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At this point, it’s no secret that the coronavirus has been affecting spring 2020 weddings. Couples across the globe have had to postpone their celebrations. As a married woman who remembers how excited I was to marry my best friend and for our big day to finally arrive and as a wedding photographer, this is a heartbreaking thing to watch.
If your wedding is being affected by COVID-19, I’m so sorry. You can find tips and tricks for rescheduling your big day here.
But, if you’re a couple planning a 2021 wedding (or even a fall or winter 2020 wedding), this blog post is for you!
While your wedding day might be a ways off and you may not even have a date set yet, you likely have a little more free time on your hands right now due to stay-at-home orders. And, if that’s the case, now is a great time to work on a little wedding planning! (It’s easy to feel down right now, but thinking about marrying your best friend and your big day is bound to lift your spirits!)
You may not be able to leave your home, but there are still quite a few tasks you can complete. As a result, let’s break down how to plan a 2021 wedding during the coronavirus outbreak so you can make the most of quarantine!
1. Use this time to determine exactly what you want your wedding day to look like.
Typically, wedding planning is something that happens between work, class, time with loved ones, responsibilities, and life in general. And while I wish the world was healthy and well and that you weren’t planning your wedding in quarantine, you do have the advantage of time on your hands!
Use quarantine to explore Pinterest, check out wedding blogs, and flip through bridal magazines (preferably online to keep you safe). Then, determine your color palette and the overall feel you’d like your big day to have.
Whether you’re working with a wedding planner and/or designer or you’re DIYing your details, using this time to really think about the aesthetics of your big day will give you a clear path as you move forward with planning!
2. Meet with potential vendors online.
As a relatively recent bride and as a wedding photographer, I’d argue that the key to having an engagement you can enjoy and a wedding day that you love is to assemble a team of trustworthy wedding vendors who are experts at what they do!
You might not be able to meet with vendors in person right now, but you can certainly schedule video calls. (I’m loving meeting with brides and grooms via Google Hangouts right now!)
With this in mind, I recommend using quarantine to research wedding vendors. Look at their websites, check out their work on social media, and read their reviews. Once you’ve found vendors that you think might be a great fit for you and your fiancé, reach out to them and ask if you can set up a consultation (whether it be over the phone or via video).
Venues might be able to give you virtual tours. Coordinators, photographers, videographers, florists, hair stylists, makeup artists, and other wedding pros can walk you through their packages and what it’s like to work with them.
Now, I’m by no means trying to scare you, but something that I do want to encourage you to keep in mind is that 2021 is expected to be a very big year for weddings due to 2020 brides and grooms needing to reschedule their big days because of the coronavirus. (There just aren’t enough 2020 dates available.) As a result, wedding vendors are expected to book up for 2021 quickly!
While you don’t want to choose a wedding vendor without being 100% confident and don’t want to rush choosing your vendors out of fear, I’d recommend prioritizing booking or at least narrowing down your vendor choices sooner rather than later.
If you aren’t comfortable booking now, you could always choose your ideal vendors and then reach out to them when the world is a little more calm and choose your wedding date based on your preferred vendors’ availability!
Once you have your wedding vendor team in place, you can relax, enjoy your engagement, and simply look forward to your big day!
3. Knock out any wedding planning tasks you can from home.
Now, you might be surprised how many wedding planning tasks can happen in the comfort of your own home. There’s actually a lot you can cross off your to-do list during quarantine!
Here are just a few examples of wedding tasks you can complete during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Creating your guest list
- Choosing your invitations (Even if you don’t have a date set, you can still choose a design from companies like Minted or Zazzle or work with a graphic designer to get a design for your invitation suite in the works!)
- Choosing your bridal party
- Figuring out how you’d like to ask your best guys and gals to be part of your bridal party
- Ordering bridesmaid dresses (If you don’t want to wait to pick dresses, Kennedy Blue will send samples to your girls, and you can do a virtual party so your gals can model their dresses for you!)
- Planning your honeymoon (Travel is tricky now, but you can still decide where you want to go and what you’d like to do!)
- DIYing decor (You might not be able to go to craft stores, but you can certainly place orders online!)
Basically, there’s a lot you can get done despite stay-at-home orders, and wedding planning can make quarantine fun!
4. Invest in wedding insurance.
If you haven’t heard of wedding insurance, you’re not alone! This isn’t something that many people are familiar with. However, after witnessing so many couples have to reschedule their wedding days, wedding insurance is a rational investment.
Every policy is a little different, but basically, wedding insurance will cover the cost of something unexpected preventing you from getting to celebrate your big day—like a global pandemic or even illness.
Depending on your insurance provider and the size and cost of your wedding, you’ll likely spend a few hundred dollars on wedding insurance. While this is an additional expense, it’s likely nothing compared to the investment you will make into your celebration.
Progressive and other major insurance companies offer wedding insurance. I would recommend contacting your current insurance provider and asking about their services. You may be able to bundle wedding insurance with your other insurance packages to save a little money!
5. Enjoy being fiancés, & prepare for marriage!
Last but not least, enjoy being fiancés, and don’t forget that your marriage is by far more important than your wedding day.
This is a special season that—despite the world’s current situation—deserves to be soaked up and treasured. You will only be fiancés once. Try not to forget that! (Side note: The story about how you were engaged during a global pandemic is 100% going to be the story you tell when you’re old and gray, and it’s going to be the sweetest thing!)
In addition to enjoying this special time and using this unexpected downtime to knock out some wedding planning, I also want to encourage you to use this time to set your marriage up for success.
Just like everything you want to be good at, marriage takes work, research, and intentionality. If you can, use this time to start/set up premarital counseling. (You might be able to do this over video calls!) And, read books and listen to podcasts about marriage. If you need help getting started, I can’t recommend “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman enough!
Spending time preparing for or bettering your relationship is never time wasted.
The world is in a strange place right now, and I know it’s stressful and scary for everyone. But, instead of focusing on the negatives, I want to encourage you to focus on the positives—including getting to marry the love of your life!
Your engagement might not look exactly how you thought it would, but you can still use this time to plan for your big day and the future you’ll share.
Congratulations and happy wedding planning!