I know that this is the absolute last piece of advice any couples wants right now but that might be why it’s the advice worth giving. As of writing this (early August) DC has recently reinstated their mask mandate. Anne Arundel county has reinstated it for government buildings. Other counties are debating currently. As of now, the Governor is saying Maryland will not reinstate the mask mandate, which leads one to believe the return to social distancing is also father away…however…if we have learned anything from the pandemic it is that things can change quickly and a Plan B is best planned BEFORE we need it.
I know its super painful to even think about changing plans yet again but these decisions are best made with a clear head, while not under pressure and the need is very abstract. Below I have a list of things to consider and the questions you may need to answer.
- Prepare for the return of COVID safety measures. With the Delta variant starting to raise case numbers, you should be prepared to see a return of safety measures. A return of masks (voluntary or mandated)is probably likely- my team and I will be quick to return to masks for your safety and ours. Maybe physical distancing requirements, guest count limitations, etc could return in some way. It seems unlikely we will see anything as dramatic as full closures, but the truth is nobody knows what this new variant might bring us. Hence why we make plans
- If you had to reduce your guest-list, who would you cut? It’s best to have a list prepared for 50 people, 25 people and 10 people as those were previous requirements. Consider which guests have greater travel distance- would that impact their ability to attend?
- Review your contracts. Do you have minimums? How soon would you need to give notice if you want to reschedule? Do you forfeit retainers? PLEASE remember if you need to move your weddings, vendors are unable to refund beyond what is spelled out in their contracts. They have all done work already to prepare for your wedding, turned down other dates for your event. Now you are asking them to move you to another date they otherwise would have booked another event on. The events industry is really hurting. We are all doing our best, please be kind and understanding.
- Now that you have reviewed your contracts, what would you change within the bounds of those agreements? If you had to cut your guest-list, and you have 10 less tables that need arrangements but you have a minimum with your florist, does this mean you can now have a more elaborate ceremony display or a cool installment at the reception? Would you upgrade certain food choices? This is a great chance to treat yourself as a consolation for other changes you had to make.
- Will you be happy with the changes or would you push your date? This is the hardest question to answer and only you and your partner can decide this. Once you two have discussed what concessions you are ok making and what are non-negotiables it might be easier to set a trigger such as “If we go back to a 50 person minimum, we are going to postpone because we want ALL of our family and friends” or “Nothing is more important than getting married this year- we will make all necessary changes to ensure we get married on our date.”
- Set the tone now. Now your Plan B triggers are set, you can start setting expectations with your families now. Letting them know even a general directions sets everyone up to be helpful when you need them to be, rather than catching anyone off guard.
- Set a priority vendor list if you postpone. Dates are really scarce right now for 2021 and 2022. Set a list now of which vendors you want/have to keep. This could be because you have the most money tied with them that you don’t want to loose or because you love them so much and don’t want to loose them. This will help you prioritize communication around date changes. For example, I had a few couples who had to postpone and decided to stay with their current venue. They asked the venue for all available dates and cross checked them with me. This ensured a smooth transition of their date. You might not be able to take your whole vendor team with you but hopefully this will give you your favorites.
If all goes well- none of this will ever come to pass. I’m also here to help you in anyway that I can.