying, and most wedding professionals agree, that full scale wedding celebrations scheduled for through May ought to be postponed to avoid risk of infection. If your wedding falls within that time frame it’s likely that you have already made, or will soon make the difficult decision to change your plans. When you do, be sure to send a group email to all your guests letting them know the change of plans. Even if you can’t announce an alternate date right now, your guests will appreciate the effort and timeliness of your communication. Don’t overlook the fact that your family and friends care deeply for you. They want the very best for you and they will be offering you lots of encouragement and support when they know the sacrifice you’ve had to make to postpone the most important day of your life. 

Still want to get married though your planned wedding celebration has been called off?
According to Brides Magazine, the current average length of engagement among couples in the USA is one year to 18 months. For most, that means you’ve been planning the details of your wedding day for at least the past year. Calling off your celebration has all kinds of implications. The most significant is that you will delay the formal act of becoming husband and wife. Having friends and family with us in the most important moments of our lives is something nearly everyone lives for.  So it’s understandable that you are sad and disappointed by this unforeseen delay. Faced with the dramatic changes in everyone’s life right now none of us knows what will happen, how, or when. Even though your public celebration can’t happen perhaps you still want to get married. After all, getting married is not only what you’ve been looking forward to; it’s being married, living as Mr. & Mrs. that has captured your heart and soul. We can help you. Click HERE to find out more about GETTING MARRIED WHEN YOUR WEDDING IS POSTPONED.