Wedding Planning During COVID-19: Advice for Couples

April 17, 2020

Planning a wedding is always stressful, and doing it during a global pandemic can feel very overwhelming. The good news? You’re not alone.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of phone calls with my couples — planning and preparing and (in some cases) postponing. My heart breaks for all the couples who are faced with these difficult decisions, so I thought I’d take the time to write down some advice for those trying to navigate this complicated and unprecedented time.

To all my couples: know that I’m here to support you with love, guidance, and compassion — every step of the way.

A couple holding hands.

Before we jump in, remember to stay informed on ways to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)

If your wedding is planned for Spring and early Summer 2020…

As difficult as it may be, the safest thing to do is to reschedule your wedding. In Massachusetts and many other states, gatherings of over ten people have been banned, and it’s not recommended to socialize with anyone outside of your household. Additionally, bans on non-essential businesses will restrict your vendors from working (and who wants a wedding without flowers, photos, or food?).

Postponing your wedding is by no means an easy decision, and it’s normal to feel disappointed and frustrated and angry. Know that it’s okay to grieve what you have lost! If the pandemic is changing your plans, now is a good time to lean on your partner, friends, and family for support. At the end of the day, remember what matters most: you will get to marry your partner, and the two of you will have a wonderful marriage that’s even stronger because of what you’ve gone through together.

A bride and groom smiling looking at their wedding cake. Wedding planning during COVID-19 | Hope Allison Photography Boston wedding photographer

If your wedding is planned for August 2020 and beyond…

For right now, it’s best to wait before making any major decisions. I know you’re probably feeling stressed and antsy, and are eager for some certainty; if you want to feel a little more in control, feel free to reach out to your vendors about their policies and recommendations (and to check in on how they’re doing!). Just try to stay positive, and don’t worry too much!

How to reschedule your wedding

When you’re choosing a new wedding date, here are the people you should check in with first:

  • your fiancé (of course!!)
  • your immediate and most important family
  • your wedding party
  • your wedding planner (if you have one)
  • your key vendors

Once you’ve found a new date when everyone you love can attend, reach out to your venue next. If you want to still get married in 2020, you’ll have better luck rescheduling to a Friday or Sunday (or even a Thursday!), as most venues (and other vendors) are booked every Saturday. Most venues will give you a list of possible dates, which you can cross-check with your family’s availability and your other key vendors’ availability.

After you’ve picked a new date and resigned your contracts, it’s time to alert your guests. The quickest way to do this is over email or notifying them on your wedding website (if you have one), but there are plenty of creative ways to let people in on the news, like mailing “Change the Date” or “Swap the Date” cards!

Wedding planning during COVID-19 | Hope Allison Photography Boston wedding photographer

Postponing to 2020 vs. 2021

Keep in mind that wedding vendors are small businesses and they, too, are greatly impacted by COVID-19. If you have to postpone your wedding, choosing a new date in 2020 is the best way to reduce the financial hit for your vendors. If 2021 is your only option, consider rescheduling to a Friday or Sunday, as this allows your vendors to book new Saturday weddings (income that will help offset the losses from a season affected my COVID-19).

If you don’t want to wait to get married…

Despite everything, there are still ways to tie the knot during these crazy times.

There are no rules to weddings, and your big day can be whatever you want it to be.

If you’ve ever thought about eloping, now is your chance! Swapping your big wedding for a tiny one is a great option if you want to celebrate your love on the day you originally planned. If you do choose to elope, you can still throw one hell of a reception at a later date — best of both worlds! Having a party later on is also a great way to work with the vendors you’ve already hired.

A wedding reception table with greenery. Wedding planning during COVID-19 | Hope Allison Photography Boston wedding photographer

It’s a difficult time, but with some (re)planning and positive thinking, it’ll all be okay! Take a deep breath, play your first dance song, and remember that staying safe and healthy is most important! At the end of the day, you and your partner will get through this together.

PS. If you need anything, reach out!