Your wedding day is quickly approaching. You continue to plan, design, and complete your vision for the perfect wedding celebration. Then, COVID-19! Just a couple of months ago, this was something you never heard about. Then the news hits about a virus in China. A half a world away, at least it’s not here in our community. Now, only a few months later, this news flash is now something so very real and frightening. What is a couple to do? Continue planning the wedding? Would it be wise to postpone or cancel altogether? Don’t panic as this too shall pass. Here are a few things to consider.
Know the Facts
Is there a Coronavirus outbreak in your area or the area you will be getting married? Listen to the local government agencies who are the experts and take to heart the information they are providing. If the location of your celebration has a high number of patients with the virus, then perhaps postponing your event would be wise. As the COVID-19 numbers of infected people adjust, pay attention to what they are doing. Is the infection lessening in the area of your celebration or still a high risk to you and your guests. Every community has different regulations to follow regarding social/physical distancing and the number of guests per venue. Know what those are and how they will affect your celebration. Mostly, think about what you need to do to keep everyone attending safe. That might include fewer guests attending, a small celebration for just a few. Many clients will be live streaming their celebration so everyone who would have attended can still share in your day.
If you purchased Wedding Insurance, the insurance might need to state that you are covered for a “Health outbreak or Pandemic” for your lost expenses to be covered, should you be forced to cancel. Check with your Wedding Insurance company to be sure. Here’s a link to see the various companies who represent Wedding Insurance to assist you with navigating the associated costs to cancel or postpone your celebration.
Contact Your Vendors
Check to see if your venue and vendors would consider postponing your wedding for a few months. Read through all your contracts with your venues and vendors regarding cancellation or postponing. Most vendors and venues are understanding and will assist you to the best of their ability.
If your venue will be reopening soon, ask if your venue plans to properly scrub down and sterilize all surfaces at your venue before your event. Also, ask to have all staff wear gloves throughout your event. Some venues are taking temperatures at the door and asking a few simple questions to each attendee, including any exposure to COVID-19. Also, ask to have all staff wear gloves and masks throughout your event.
DO NOT have a buffet at your event. Have all meals plated and served. This will lessen the number of people with any contact with your meal.
Make Adjustments to Your Guest List
If you plan to move forward with your event, after the postponement, ask what the venues will allow regarding the number of guests. Many must meet local and state regulations to reopen, Consider a smaller group of guests to attend. Keep the number of elderly guests to a minimum. The elderly appear to be the most at risk for the Coronavirus.
Communicate with all of your guests via email and your wedding website. State all of the facts and information you can provide regarding travel, closures, and event precautions you plan to take. Ask any guests showing signs of illness to please NOT attend your event. You can also ask all attending guests to fill out an “emergency contact” card. If anything were to go wrong with a guest, you’ll have their information and know who to contact quickly or after the event.
Have Medics On Standby
Consider hiring an EMT, Nurse, or Paramedic to stand by at your event. They can be reassuring should a guest become ill.
Do everything you can to stay healthy. Follow all the information provided regarding avoiding large group gatherings for now. Wash your hands frequently, eat healthily, and stay positive! Show the love on your wedding day with air hugs and blowing kisses.
Keep Up-To-Date with the Latest News
For more information and updates regarding the Coronavirus, check out the following event organization references.
- World Health Organization
- World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
- U.S. Travel Association
- Events Industry Council