If you told me a month ago my first “tips and tricks” blog post I would be writing would be about a global pandemic – I would have doubted you…..like a lot. But here were are in such uncertain times where our new normal changes by the day. To all my couples who have had to postpone their wedding, I know that decision does not come easily and my heart goes out to you and thank you for keeping not only yourselves and your vendors but your loved ones safe. To all who are reading this and are in the middle or just getting started planning your wedding, I am here for you and to give you some insight into what to book in the coming months ahead!
1. Don’t panic. Unless the government shut down continues, expect your wedding to still happen on your chosen date 🙂 Just like the rainy weather on a wedding day, we don’t panic until we see the rain drops and know for sure it’s happening. And even when we see the rain, we still don’t panic, we just get more creative – I mean that’s why you hired us right?!
2. If you do have to change your date, please let all your vendors know ASAP! I will send you the a list of dates I have open for the rest of 2020 and 2021. Contract, payment amounts, all that sort of stuff will stay the same. I’m not going to come back at you and say “My prices have gone up here’s your new invoice.” My plan is to photograph your day whether it happens sooner or later with a bunch of guests or just the 3 of us and a JP.
Here are other things to review / vendors to contact if you decide to postpone:
– Review Vendor Contracts – most wedding vendors (including myself) have a non refundable retainer but many require full payment 30-90 days before the wedding
– Ask your vendors what are their contingency plans incase they become ill and cannot fulfill their duties on your wedding day
– Figure out a plan to tell your guests incase they need to change their travel arrangements
– If you already obtained your marriage license check the expiration date
– Hotel Room Blocks
– Review Wedding Insurance
3. With the above being said, please know that I am 100% still planning on photographing every wedding in 2020 and in preparing to do so I have been self isolating and washing my hands no less than 32 times a day. I want to stay healthy not only for you myself but for you and the health of your families!
3 1/2 If something does happen to me and I contract or suspect I have COVID-19, I would do my best to find an equally amazing photographer to replace me at your wedding. I am so grateful to be a part of a large network for photographers both here in New England and around the world and we have all collectively agreed to make sure we are there for one another if anything happens to us!
4. Expect some guests not to come – which is totally okay! I’ll eat their portion of dessert! (Jk…kinda) When you get that e-mail or text or call be ok with it (they probably feel awful to cancel on you) and tell them that they owe you drinks and dinner soon. Another option if you are upset with someone not being able to attend is to set up a streaming device to stream your day so your guests can watch from the safety of their own home and feel like they were there and then when it is safe to celebrate together you guys already have a memory together to catch up on!
5. Look into getting wedding and honeymoon insurance!
6. Check in on your orders for gowns and suits – many come from outside the US so be sure to ask if they are still coming in on time or if there is a delay and if there is get in touch with me or a bridal shop in your area! We can help you!
7. Do you want to get married in 2020 but the government has a ban of gatherings of 10 people of more!? ELOPE!! Just you and me and a JP! Be married and post pone your party until it is safe to have everyone that you want in attendance – I am offering my 2020 couples some insane deals on elopements right now and would be happy to extend that to anyone else who inquires!
8. Talk to your venue or caterer about changing your buffet to a plated meal option. Less people will have been in contact with your guests foods and it is over all safer during this time 🙂
9. Did you just get engaged?! Have you been engaged for a while but are planning a 2021 wedding?! Please contact your favorite vendors ASAP!! There is nothing worse than having to turn away a couple because I am booked on their date! Because 2020 couples are having to reschedule dates, our calendars are filling up QUICK!
Another tip to secure your favorite vendors is to have a flexible wedding date! Once you see what your venue has available for dates, reach out to your favorite photographers, videographers, and DJ’s to see if any of them have a certain date open vs another!
10. Take a deep breath – no matter where you are in planning know that I along with all the other vendors you chose for your day are here for you and want to make sure you have the BEST wedding ever! Please do not hesitate to text us during this time even if it is just to vent or zoom chat with some wine to go over changing your martini station into a hand sanitizing station <3
11. GET EXCITED!! In a few years, this will be a WILD STORY to tell! This is just a small part of our entire lives!! And remember, whether you get married this year in front of all your guests, elope, or post pone – what truly matters is you’ll be married to your person!