We know you probably never want to hear the words “coronavirus,” “quarantine,” and “unprecedented times” again, but unfortunately The Rona is still among us. Corona brides across the world are lost when it comes to what to do now that their wedding has been postponed or canceled. The days of saying “I do” in front of friends and family and taking shots with your bridesmaids at the open bar seem so distant, but we’re hopeful that the investment towards celebrating this new chapter in your life is worth the wait. For those of you that have officially made the decision to share your vows with your S.O. in 2021, you’re probably wondering WTF to do with all of your plans now? Don’t freak out, because we’ve gone ahead and asked the experts to share their thoughts on what couples can be doing in the meantime to ensure that all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted before the big day.
Yes, you probably had everything planned out perfectly, right down to your personalized stationery before the virus happened, but now that your plans have changed, there’s some tricky re-thinking to do. “It goes without saying that trying to navigate the postponement of a wedding is mind-boggling, and it can be hard to know where to start, or better yet, figure out an organized way to keep track of your progress and your remaining to-dos,” says Lisa Bowser, Founder of Brite Lite, a company that makes LED neon signs. “Lists on lists on lists can be quite boring to look at, yes?” Um, yes! Bowser recommends the acrylic dry-erase Goals Calendar to eliminate your wedding stress. Bonus: you can still use it in your home after your wedding planning process is (finally) over.
Read Your Contracts
I know we’re all programmed to click “accept terms and conditions” without a second thought, but with circumstances constantly changing as our world adapts to the virus, it’s essential that you and your future spouse have your contingency plans up-to-date. As AJ Williams, Founder and Creative Director at Boston-based event planning company AJ Events, recommends, “When reading your contracts, make sure you have your planner and vendors develop a rescheduling contract or addendum, and to change the Force Majeure to include pandemics and decreased capacity due to government mandates.” This way, you won’t have to scramble to make things work any more than you’ve already had to.
See What Safety Precautions Your Vendors Are Taking
When you do end up walking down the aisle, you want to be sure all possible measures are put in place to ensure that your guests stay happy and healthy. AJ Williams reports that for all future events, his company “will require cleaning/sanitation measures from our vendors and venues working on our events and add sanitation efforts plus add supplies at attendee check-in to protect the safety of our work environment and your attendees while allowing us to continue to service our clients.” He adds, “We have created branded plexi walls on our bar and catering stations, adorable customized face masks with your favorite quote or funny message or emoji icon to include your signature style. Get creative while keeping safe.” So make sure you check with your vendors to see how they’re adapting to these (my brain: don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it) unprecedented times.
Enjoy Your Engagement
Though you’ve (understandably) been mentally designing your reception place cards since the moment you got a ring on your finger, take this unique opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy this extra time of being engaged to the love of your life. Of course, says Taylor Waxman of L.A.-based event design and production company KED & Co., “Changing your wedding date can be emotionally draining. Managing your friends and family travel plans, rescheduling your vendors to make sure everyone is available on the same day and overall reimagining a new date in a new year—you’ve been through it.”
When adjusting your wedding planning timeline, though, staying sane is essential. “Don’t over plan,” advises Waxman. “It’s very easy to focus on your wedding during this time, but our biggest advice is: don’t. Once you have your vendors and location rescheduled and all guests are alerted of the new date, take a step back to enjoy your engagement. Spend quality time with your partner, schedule outdoor picnics or Zoom dinners with family and friends, take this time to reconnect and appreciate what is around you.”
Make The Process Fun
Now that you’ve got some extra time to plan things out, you and your partner can hone in on achieving the wedding of your dreams. Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director at Colette’s Catering and Events, suggests that you “Cast aside what might be typical wedding traditions, and do what YOU really, truly want for your wedding. Explore bright colors, beautiful seasonal menus, wine flown in from your favorite winery, book a unique outdoor venue, mix and match your linen pattern choices, custom built backdrops from local artists, neon signage, etc. Now you have the time to really customize!”
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with pressing health concerns on top of your color scheme choices, “Making the difficult decision to postpone your wedding should be the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, try to make the rest of the process fun,” advises Matt Ramirez, Senior VP of Marketing at Generation Tux. “Look at new wedding trends, new seasonal colors, and opportunities to update your wedding plans! Everyone in the wedding industry knows this is a tough time for couples, and we’re here to work with you. Take this time with your husband to design the look of your wedding suit or tux again, order some free swatches, and get a free home try-on delivered to the groom.”
If you want to get creative without overloading your plate, Taylor Waxman suggests designing your own thank you notes online, finding custom postage for your wedding invitations, registering for gifts, working on your wedding website, finalizing your guest list, and choosing meaningful songs to be played during your ceremony. She also suggested pulling inspiration images (as if you needed an excuse to add to the wedding Pinterest board you’ve had since college.). “Focus on your style and look, try not to go too deep in detail,” she recommends. “Keep this light and fun.”
Can’t Wait? Go For It!
