Coronavirus and Your Wedding
In this difficult time there are lots of couples wondering where they stand with regards to their wedding day which is planned to take place in the coming weeks or months. Will it still go ahead and should it go ahead. This is a horrible time for anyone with their wedding coming up and we want to support you in anyway we can.
We have rounded up our thoughts and advice to the common questions we have been messaged about and that are currently on couples minds at this difficult time.
How will Coronavirus affect my wedding plans?
Latest: From Saturday 15th August 30 people are now allowed to attend a reception, this number includes the couple, guests and suppliers (excluding venue and catering staff).
Couples who wish to get married and hole a small reception may only be able to host family and friends in a venue that follows strict guidelines. Hands must be washed before and after the exchanging of rings, social distancing of at least one metre between different households, the venue should keep a record of guests and visitors for at least 21 days for track and trace purposes. Ideally weddings should be held outside or in a well ventilated venue space, singing is not allowed.
Will my wedding be cancelled?
Wedding venues and suppliers are all doing their best to carry on as normal, most venues will have put measures in place to help your day continue as planned such as providing hand sanitisers and deep cleaning, and managing of staff. Many venues will be doing their best to ensure your day goes ahead as planned.
That being said your wedding may be cancelled due to a number of reasons. For instance the venue just doesn’t have the staff like bar staff, caterers and waiters to proceed and therefore cannot provide their service to you. This would be down to the specific venue and dependant on how they deal with this situation.
The government may implement a ban on events over a certain size or event venues, this would then force the venue to close and therefore your wedding to be cancelled if it is within the specified ban period. If the country goes into a ‘lock down’ then again this would force your wedding to be cancelled. If this was to happen most wedding insurers if he cover was taken out pre-coronavirus would issue a payout.
At the time of writing the government advice is to avoid gatherings large and small, however there is no ban on this.
Should I cancel my wedding?
Don’t cancel, look to postpone.
You might be thinking of making a decision yourself and considering postponing your wedding, this is a tricky area as it will depend on your venue and your contract.
If your wedding can go ahead then cancelling it could potentially lose you previous costs and deposits paid so far, therefore cancelling should be a last option, instead of cancelling you should look to postpone and move your wedding date with the agreement and help of your venue.
This may be easier said then done but with emotions running high, we advise not making any quick snap decisions and evaluating your options before cancelling your big day.
Can I postpone my wedding?
Speaking to your venue and seeing if it can postponed is an option, however none of us know what the situation will be in a few weeks time let alone a few months, and therefore it is impossible to say when it could be moved to if this is possible.
When agreeing your date you would have been sent a contract or supplied with a terms and conditions for the service, within this it should have sections regarding the cancelling or postponing of an event but it is worth remembering these are out of the ordinary times and some venues may be more lenient on these terms.
What about my guests that cannot now attend?
This is extremely sad and something that is likely to effect many weddings and guests of all ages. With the current guidance to self isolate if you show any symptoms for a minimum of 7 days and households for 14, this could cause some guests not being able to attend.
People over 70 are to be advised to self isolated and are also at most risk, so grandparents, older family members and even parents may not be able to attend. Finally if you have guests flying in from abroad to attend, they are also unlikely to now be able to come depending on where they are based.
It is important to discuss this with your venue and caterers to ensure numbers are updated and what the numbers may fall too. In this unique situation it is expected that some guests won’t be able to attend and it is important to work together.
Although they may not be able to attend in this digital world it is possible to stream your wedding via a smart phone so they can also watch from their home.
Should I have a Plan B?
Don’t give up on your planned wedding, speak to your venue and discuss what measure can be taken to ensure the health of all your guests and also so that it can proceed.
Alternatively in these uncertain times, an intimate ceremony with only a few loved ones could allow you to keep your wedding date and ultimately marry the one you love when you wanted to. A spectacular celebration with family and friends could be postponed until a different time.
What about my suppliers?
As a venue will look to carry on, it is slightly more difficult for your suppliers, if your photographer has to self isolate then this could cause them to be unable to attend, you would get a full refund however this does not help getting photos of your big day. It is important to speak to your suppliers and see what measure they have in place should they not be able to attend, do they have someone that can cover and stand in?
The same is for other suppliers, such as your band, if one member was to show symptoms then again they may all need to self isolate, therefore what measure do they have in place for this?
Will my wedding insurance cover this?
All insurance policies are different, so it is important to read through your policy contract and understand where you stand. Most insurers will not cover you if you personally cancel your wedding however if the government were to cancel events or enforce the closure of your venue then you would be covered if your venue has to cancel.
Some insurers will also cover you against cancelling your wedding due to immediate family members illnesses forbidding them to not attend your big day, so it is worth reading your insurance policy to see.
If you don’t have any wedding insurance unfortunately purchasing wedding insurance from leading brands is no longer available and have stopped selling new policies.
Actions to take at present
- Email your wedding venue to understand their stipulations regarding coronavirus at present. Ask anything which may be of importance to you both as a couple, for example what implications are you and your staff putting into place, can we postpone our date?
- Read through your wedding insurance policy thoroughly
- Contact suppliers to understand what implications they have in place
- Begin to contact guests and study your guestlist whilst keeping in mind current government guidelines – anyone over 70 advised to isolate and strict travel restrictions against family/friends abroad
- Keep up to date with daily news bulletins with government guidelines
Emotions and stress levels will be high, but it is important to work together with your venue and suppliers through this unprecedented time, your wedding may have to be postponed, but the health and safety of you, your family and guests should be of most importance.
It has pained us to write this article, especially due to our close family members wedding due to take place in only a matter of weeks, the thought of postponing and cancelling your wedding is something no couple ever wants to imagine happening and yet these unforeseen circumstances have forced this upon all upcoming wedding couples.