This week we got the news that Michigan now has a shelter-in-place emergency in action, meaning that life here has essentially come to a (necessary) halt. Because of this, you may be considering postponing your wedding celebration for this spring/summer to keep you & your guests safe. If this is you, I am so incredibly sorry that you have to go through this. It's stressful enough planning a wedding, and having to go through the additional stress of having to move it due to a pandemic is so heartbreaking. My heart truly does go out to you. To try and lend a hand, I'm sharing some helpful tips for how to navigate this tough time.
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CONSIDER POSTPONING RATHER THAN CANCELLING
This is probably the thing you've seen going around the most, but it's also one of the best things you can try to do! Right now SO many vendors are trying to be as helpful as we can during this unprecedented time, and are changing their rescheduling policies to try and be as accommodating as possible (myself included). Of course, check with your vendors & refer to your contracts to make sure, but in most circumstances rescheduling your wedding to a new date will save you a lot more money than if you cancelled everything and re-booked it all from scratch!
CHECK OUT SOME ALTERNATIVE DATES
When you're going through dates, the best thing to start with is your venue (if you have one). Get in touch with them to see what dates they have available for the remainder of the year, or even early next year, and then compare those dates with your other vendors to see if there's a date when it lines up for as many vendors as possible!
A very good thing to keep in mind is that most vendors do this for a living, and so probably have other big days like Saturdays pretty full for the busy season, which is roughly June-October here in Michigan. But not to worry, because there are still plenty of times for you to plan your amazing day. This could be the perfect time to start thinking of a beautiful winter wedding at one of Michigan's local mountains, or an early spring wedding up north. And don't be afraid of Fridays, Sundays, or even weekday weddings! I promise your guests will still come.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR VENDORS
As I mentioned, most vendors are trying their best to be as accommodating to you during this pandemic as we possibly can. Before you reach out to them, make sure you read your contract and understand their rescheduling policy. Some vendors may have a rescheduling fee, some may waive it due to the outbreak - it all depends. But what I do know is we are going to want to do absolutely everything we can to be able to work with you on this day we were all looking forward to.
After you've come up with a few potential dates, reach out to your vendors to let them know you're thinking about postponing, and see if they are available!
EMAIL TEMPLATE TO SEND TO YOUR VENDORS:
(feel free to copy/paste!)
"My partner and I have started to consider the difficult decision of postponing our wedding day. We want to make sure that we are doing what's best for not only us but also our guests and our vendors.
We reviewed our contract and I know that your rescheduling policy is normally X (insert policy here), but due to the circumstances of COVID-19 we were wondering if you had any flexibility on that? Some of the dates we were considering were (insert dates here). Do you have any availability on those dates? If not, what is your availability like?"
STILL UNSURE? MAYBE GO A DIFFERENT WAY.
If moving things is turning out to be a very challenging alternative, or if you are just SO ready to be married, there are still options for you that you can do safely once the shelter-in-place is lifted! One option is to shift to an intimate wedding or elopement instead, and have a larger reception celebration down the line when life is back to normal with all of your family and friends then.
You might be thinking "How do we elope?" or maybe you're not sure what is going to be best for you. If this is the case for you, know that I am 100% here to help you navigate your elopement plans so we can come up with something that works for you!
Here's a couple of examples of both to maybe inspire you!
Intimate Waterfall Wedding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Northern Michigan Summertime Elopement at Nature
NOW THAT MY WEDDING IS POSTPONED, WHAT'S NEXT?
After you've sorted out things with all of your vendors and have come up with a new date for your celebration, it's time to tell your family & friends. One super easy way of doing this is to add all of your guests into a Facebook group, and post about your updates for them there. It's okay to feel emotional about this, and don't be afraid to lean on your loved ones for support!
I hope all of you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy out there. We're all in this together, and we're all going to get through this together. If you need any help in regards to postponing your event, planning an elopement, or any type of support related to the COVID-19 outbreak, I want to be a resource for you so please don't hesitate to contact me!
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