As Nike says, “Just Do It.” If you and your S.O. are itching to get married ASAP, Sarah Kuhlberg suggests having a mini wedding and eloping in your backyard, and then scheduling a reception for a year later so you can celebrate your first anniversary with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and feel free to “Create your dream celebration and know that this new wedding style is something we are all getting used to.”
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If you’re watching this season of Vanderpump Rules, you know engagement parties and bridal showers are a big ordeal. These types of bridal celebrations were not always so common, but nowadays, they’re a definite “to-do”. The problem? Bridal celebrations, like engagement parties and showers, can be expensive af. Jax even joked about having to bartend his own party just to afford it, lol. Fortunately, if you live in the NYC area, there are some great places for hosting your party that don’t require a $300 mashed potato bar. A lot of spaces offer the event services as part of a package deal, so you won’t be stuck figuring out all the minute details on your own. Cause like, you know you have enough stress to deal with when it comes to planning the rest of the wedding. Parties are supposed to be fun! So to help you avoid any additional stress, here are some beautiful NYC spaces to host your engagement party, bridal shower, or other bridal celebration at.
The prime advantage of this place is that, unlike a lot of others, you don’t pay per person. Instead, you pay one overall rental fee for the time needed in the space. They’ll provide the services, such as coat check, barware, serving platters, plus five staff members. Your only job? Bring the food and the alcohol. Easy enough. There are several themed rooms, all of which have a vintage speakeasy feel with original decor, aka endless great Instagram opportunities. (Don’t act like you weren’t already thinking about that.) So basically, you can utilize the already decorated space to make the party’s vibe as extravagant or as simple as you want!
2. Gramercy Terrace At The Gramercy Park Hotel
This space is LAVISH, and therefore requires you to pay per person. But the space is stunning, so it’s super worth it. The rooftop has elevated garden greenery and ivy decor, with a direct view of the Empire State building. And you can throw your bridal celebration here no matter the season—the rooftop is retractable, so you’ll be able to get an incredible rooftop vibe year-round. Oh, and if you realllly want to impress your cultured friends, the space even has artwork by Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. Talk about fancy! The space can accommodate up to 120 guests for a seated dinner, or up to 250 for a cocktail reception.
3. Hudson Mercantile
The Hudson Mercantile has three unique clean and modern spaces: the Gallery, the Studio, and Rooftop. It’s centrally located, just walking distance from the Javits Center and near the Hudson Yards. The Gallery has a modern industrial look, with a space large enough for big events. The Studio has an elegant rustic atmosphere, with high ceilings and tons of natural light. The Rooftop space is all about the amazing #views. The Rooftop space is one of the largest in Manhattan, and can be used al fresco or fully enclosed. Essentially, the Hudson Mercantile provides incredible options for a venue space, so the majority of the party planning is up to you. So, if you’re a Type-A control freak, such as myself, they’ll provide the space and you’ll provide the party.
4. Grey Lady
The Grey Lady offers several private back rooms to accommodate any potential party size for your celebration. The restaurant has a “distinctive coastal atmosphere” to set an amazing vibe for the perfect wedding-related celebration. The food options are primarily seafood, but the specific menu can be determined between you and the restaurant. All in all, whichever room you reserve here will provide a beautiful, by-the-ocean-inspired space, plus delicious food. I mean, what more could you want?
5. The Park
With tons of different rooms that can be rented individually or combined, The Park is a great place to host your bridal celebration. They will work with you to customize the event, and all the spaces have a sultry rustic feel. The Garden, Red Room, and Penthouse can all be utilized for either a cocktail reception format or seated dinner situation, so it’s totally up to you. And if you just can’t figure out how to cut down your guest list, you can even rent out the whole restaurant.
6. Haven’s Kitchen
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An extra sweet #weddingwednesday because our venue has been featured in @martha_weddings ! Thinking about a non-traditional venue for your wedding celebration? Read up in our bio for the full scoop on all the ways to incorporate its unique qualities omg your wedding plans! ? @giseleandgeorge
Haven’s Kitchen is a cooking school, cafe, and private event space all in one. The space has a warm home-y vibe, with clean white walls and soft decor. You could even turn your engagement party or bridal shower into a cooking class, and kill two birds with one stone. You know, learn how to make something besides avocado toast, while also hosting an awesome party. Celebrate love while bettering yourself simultaneously, who can beat that?
All of these spaces provide the ideal foundation for your bridal celebration, so you can’t go wrong. And, at the end of the day, a beautiful space plus food and booze are all you really need. So now that I’ve done this favor for you, please do everyone else a favor and stop f*cking stressing about it! These suggestions should ease your bridezilla tendencies, at least for another few months until your future husband’s cousin asks for a plus one for the girl he met on Tinder.
Images: Shutterstock; @38parlor, @gramercyterrace, @hudsonmercantile, @greyladynyc, @theparknyc, @havenskitchen / Instagram