The coronavirus epidemic is affecting nearly every industry. And while some are able to make the necessary adjustments to keep some semblance of normalcy, the wedding industry has been completely upended. Trying to hold a wedding with rules like social distancing, no gatherings of greater than ten people, wearing a mask at all times in public, and so on is virtually impossible. And while a few are still going through with a (very small) ceremony, nearly every couple who has a wedding planned for the next few months has some dramatic changes in their future. Everyone agrees that safety at this point is the priority, so going ahead with a large wedding is not only irresponsible, depending on where you are, it may even be illegal.
Many have chosen to postpone, some to hold a (very) small celebration now, and a bigger celebration later, but no matter which route you choose, these are significant changes that will require a good amount of time and effort.
First, you have to have some confidence that whatever new date you choose, things will be dramatically improved from the current situation, and right now there’s still a lot of uncertainty around that. Then you have to think about the guests, their schedules and their ability to travel.
Then there’s the vendors.
The average wedding takes over a year to plan and involves over a dozen vendors. So now you’ll need to be communicating with each one individually them so everyone can agree on the new date, and potentially new terms. It’s always best if you can give them multiple options. And yes, new terms as there will be some changes. Venue, number of guests, and so many other variables, there will definitely be changes.
But one reality that most people don’t stop to think about is that each vendor is really an independent businesses. For many of them, weddings are their only source of income. And likely your change (thorough no fault of your own) will cost your vendor dearly. Either because they already have a wedding scheduled for the new date(s) you’ve chosen, or they would have had one schedule if they were to leave the date open. So either way, your new date means they’ve got one less wedding.
Most couples have enough stress over the changing of their date, and they don’t need more. But try to keep in mind that these small businesses are likely losing an entire season to the virus. Think about that. How many businesses could keep their doors open losing essentially an entire year of income. And for most, this is their full time job. So they’re doing more work (juggling rescheduling and changes) and likely losing most of their income at the same time. And of course they do it with a smile on their face, because they don’t want to add to your stress.
And most vendors we’ve talked to have said they’ll honor the original contract, with no additional “change” fee, and will work with the couples to find a new date that’s suitable to all.
So do something good for your vendors. Write them a positive review, or a thank-you note. Tell them you appreciate them. They need to hear it.