Since the government announced strict measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people, many couples due to get married this spring have found themselves dealing with an issue none of us could have predicted. As with everything else impacted by this crisis, we have no way of knowing when restrictions will end or what life will be like immediately after lockdown. So, what should you do if you’re planning a wedding in 2020 or 2021?

My Advice for Couples Getting Married in 2020

While so much uncertainty remains and the situation continues to evolve, I completely understand why some couples are clinging to the hope they’ll still be able to get married this year. But if we look to other countries that are slightly further ahead on this journey, one thing seems certain – getting back to normal is going to take time.

Even if lockdown ends in the UK before the summer months, life isn’t going to snap back to how it was before. We may still need to follow strict guidelines about social distancing, and I suspect many people will remain nervous about attending large gatherings. We need to be realistic and mindful about the ongoing impact of the virus on how we live, work, rest and play. Holding a wedding at any point this year is likely to involve a great deal of compromise. Are you prepared to sacrifice your dream and settle for ‘Plan B’? 

A wedding is so much more than just one day – it’s lots of little moments beforehand too. The whole build-up, everything connected to planning your wedding, is a crucial part of the experience. I believe it should be an exciting, joyous time for everyone involved and I hate to see couples missing out on so many great memories purely so they can stick to their original wedding date.     

That’s why my advice for couples facing this dilemma is so simple. If your wedding is due to take place in 2020, I would strongly suggest moving it to next year so you can enjoy the whole experience and ultimately host the unique, individual celebration you want without having to compromise.

What Happens Next?

Once you’ve made the decision to postpone, reach out to your suppliers and ask for their advice. Check your wedding insurance, read any relevant terms and conditions and find out what your options are. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll also need to get in touch with your travel agent or flight operators directly and follow their advice about rescheduling or cancelling flights and hotels.  

When it comes to choosing a new date next year, you may need to be flexible. The best wedding venues and suppliers are often booked up a few years in advance, so it’s possible popular dates may already be unavailable. That said, I know my colleagues in the wedding industry are going above and beyond to accommodate anyone who’s been forced to postpone their wedding.

If you haven’t already, check in with key members of your wedding party such as the best man or chief bridesmaid and ensure they can also make the new dates work. I’d recommend contacting guests as soon as possible too. You don’t need to have decided on a new date, just keep them in the loop and let them know your plans are changing. Be prepared to update and revise your RSVP list as this could also shift and change.

My Advice for Couples Getting Married in 2021 and Beyond   

From a practical point of view, 2021 is going to be super busy. The sheer volume of postponements means venues and suppliers are already experiencing increased demand especially during peak wedding season. Start making enquiries now and consider locking in elements you don’t want to miss out on.

At the same time, while the UK’s ‘exit strategy’ remains unclear, it’s important to exercise caution and do your due diligence when researching suppliers. Check terms and conditions carefully and be mindful about committing large sums of money before we have a clear picture of how things will pan out in the next 12-18 months. Wedding insurance is always essential, and you should be clear about what is and isn’t covered by your policy.

Above all, don’t stop dreaming and planning. It might seem frivolous right now, but one day this will all be over. Whatever happens, you deserve the wedding you’ve always wanted.

Virtual Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. Like many other businesses, I understand the need to flex and re-shape my services to accommodate those of you who are having to make some drastic, difficult financial cuts to your wedding budget as a result of the current situation.   

My newly launched Virtual Wedding Planning service provides bespoke advice and support for couples who need an expert to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction at this difficult time. Delivered remotely and priced affordably, you’ll be able to mine me for information and pick my professional brain. Where you’re at on your planning journey is unique to you, so my Virtual Wedding Planning consultations are carefully tailored to your specific needs. Find out more here or get in touch to book your first call. 

I really hope you’re not letting the dreaded c-word dampen your wedding spirits too much. Whilst things are a little unknown, the journey you’re on remains one of life’s most important milestones. I’m making it my mission to keep you feeling excited and pumped right through until it’s time to say, ‘I do’!

In the meantime, stay safe and look after yourselves.

Sophie x