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What does COVID-19 mean for your wedding day?

We get it, this sucks, no-one could have predicted a worldwide pandemic event might get in the way of your wedding day. You’re not alone, you and hundreds of couples Australia wide have had their big day impacted by a virus that prevents you from hugging your nearest and dearest on your big day. So what can be done? Here’s a handy guide to navigating these uncertain times.

Groom whispering to bride close up portrait

Right now many couples are opting to postpone their wedding day for the following reasons:

  • Wanting to keep your guests and wedding staff safe. You don’t want to put your guests in the awkward position of choosing to attend or not at the risk of their health.
  • You want to include vulnerable guests including the elderly, the sick or the young.
  • You have overseas friends and family that can no longer make it to your nuptials.
  • You have invested a lot of time and energy into the day and you want it to be perfect.
  • Good social distancing isn’t really what you want to be practising on your wedding day.
  • You have planned to invite more than 5 people (please note that the 5 person rule included all staff).

So what are the options for you? Get married in an intimate setting – if you are in a hurry to get married now, one solution is to adhere to the 5 people maximum allowance and have your reception later in the year. You can officially be married in a small, private wedding ceremony and use your venue and suppliers to have an unofficial celebration at a later stage when you can enjoy it with all the guests in a proximity that allows affection. As the Australian Department of Health romantically put it: “Weddings can be conducted with no more than five people, including the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses. The 4 square metre rule and social distancing must be observed.”

Make use of wireless technology to include more relatives in the ceremony. You can set up a webcam session which your friends and relatives can enjoy from the comfort of their home. Remember that it is physical distancing, not social distancing- it’s important to stay connected with friends and family by all means possible.

Another option is to postpone your wedding to a later date. Here are a few things to consider when planning to postpone your wedding:

  • Contact your venue, celebrant and photographer first. Popular wedding vendors may already be booked for 2021 and later so they should be your first port of call to ensure you secure a future date. You might have to consider having a mid-week or “off-peak” wedding date, whilst not ideal may be a good option for getting a new date.
  • Work closely with your wedding suppliers to ensure they are all free on your new date. You could consider setting up group email, chats or a Google Docs for easy communication.
  • Refer to the contracts you signed with your suppliers as to what their terms and conditions are for a change of date as you may find that some suppliers have a fee attached to a change of date. However, most vendors should be happy to help reschedule your wedding date over cancelling it altogether. Remember, your vendors are doing their best to work with you during these challenging times.
  • Tell your guests about the postponement ASAP, this might seem silly but it’s one not to forget. You can announce it via Facebook, group email or via your wedding website. Be creative with the announcement – make use of Etsy or Canva to create beautiful wedding postponement announcement cards.

Your vendors will do the best they can to accommodate your change of date but please remember that vendors like Natural Lights Photography are having to deal with a lot of changes currently and we are working very hard to find our couples a new wedding date.

Remember that it is ok to feel sad and disappointed during this time. Your feelings are valid, and you are not alone. There are hundreds of other couples feeling the same way as yourself. Nothing is more important than the safety for yourself and your guests.

When your original wedding date comes around, don’t let it get you down. Plan something on your would-be wedding date. Maybe a special date night or a (virtual) get together with family. Get dressed up, practice your vows or use this time to share some hopes and aspirations for the future.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is your safety and the safety of your guests. Remember that the very fact that you are planning your wedding day means that you have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Focus on the positive things, how much you love each other and how much you are going to enjoy your wedding day when it finally comes around.

Much love,

Ellen

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