If you are here that means that you are either planning a wedding, have a wedding already planned and are freaking out what to do, or are just curious about what people are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that you are healthy first. Second I hope that you are doing what the government has been saying like “#stayingthefuckhome” and washing your hands a ton, keeping positive and hoping that this all just comes and goes quickly.
However, I wanted to create this guide for couples that are looking for guidance during this time. All my clients know that I got them through anything, even a pandemic. So I know that dealing with a pandemic wasn’t really on anyone plans alongside choosing the flavour of your cake. A lot of couples too with weddings from now till May are also in the boat of what the hell do we do and how do we decide and do it quickly. If you don’t have a planner, that might feel extremely overwhelming.
With this guide I will be showing you step by step what to do if you have a wedding now till May, if you are planning one and how to connect with vendors, and most of all how to still have a good wedding research experience without leaving home.
Step 1: Your wedding is between March and May and you are losing your marbles as to what to do?
Don’t you worry we got you. We want you to take a breather, and take a step back. Forget about everything and remember the reason for a wedding was to show to the world that you care, and love each other. A wedding is a representation of love, a unity of two souls and that doesn’t require a party. Of course! Be sad, be angry, be happy! This is not something ANYONE anticipated. But just because you might not be able to have your 250 person wedding doesn’t mean you still can’t be married. So the first step is to look at the whole picture and talk to your partner to decide first and foremost what backup options if any you want to do. From there you can hash out the plans with your vendors.
Our recommendation as of right now whether small or big is to move to later in the year. I know that is a hard decision to do so we have some other options below. But with the lack of resources and photographers and other wedding vendors like me 🙁 currently not deemed an essential service we are just doing our best to serve our clients! I believe if we are apart, and I wear masks and gloves if a session needs to occur in May or June even, it should be ok. However, I am not a health worker and I am following the government guidelines. unfortunately, the wedding industry as of now is making it up as we go and there are no strict guidelines to follow. So do what is best for you with this guide!
Option 1: Postpone to later in the year
With wedding venues (some not all) not being considered essential businesses, the ability to modify your guest count to less than 50 guests to still have a wedding has now been taken away. The only option if you wanted to get married would be if you had a location like a backyard where you wanted to get married still. Personally- if you can, I would shift my wedding to later in the year if my wedding was planned between March and May.
UPDATE: As of March 29, gatherings of over 5 people are not allowed in Ontario. So postponing would be the only option for a larger gathering.
Option 2: You Still want to get Married: Do a micro wedding!
Have your immediate family, friends, and officiant over and tie the knot! You can still do one hell of a party after, and still feel each others love!
What will you need: Officiant, Marriage Licence (note that unless you got it ahead of time, you won’t be able to get one at this time), Photographer, and Guests. We recommend 10 or less and EVERYONE 6 ft apart. Bring gloves, disposable pens, masks for signing as the marriage licence gets passed around a lot. Keep it simple. Some weddings have done drive-by guests, honking, that might be fun!
UPDATE: As of March 29, gatherings of over 5 people are not allowed in Ontario. So postponing would be the only option for even a micro wedding. Please plan accordingly and do your party when its safe!
Option 3: You Still want to get Married- but fuck everyone else! Then elope!
Drive to a field, go up north to your cottage, go by the water, possibilities are endless! And you still get to marry your love of your life! Just because it was the two of you at a ceremony, doesn’t mean you can’t plan your party later!! The beauty about this is that you can plan on the date you wanted to do it or even on another date! The world and date is your oyster!
What will you need: Officiant, Marriage Licence (note that unless you got it ahead of time, you won’t be able to get one at this time), Photographer, and a sick location. Bring gloves, disposable pens, masks for signing as the marriage licence gets passed around a lot.
UPDATE: Please plan to do this when it is safe to do so! Sending you all lots of love!
Option 4: You are sad you can’t do your photos in the spring/summer and now have your wedding in winter 🙁
Go with your photographer and get the photos you wanted of the two of you with your wedding attire when you wanted (or in the summer) plan a cool location, and then get married later in the year! You get the photos in the season you wanted and still plan a kick-ass wedding when this is all over! Might be a bit more to schedule the extra session but you will be happy on your day as you won’t feel like you compromised on everything.
Talk to your guests ASAP
So if you have decided to stick to your guns, and say fuck you coronavirus, I’m still marrying my beau because love is love, then after talking to your vendors talk to your guests NOW. Find out who has been at risk, who could be at risk, who can come, tell guests that you are reducing or eloping and you had to cut down the list. Send a postponement invitation if you have moved it somewhere else. There are some FREE ones here. You can send a big eblast to them! Keep your wedding website updated so they can see any new updates! We recommend older generations to stay home and avoid contact.
Do a Live!
Just because your friends and family might not be there, doesn’t mean they can’t be there in e-spirit. Meaning, get yourself someone or a tripod to do a live or video your ceremony so your grandma that couldn’t make it can see it later! Don’t forget to stock up on hand sanitizer or have Lysol wipes available for your guests. You can also tell your guests to still say hello from afar, and stay away from each other to avoid as much contact.
June-November Weddings- Keep an eye on the news for more updates!
Weddings from June to October, I would at the moment just keep an eye out on the current situation, and just think about backup options in case. This is not to stress you out but, because we do not know what is going to happen I want everyone to just be ready with some decision planned ahead of time so you are less stressed. Contact me 60 days before your wedding to start a discussion and see where you are at so we can talk it through!
Wedding Showers, Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties, and other celebrations
One additional thing to note is that these parties should also be in the same boat as weddings. I would 100% postpone these if you can! Find a date that you schedule that works and let your friends and family know!
