CHANGE THE DATE!
In this article, with the kind permission of Emma and Sean, I am sharing their story. I hope their account of rescheduling their wedding due to the ever-escalating COVID-19 pandemic will reassure and advise couples who currently face a similar situation that it is better to be proactive than to panic.
Although they were due to get married on Saturday 2nd May 2020, Emma and Sean were forced to make the difficult decision to reschedule their wedding to September, as news of the UK Corona outbreak began to spread.
If you are faced with a similar dilemma, I hope you will find Emma’s account of their experience reassuring, calming and inspiring.
How long had you been planning your #PERFECTDAY and what was your approach?
We got engaged in October 2018 and began planning straight away. By November 2018 we had selected Saturday 2nd May 2020 and set our hearts on a large marquee wedding on land adjacent to my Parents’ home. We recognised then that we needed a planner to assist us. I was worried that otherwise my Parents would feel a sense of obligation to organise and co-ordinate everything.
Also, a marquee wedding involves lots of suppliers. We appreciated that an experienced Wedding Planner would ensure we weren’t paying over the odds for anything.
Why did you originally select 2nd May as your wedding date?
It was scheduled to be a Bank Holiday weekend. We envisaged making the most of it and intended to extend the celebrations by hosting a Sunday Brunch. However, it seems our wedding plans were to be affected by Government announcements from the very start! In June 2019, the Bank Holiday scheduled for Monday 4th May was changed to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Little did we know that this was not to be our last hurdle.
When did it occur to you that you may need to alter your plans?
We began to worry about it at the beginning of March, when other countries began banning mass gatherings and were locking down. The situation very quickly escalated, as did our concerns.
Who did you consult with?
Initially, I was more concerned than Sean but that very quickly changed. The first people we spoke to were my Parents who did their best to reassure us but as the situation escalated and it was clear that it was beyond anyone’s control, we expressed our concerns to Helen, who sprang into action on our behalf.
Amidst all of this happening, my Hen party took place! Sean’s stag would have happened on the following Friday, but that coincided with the closure of all pubs and restaurants, so his plans are on hold for the time being.
Even though it was obvious that the wedding might not be happening in accordance with our original plan, I had THE BEST time! In spite of all the stress and worry, I thoroughly enjoyed a night of drinks, dinner and dancing with my Bridesmaids and Mum who were amazing. Everything was very uncertain but at a time when I needed positivity, they were all there for me. At times like this you really need your friends.
How did you arrive at the new date?
We opted for early September. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. For obvious reasons, we didn’t want to risk a marquee wedding in the Winter months. We really want to get married this year so tried to figure out a time when there would still be hints of summer. There have been compromises to make. The flowers I had originally chosen will not be in season and a couple of our original suppliers are unavailable, but we have just had to accept this.
We have no way of knowing whether things will have settled down sufficiently to allow our wedding to take place in September, but we are optimistic and are hoping for the best.
How did your suppliers respond?
Our suppliers have been ‘the A team!’ They have all been incredibly flexible and accommodating.
Reorganising everything hasn’t been entirely straight forward but we believe we stood a much better chance of recreating the wedding we wanted because we weren’t getting married in a conventional venue and because we had a Wedding Planner who responded quickly and took care of all of the work involved.
How do you feel now?
We are glad to have made the decision and feel we made it at the right time. We are so pleased to have been able to secure the majority of our original suppliers. The only exceptions are our Photographer and Bridal hair and make-up artist who are already spoken for on our new wedding date. That said, with Helen’s support we are sure to be introduced to suitable alternatives as she has such a vast directory of contacts.
We are still a little bit apprehensive about the possibility of the wedding having to be postponed again. So much has happened in two weeks, who knows what might occur over the next few months. After this experience, we feel well equipped to handle it though, whatever happens.
How did you inform your guests?
We have communicated with everyone via our wedding website. All of our family members and friends have been incredibly supportive. I loved a comment made by one of our University friends, who said..
“Whenever it happens, it’s going to be such a euphoric day. It’s going to be like graduation level happiness!”
What advice would you offer to other couples in a similar situation?
- The worst part of it all is handling the uncertainty. But as soon as you make a decision, you will feel so much better. As though a weight has been lifted. It’s such a huge relief.
- Accept there is nothing you can do about it. This situation is unprecedented and it is out of your hands.
- If you can wait. Wait. Then relax and enjoy the planning process.
- Refer to your wedding insurance providers. A lot don’t cover government changes in policy. However, if your venue has closed leaving you with no alternative than to alter your plans, you may have legitimate cause for a claim.
- Communicate with your suppliers. Understand their terms.
- If you cannot bear the thought of reorgansing your wedding and would appreciate some support in negotiating terms and arrangements with your venue and suppliers or need to source new vendors, simply talk to Helen.
Without Helen I can say with certainty that we would not be in the position we are now. That being, a new date with all but two of our original suppliers (photographer and hair and make-up artist) confirmed. The most reassuring part of it, was that Helen did all this within 24 hours. There is obviously a risk that we may have to postpone again, but we feel confident that Helen will be as exceptional as she was the first time. We cannot thank her enough and are so grateful for all of her support and guidance in what was an immensely stressful week. We both very much look forward to celebrating with her on our wedding day.
For many people, wedding planning is a stressful undertaking, even at the best of times.
You need to have a high tolerance to stressful situations to be able to cope with the impact of a global pandemic in the midst of your wedding plans. It will almost certainly diminish your resilience and optimism. With this in mind, I would like to offer an hour of my time to any couple needing advice or guidance. This offer comes with absolutely no obligation and is entirely free of charge. Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you are at and whatever you choose to devote the time to is up to you. I am happy to share my wedding planning knowledge and experience with couples who would appreciate some support during these challenging times.
You are welcome to call me on 07561 107888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beautiful photography of Emma and Sean featured in this article is supplied by www.chrismilnerphotography.com