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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You know, getting married isn’t just about picking the most legendary wedding hashtag and making sure you look hotter than all of your bridesmaids. There’s a lot of other stuff to think about too, like whether you’re going to hire a band or a DJ, and I guess, if you’re going to like, want to spend the rest of your life with your fiancé. Luckily, there’s a whole industry of professionals who you can literally pay to help you get your sh*t together. Just make sure you’re at least competent enough to pick the right event planner. Although I haven’t actually ever planned a wedding, I do work in the wedding industry and have seen a f*ck ton of brides and event planners bicker over things as simple as the color of an RSVP envelope, so I feel pretty qualified to tell you what to avoid when choosing a wedding planner.
Don’t Hire An Event Planner If You Don’t Need One
Sure, an event planner can make planning your Big Fat Instagram-Worthy Wedding a lot easier, but if you have a really small budget or are just holding an intimate ceremony in like, Tulum, you probably don’t even need one. If you’re looking for someone to choose all your vendors and design every aspect from invitations to the farewell brunch napkins without much input from yourself, then yeah, you’re going to want a bomb event planner. If you’re not sure what kind of help you need, shop around a bit and think about what kind of services you’ll need. Oh and, P.S., if you already have a venue in mind, see if they have onsite planners, because that will might make your life a lot easier.
Don’t Hire A Planner If You Really Need A Coordinator
Can’t decide if you need an event planner or an event coordinator? Approach the whole situation like most college dudes approach dating and ask yourself, how much time do you really want to spend with this betch? A wedding planner is basically the chick that will force you to apple picking in the fall, and a coordinator is more like that unsaved number you booty call in the final hour.
If you’re looking to work with someone who will basically be your right hand from the moment you get engaged until the very last minute of your reception, you’re going to need a wedding planner. If you’re willing to pay for it, this betch will plan all of the tiniest details, from deciding whether you’ll use a wreathed or a double monogram to picking the fruit that’s going to garnish the mimosas at your bridal shower.
If you’re looking to work with someone who will tackle the tasks you can only think about when you’re on Adderall, you’ll need a wedding coordinator. You’ll typically work with a coordinator for a few weeks or months leading up to your wedding. They can do as little as just making sure the tables are properly set for your reception, or as much as planning your seating arrangements so your drunk uncle doesn’t end up anywhere near your future mother-in-law.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late To Hire Someone
If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed, it’s actually better to start making decisions about wedding planners as early as possible. That way, even if you only need someone during the month of your wedding, you can hire a planner before it’s too late, and won’t end up with someone sh*tty. Also, keep in mind that literally every aspect of your wedding will run on its own timeframe and event planners and coordinators should have a pretty solid grasp on that. If you have no idea when you’re supposed to create a seating chart, send your guest list to a calligrapher, or pick your wedding cake, sitting down with a planner as early as possible to at least build out that timeline will be really helpful.
Don’t Just Hire Your Friend Who’s Self-Described Type A
Oh, your best friend from high school had so much fun planning her own wedding that she now wants to become an event planner? Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Monica basically ruins Phoebe’s wedding? Don’t let that happen. It’s definitely a good idea to pull a Blair Waldorf and enlist her as a minion to put your hotel bags together or whatever, but if your wedding budget allows, hire an actual professional. Unless you want to lose a friend over table linens, it’s better to work with a total stranger to whom you can send low-risk passive-aggressive emails back and forth. A real event planner will help your day go off without a hitch, and might even have connections with wedding vendors that could possibly help you cut costs elsewhere.
Don’t Just Pick The First Planner You Find
I mean, I get it. Sometimes you see a really great photo of a tablescape on Instagram and you’re like, “I want the person who is responsible for this beautiful creation to be responsible for my whole entire life.” There’s just something about a perfectly coordinated charger and table runner that makes you want to trust someone with everything you’ve got. But like, you’re probably going to have to spend a lot of time with this person, and your wedding is kind of a really big deal, so don’t just jump into this as quickly as you swiped right on your fiancé. If you’re not really sure where to look, start with the major vendor lists, like Wedding Wire, Wedding Chicks, and The Knot. If you’re overwhelmed by the bazillion options, try looking through more niche wedding websites that fit the aesthetic you’re looking to create. For example, if you’re into having everything blush, rose gold, and monogrammed, check out Style Me Pretty. If you’re obsessed with the idea of making your bridesmaids do something edgy, like wear customized leather jackets, try Green Wedding Shoes. There is literally a wedding blog for every kind of wedding you could ever want to throw, so even if you’re like, planning a Disney themed sh*t show, you can probably find the right event planner online.
Images: Unsplash; Giphy (3)