Delayed, paused or canceled: How the Conoravirus is impacting the wedding industry and how to move forward?

“As of 3/18/2020, applications for Marriage Licenses in Philadelphia are no longer being accepted until March 31st. We will continue to make updates as they come!”

Photo by Parallel Summit Creations

President Donald Trump put out a statement that all mass gatherings over 10 people and are scheduled within the next 8 weeks should consider canceling or postponing. This number has changed from 50 and will, most likely change again. Even if the bride and groom want to continue and host their wedding regardless of this recommendation most venues are closing their doors in compliance with this recommendation. We know you’re scared. We know this is an uncertain time. So what is the next step? We consulted with Kate from KC Events Group and Amanda from Diamonds and Details to get some insight on how to proceed in this uncertain and stressful time.

We have interviewed a few of our preferred vendors in an effort to get some insight into how to manage at this time. We have experience in the wedding industry, however, are not medical professionals or lawyers. This blog is to give our opinions on options for to how to proceed during this uncertain time. We are not offering any official recommendations or medical expertise. The decision to cancel, pause or postpone your wedding is a decision for you to make, we do not recommend any official decisions. 

With venues closing their doors some couples have been forced to cancel or provide alternatives to saying “I Do”. If you are one of those couples we understand how difficult this decision is. The very first thing that you should do as a bride or groom facing this decision head-on is to stop, take a moment and breathe. Some situations and decisions are out of your hands and venues closing are out of your control. Laura A. Peterson, R.N. at the Mayo Clinic has a wonderful article outlining the powerful tool that breathing is in stressful situations. It is a tool that we have at our disposal at all times. So put aside all the facts of your wedding preparations and sit down and focus on your breathing. Focus on what you CAN control and breathe out what you can’t control.
Another thing to remember while you’re breathing is that you are part of a couple, you are not doing this alone. Stand firm together because this is one of many moments that you will stand together in a difficult decision. Start with a list of things you will need to redirect or cancel and people you will need to contact. As you work through your list cross off each item as you go, and watch the progress you’re making as small victories. Each small victory is a step closer to the finish line.
Have you ever considered an elopement? This is something that can be planned in a very short amount of time with a minimal number of people invited. Eloping has a stigma around it where people visualize a khaki pantsuit in a dim courthouse. This is a misconception of the term and should be adjusted. Elopements and can be a beautiful occasion and does not need to be done in casual attire or at a courthouse. A courthouse is an option, as long as they remain open to the public, and you can make it a beautiful and intimate affair or you can invite a few guests out into the woods for a boho style elopement. Check out the link below for a beautiful elopement session.

 Photos Liz Bjordal + Alex Wisz Bucks County elopement

A situation like this is where the help of a wedding planner comes in, Amanda from Diamonds and Details has some great insight in this area and has been working very hard with her clients to ease their stress and fears surrounding this uncertain time. Her first suggestion is whatever your decision may be, to start taking the steps sooner rather than later, especially if you’re postponing. Venues are filling up for the 2020 season so if you need a new date make sure you get in contact with your venue as soon as possible. When we spoke to Kate from KC Events Group she stated “Marriage licenses can be applied for and purchased 60 days before your wedding.” Kate spoke to the Bucks County registrar and informed us that if you are within the 60 days now, and are considering postponing or rescheduling, you would lose the cost of the license but can reapply right away, with no additional penalties. “If PA courts wind up closing for marriage licenses (like some counties in Ohio), and you keep your date, you’ll have the license!” Kate was informed by the Bucks County registrar.*

Should you choose to cancel or postpone your wedding how should you go about informing your guests? Both Amanda and Kate mentioned the importance of the wedding website and how simple it is to get out the information to a large number of people at a single time. You will most likely have to send out another wedding invitation and Amanda suggests considering sending out new save the dates, as well.

What if you aren’t going to cancel and your venue is allowing your wedding to continue as planned? Your venue will most likely have plans for sanitizing in place already, but it is best practice to confirm what those practices are and decide if you will need to add anything to make you and your guests more comfortable. You will also want to discuss this with your caterer and confirm that you agree with their serving methods. It is important to be understanding of any guests who may decline the invitation and even consider keeping your list to a minimum number of family and friends and possibly the length of the reception.

If you are looking for an alternative to a big country club wedding, a small backyard wedding with family and friends can be planned in a short amount of time and meet the standards of hygiene that you would like to keep. Click below to see some backyard wedding inspo planned in under 30 days.

Raak_Bailkin_Hope+&+Stay+Photography_West+Chester+Wedding+Photographer-48_big.jpgIntimate Backyard Wedding

Whether you decide to cancel or postpone your wedding, maybe you decide to lessen your guest list, or you choose to head to the courthouse. This is the start of your marriage. You will be holding the hand of this person through many more difficult decisions, this is a learning experience for you both. These are unprecedented times for both you and your wedding planner so work together and as Kate says “think pivoted not cancelled” Remember to breathe and remain focused on what is important.

If you are looking for a wedding planner please head on over to our vendor’s page!

*This is not advice, but a possible option. Check with your local courts before you make any decisions.


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