To have a wedding or not to have a wedding? If having a wedding, how do we have one? Those are the questions on the minds of engaged couples everywhere who are considering getting married during the pandemic.
Many couples have successfully been married since the start of the pandemic. A lot has changed, but a blissful wedding day is still possible.
Should You Get Married Now?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! It is essential to focus on what matters. You and your loved one are ready to commit. You may need to adapt to changes, but don’t let the pandemic stop you entirely if you want to be married.
Should We Just Skip the Ceremony and Celebration?
The answer is no! City hall weddings and eloping are options available to anyone with serious concerns. There is a lot available online for city hall marriage assistance in San Francisco and other parts of California. However, if a ceremony and celebration are necessary for you, options are available to make your wedding memorable and safe.
Where Do We Start?
First things first: as per any wedding before or since the pandemic, you have to decide on your budget. How much are you willing to spend on the big day?
Once you’ve decided that, you have to determine whether wedding planning is something you can do independently or whether you need a wedding planner. There are benefits to a wedding planner, less stress being one of them; however, planning a wedding on your own is entirely doable in this digital age.
Lastly, you have to decide how big of a wedding you want. This question is less about whether you can afford to have a big wedding and more about whether you feel comfortable doing so. Again, this doesn’t mean forgoing the wedding or celebration altogether, only that there might be a reason to make it a more intimate affair.
What if We Set a Date and Things Have to Change?
The biggest thing learned about getting married during the pandemic is that anything can happen, and we need to be flexible enough to roll with the punches. This flexibility includes the wedding ceremony and the date. You can do several things to help ensure that everything goes well, if not entirely according to plan.
The Wedding Date
We select wedding dates for specific reasons. Sometimes they are sentimental to the happy couple, and other times they center on a favorite season or holiday. Often, it happens when we are most likely to get everyone together.
This last consideration now weighs heavier than ever. An alternate date is not ideal, but planning for all possibilities is necessary. If it is essential to have at least a few people present to celebrate your big day, then be prepared with alternate dates.
If getting married during the pandemic, include your most important guests in the planning. Most people, especially since the availability of vaccinations, are comfortable in particular gatherings and willing to celebrate something as unique as a wedding. However, you want to respect them and inform them of pandemic requirements, such as COVID-19 tests, vaccinations, masks, or other personal preferences.
If the ever-important date can change, then so can the availability of the venue and vendors. Your venue or vendors may have a conflict on your alternate date. Having options for release from a contract and having alternate choices is extremely important.
A location change is one of the hardest things to consider, as it could result in changes to the theme, size, food, and more. When thinking of alternate options, think about what a different dream wedding would include. If your first option for a summer destination wedding is not possible, a great alternative might be having a wedding in the fall, with a beautiful rustic mountain view instead.
Having alternate plans for everything is easier said than done when contracts are involved. Clauses regarding changes and cancellations are standard in wedding contracts; however, most venues and vendors are now more open and prepared for this possibility. They are also more likely to be considerate about additional fees or penalties incurred. It is vital that you read all other clauses in your wedding contracts to ensure you agree with them and that they accommodate your needs.
How to Handle Postponing the Wedding
If having to postpone your wedding, don’t stress right away. Take a moment to remember that getting married during the pandemic meant that change was always possible. Then, take pride in the fact that you planned for all contingencies. Finally, take a deep breath and move forward one step at a time.
Look at your contracts and see what options you have. Check your wedding insurance to see what is covered. Contact venues and vendors as soon as possible to discuss alternatives. Update your guests. Most importantly, remember to keep an open mind.
What Can I Do Virtually?
If the idea of a date that might change is more stressful than you would like, having a virtual celebration is an increasingly popular option. Almost everything, from scouting out venues to live streaming, is available virtually. Even new traditions like wedding care packages have become possible to share cake and champagne with anyone unable to attend.
Don’t forget that there are many quick ways to get married in California, including a simple wedding at city hall or simply eloping. A more significant celebration of your special day can wait until a time when you can have everything you desire. More people are open to considering a postponed celebration incorporated into future vow renewals or a vacation getaway with friends and family instead of a ceremony now.
The sky is the limit on modern, pandemic-related wedding planning. If you have questions or concerns about planning or getting married during the pandemic, contact us today. We are available to answer your questions and help make your wedding day unforgettable.