Step 2: Whether you are planning a wedding or have decided to postpone the next step is to connect with vendors.
First of all, connect with your venue first because if you are postponing you need to find an alternate date. We recommend couples to try and find a date later this year or early 2021. A wedding in the snow can be just as fun as in the summer.
Once you get a selection of 4-6 wedding dates, connect with your next key vendors before committing to the new date. This is so you avoid losing retainer fees and payments you have made that cannot be transferred if you cancel.
Key Vendors can include: Photographers, Videographers, Catering, Officiants, Bands/DJ, Florist, Decor, Planners and any other key ones that are super important to you. I find that vendors you really connected with and that will be there with you on your day like photographers and planners should be high on your list as vetting them might have taken longer than a makeup artist.
Be mindful of Vendor Policies
Remember that all vendors have different policies regarding postponement and cancellation. I would say that most vendors if you are cancelling you will lose money from your retainer payment and any payments that would be considered used as part of the fee to run the business. So it is highly recommended to try and reschedule with the same vendors. The other thing to mention is that, again, try and have peace and patience during this time. We are all doing our best!
Did you buy Wedding Insurance?
If you bought wedding insurance before COVID-19, contact them immediately to know what is covered and not. This is WHY it is so important to purchase insurance to cover things like these. I would assume that trying to reschedule with your vendors will be required, but if you aren’t able to schedule one or another, losing your deposit might not be so bad if you can recoup some through insurance.
Also if you haven’t bought insurance, you should for your wedding. It is really important to have as a backup and it is fairly affordable! FRONT ROW Insurance offers that! https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/en-ca/wedding-insurance
Delayed Attire or Items from Vendors
A lot of vendors also RELY on other companies that give them some of the products that are then sold to you. Contact your wedding dress, and attire company and any other vendors that you think might be affected. The time needed to deliver your items might be delayed and you might need to find backup options!
You have a new date now and can plan! Yay! But you are stuck inside and how the heck will you be able to do a cake tasting?
Step 3: Check out our favourite vendors below!
These are vendors that I love! I have worked with them multiple times or have given me one hell of a good impression. If you meet with these people from experience, you will have really good customer service experience!
Makeup and Hair
- Dolluxe Beauty: https://www.dolluxebeauty.ca/
- The Blush Parlour: https://www.theblushparlour.com
- Glamour on the Go: http://www.glamouronthego.ca/
Day-of Coordinator/Wedding Planners
- Champagne and Cedar: https://www.champagnecedar.com/
- Open Sky Weddings: https://www.openskyweddings.com/
- Promise Events: http://www.promisedevents.ca/
- Alicia Spence Design: https:/www.aliciaspence.ca
- Castlefield Design: https://castlefielddesign.com/
- Thunderloft Paper: https://www.thunderloftpaper.com/
- Fairy Florals: https://www.instagram.com/fairyflorals/
- Jamilah Florals: https://jamilahflorals.com/
- Cedar and Stone: http://www.cedarandstone.ca/
- Tade Credgeur: https://www.sheisthemarryinglady.com/
- Dominic: https://www.weddingofficiantcanada.com/officiants
- DJ Mastermix: http://www.djmastermix.ca/
- DJ Leekzo: https://soundcloud.com/leekzo
- Freedom Train (band): https://www.freedomtrain.ca/
- Brandon Diluca: https://www.brandondilucafilms.com/
- Jess Craymer: https://sproutproductions.ca/
- SDE Weddings: https://sdeweddings.com/
- Kenzerama: http://www.kenzeramaproductions.com/
Step 4: We contacted vendors but it’s so hard to see what they offer!
When you are planning your wedding you still want to get excited to see places, try things, and connect with vendors. Get them to go on a video chat with you, have them walk through their process, show you the space, show you what they do, etc. The amazing thing about technology is that it has been able to connect us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. You might not be able to taste the cake or food in person, but maybe they can make a take out container for you to try at home. There are options! See what they say and don’t get discouraged to be planning your wedding during this time!
Step 5: Be Understanding
A huge portion of the wedding industry is small businesses such as myself that offer personal and one of a kind services. Because of that, we are doing our best to adjust to communication with customers better electronically or through video, we are also adjusting policies surrounding cancellations related to COVID-19, we are also adjusting our schedules so that we can serve you better. Be patient! We will help you and do our absolute best to show your our products, answer your questions and help get your wedding planning going!
Step 6: Reschedule your Honeymoon
If you haven’t done so already cancel or reschedule your honeymoon. Look at areas of high coronavirus impact. I personally wouldn’t travel at this time for various reasons. Some of those reasons are flight companies are reducing their flights, you can get stranded places, or you can get ill from COVID-10. Instead! Think of ways to reconnect with your partner now, and get excited about future activities. Maybe if you were planning an all-inclusive trip, you can now plan a trip you really wanted to Hawaii for adventure or to Africa for a Safari. Or schedule that vacation for next year or just wait and see!
Step 7: Stay connected with the news and updates on COVID-19 on the CDC, WHO and the Canadian Government Website
Step 8: Stay clean, stash your teepee and carry on!
Most of all I want to say to everyone to stay home, stay safe, wash your hands and stay positive. Wedding planning should be fun, and a very happy time in your life! I know with all the negativity surrounding this its hard to remember that you fell in love. Do your best to stay positive and if you are bored you can also do this at home. Check out best silly date ideas while in isolation here.
I would love to connect with you if you have any questions about COVID, our policies or anything else wedding related! I am here for all my current and future clients! Pura Vida Amigos!