View From a Bride: How COVID-19 is impacting Andrea and Dan’s Big Day

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How did you two meet?

Dan and I met at Kutztown University December 2012. It was actually on his birthday! “Super” romantic, we met at a lunch and then later at a Fraternity/Sorority party. Kutztown holds such a special place in our heart where we created many memories with each other and our friends. We have two adopted miniature schnauzers who we adore (Finn and Piper) and live in North Wales, PA. In our free time we love going down to the shore, trying new breweries and wineries, WWE events and spending as much time with our friends and family. We have a few wish list travel destinations we would like to go to over the next few years but first on our list is our honeymoon which will be in Hawaii!

Original Wedding Date:

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Postponement Date:

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

How long have you been planning your wedding?

Dan proposed November 17th, 2018 in Annapolis on the waterfront. It was a beautiful moment with just us and a photographer he hired. Afterwards, we went to brewery and he surprised me even more by having both of our immediate families there. We began officially planning January 2nd, 2019 as we wanted to wait until after the holidays.

Were you able to use the same venue/vendors you originally were working with?

All of our vendors but our hair stylist were available for our new date, Lacey Heist Hair & Makeup. It was a tough choice as Lacey is amazing but unfortunately we did realize we may not have all of our original vendors for the new date. She did offer to refund us our deposit, however we insisted she keep it. Every vendor and our venue has been nothing but supportive in helping us during this process.

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When did you find out you needed to postpone your wedding?

Monday, March 16th in the morning. On Sunday March 15th we reached out to our venue asking for advice on what we should do. Right away they emailed us back with positive thoughts on how they will be keeping an eye on the news and laws over the next 10 days to see if we need to postpone. Later that evening the CDC announced the new guidelines on no gatherings larger than 50 people. The next morning the venue emailed us advising it would be in our best interested to reschedule the date which they will work with us in doing so, in case new lows prohibited the wedding down the road causing delays and inconveniences for our guests. As difficult as it was to grasp, we were rescheduling our wedding, there was a sense of relief that the decision was made. No longer were we wondering, waiting and worrying when and if we had to make this decision.

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What has been the hardest part about this?

One of the hardest parts about this situation is the unknown. At first I thought the hardest part was that now for five more months I have to wait to marry Dan, I have to make more decisions and continue the stress of planning a wedding. Now I realize this is bigger than us and our wedding day, and just hope people take this pandemic seriously so we can protect and recover quickly. The fear that I do not know when we can all move past or even if our new wedding date will happen has been taking over.

How are you handling the added time while you wait for your new wedding date?

I have taken personal time the last few days. For two days I was mostly in bed, crying and drinking wine while cuddling with our dogs. One day I just completely turned off my phone because it was going off all day with the calls, texts, email and messages. After I threw myself my pity party, I responded to everyone’s messages and how grateful we are for their kind words and support. It has been reassuring that even our new date is on a Sunday, everyone has been expressing their excitement and offering to help in anyway. Once the new contracts are signed with our vendors, we will be taking a few weeks off of wedding planning to focus on staying healthy and safe during this quarantine. When we begin continuing our wedding plans, new Save the Dates / Invitations will be ordered along with creating our new timeline. From then I am just going to go into this with a fully positive mind making August 30th, 2020 as amazing as I planned on April 17th, 2020 would be.

What is your experience as a wedding industry vendor (she’s a photographer!), during all of this?
It has been very interesting to experience this pandemic as a bride and a wedding vendor. There has been an overwhelming movement in the wedding vendor community to come together and not only empower and support our clients, but each other. We are scared and our hearts are breaking too. The industry we work in is so personal as we curate or capture one of the most important days of our clients lives. A lot of the industry is turning to our community asking for advice on how we can assist our clients, update our contracts to protect both sides and be proactive. There is a fear that is becoming a reality that 2020 rescheduled weddings will fill up our 2021 calendar taking dates away from 2021 couples. The reality is we will be taking losses and we are leaning on each other how we can cope and create new processes to get through possibly months without income. There has been a passionate determination for us as wedding vendors to be as accommodating as we can be with postponed weddings and putting our clients first. I will be transparent in saying businesses who have not been accommodating and unhelpful to clients during this time, this will hurt you in the long run. Brides have been vocal on who is and who is not helping them and looking for advice in this situation. This year and next will be be a time for sacrifices and hardships of many kinds for all businesses, but I truly believe if we put our clients first, are caring, proactive and accommodating, our businesses will bounce back and we will be stronger than ever.

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What advice do you have for other couples in this same situation?

If you need to reschedule your wedding, this is what I would highly suggest doing. First, get a list of all new possible dates from your wedding venue and make a chart under each possible date with “YES” and “NO”. Before you reach out to your family and friends (trust me, you do not need any extra opinions or stress during this process) contact each of your main vendors. We contacted every vendor with the dates we had to choose from but the hotel and transportation. Within a few hours, our chart was complete on which vendors were and were not available on the possible dates along with their rescheduling policies. We weighed the options on which date was our best choice and then contacted our immediate family members and wedding party to ensure they were available. This process allowed for Dan and I to really sit down together and talk about what was best for us. When the venue confirmed our new date, we once again contacted our vendors letting them know the new date and asked what we needed to do on our end contract wise. I designated our parents to call certain guests letting them know the new date. If I can tell you anything, delegate. You are not in this alone and your loved ones and vendors want to help in anyway they can. We did do an announcement on Facebook to reach out to our guests quickly and addressed that we will personally them with more information once available.

It is okay to throw yourself a pity party during this time. It is okay to cry, be angry, be sad. Your feelings are valid. You spent months or even years planning, dreaming and saving for this one big day. How this is out of your control and the extra work and stress you now need to go through. After the wine is gone, the tears stopped coming, we need to get ourselves out of the sadness. We must move on, accept the changes and get into a positive mindset. Not just for anyone else, but for you. Because you deserve to have your moment and your big day with the love of your lifetime. I promise, one day you will.

Regarding how you can help your vendors during this process is similar to the articles going around how you can help local businesses. In specifics to wedding vendors, leave reviews, follow on social media, post and share! If you are a past photography client or just had your engagement photos done, order prints through your photographer. This is a great time to build that album you always wanted to get around to doing and now you can! If you had to reschedule your wedding, share who your amazing vendors are that have helped you. If you are able to pay your vendors by the original payment due that, that would be very helpful but in no way an obligation. Most importantly remember you are not in this alone. There are many helpful groups out there you can turn to for advice or just to vent. We are here for you!

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Their Vendors

Venue: The Manor House at Prophecy Creek Park | Bridal Shop: Bijou Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie | MOH Dress: Birdy Grey | Hair Stylist: Ashley | Makeup Artist:Kiss and Makeup | Florist: Florescence Design | Cake: Bredenbeck’s | Tuxedos: The Black Tux | DJ: Smooth Entertainment | Planner: DFW Events and Design | Stationery & Calligraphy: Minted & Heatherly Design Press | Transportation: First Student Charter Bus Rental | Rentals: Lilac and Lace | Photographer: Kaleidoscope Imagery

Andrea is a wedding photographer covering the Philadelphia tri-state area and New Jersey. For more information on her business, please visit her website Andrea Krout Photography

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