Hi friends.  We want to share some updates to our planning advice since a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same since we last posted! We know that it has been a difficult year for so many but we also know that so much good and love also came from 2020. We have become somewhat “experts” in planning weddings during a pandemic and we want to share as much as we can with you to help make you feel less overwhelmed!

We will continue to update this post with your questions/answers as we get them.  Let’s begin.

Q: Should we postpone our wedding?

A: The past year has certainly shown us many highs and lows.  We found that the weddings that actually happened were some of the most beautiful, meaningful and special occasions.  While we know this decision isn’t right for everyone we do believe that love prevailed.  With the most recent regulations announced by NYS (guest count increase to 150) we are still in a state of limbo.  There are no current regulations stating exactly what guidelines will need to be followed or most importantly who is responsible both financially and from a liability standpoint.

We are huge proponents of hosting your wedding and not postponing.

If you are 100% committed and envision a huge party, no masks and lots of dancing we encourage you to consider postponing to 2022 or later.

Although this may seem like an extreme decision for weddings in the Fall 2021 season, we unfortunately still do not know what the future holds.  If your date is later in the year and you do not wish to move your date, it’s important to proactively communicate with your vendors and talk about a back up plan so that you can have your bases covered as your date gets closer.  

Your wedding day is supposed to be the most magical day of your life and we want to ensure that your day is exactly how you envision it.  Keep in mind that there will be procedures that vendors have to implement to ensure your safety, or restrictions on guest sizes in required states. Food & beverage restrictions will be enforced and masks will need to be worn in group settings.  

Remember-There is no wrong decision! You know each other, your family and your guests and you must do what is best for you and your comfort level.  First and foremost, talk to your partner and come to an agreement that works for you both.  Marriages are hard and take work, and this is your first real (and big) bump in the road together.  Love each other, and support one another during this time, and you will get through it together, and the right decision will reveal itself, making you stronger together!

Q: What should I do if my dress/bridesmaids dress is specifically for one season and my wedding is now postponed to another season?

A: There are no rules in weddings nowadays so don’t worry if your dress or colors are “out of season.”  

Try to remember that no one will notice these small details and we can always help you find a fix! For example: If you have a strapless dress and have to push your wedding to the winter, throw on a beautiful bridal cape or faux fur accessory.  If your bridesmaids dresses are a spring  color, and you now have a fall wedding, throw in some seasonal branches or greenery to your flowers to make the colors blend or pop!  

Q: What is the best etiquette for announcing changes to your wedding?

A: If you have not sent out your wedding invitations yet, including a cute note inside of your current invitations is a great way to communicate your date change with your guests. If you have sent out invitations, you can send an evite (email) a message to all guests (we suggest creating something that matches the invite for a special touch!)  

Canva is a great (and free) tool with tons of amazing “Save the Date” and wedding design templates if you need help and don’t want to spend money!  If you have a wedding website, we suggest you update that as well so that your guests can reference back to it, as they need it. 

If you have already sent your wedding invitations, you could mail a new card to your guests with the new date.  Here is a sample with some clever verbiage!

Announcement about wedding being postponed due to COVID-19

In light of all the uncertainty we have been advising couples to button up your “A” list and “B” list, this way you are well prepared to communicate with your guests once you know the details.

You can always purchase an overage from the invitation company so you haven’t me invites ready to be sent once your received regrets from your “A” list.

A website will also be a big help right now to keep your guests informed and up to date with all the information they need to know.

Q: Our Venue wants to charge us 8K to move our dates to 2021.  What should we do?

A: At this time you need to understand and appreciate that many of your vendors are small businesses and have seen one of the hardest years in business.  Rebooking fees, price increases should not come as a surprise to anyone right now.  There is a definitive cost to doing business and you need to respect each vendor’s practices during this time.

Q: Help! My wedding is in September. Should I move the date?

A: Everyone’s situation looks a little different, so it’s a tough decision to make as there are so many unknowns.  We can’t say definitively what’s going to happen in the Fall, but if you do decide to keep your date, your day may look a little different than you originally planned. If your wedding is later in 2021 and you have not postponed your date yet, we highly recommend having a conversation with your partner and family members and vendors to discuss a back up plan.  Talk through your specific guest counts, amount of guests coming from out of town, etc.  There may be restrictions on catering or food and beverage services, or how many guests can gather at one time.  Try to weigh out the pros and cons before making your decision.  Again, this is an extremely sad situation for our 2021 couples, but it’s important to start talking about now so that you are prepared.  

Q: What’s an elopement?  

A: Back in the day, when you heard about an elopement wedding, you thought of running away without telling friends or family…. but that definition has changed over time!  Elopements (or “micro weddings”) nowadays are smaller & more intimate weddings set up in your backyard, or celebrated with a smaller group of people.  Elopements are a great way to still celebrate your special day, and you can always have a celebration next year when things go back to “normal”.  

Q: I still haven’t picked out my wedding dress, and based on the standard “wedding timeline”, I’m now behind.  Will I still have time to find a dress with all these store closures?

A: Bridal stores are dealing with the same restrictions and safety precautions as every other business right now, so the most important thing is to set realistic expectations.  Make sure to clearly communicate with bridal stores and designers as they start to reopen and try to set an appointment as soon as they do open.  We recommend creating a Pinterest board with some inspiration to get an idea of styles that you like so that you can get organized and ready.  Your dress is out there, and you will have it sooner than you know it my friend!

Q: What do I do if my deposits are nonrefundable?

A: This definitely would have to be answered on a case-by-case basis but remember we are all in this together.  It was no fault of anyone’s that this pandemic happened. Small businesses are trying their best to survive right now and are seeing some of the biggest effects to maintain their livelihoods.  We have seen many vendors try to be as accommodating as possible, so communicate with your vendors and make sure that you have those open conversations.  

If you have rescheduled your wedding date your original vendor is now no longer available on this date you should not expect to receive a deposit back. 

Q: Do you think big weddings will be feasible this year?

A. We classify a big wedding as anything over 150 guests, so with the latest announcement it appears this can happen.   But we caution that since we still don’t know the answers to many questions that couples keep an open mind. Ultimately, bigger weddings are a bit harder to move or reschedule as there are a lot of moving parts depending on your venue.  Stay on top of communicating with your vendors, and we suggest coming up with a back up plan just in case.  It is important right now to manage your expectations so you do not set yourself up for disappointment. 

Q. I need to reduce our guest list. How do we uninvite people?

A. Talk to your partner and family members and go over your guest list first to decide how much you need to revise it. If you have to pair down your guest list, site the reasoning whether or not they can stay on the list. Remind them that you would love to have everyone, and look forward to celebrating with them at a later time when things settle.  

Q. What if not ALL of my vendors are available for my new date?

  1. If you have specific vendors that are booked or unavailable on your new date, communicate with them & see if they have any alternate options.  The wedding industry is quite large, and we are all trying to make things work and be as flexible as possible.  Your vendor may be able to give you some direction with a list of others in the industry they recommend and trust.

Q: I still want to celebrate my special day.  Do you have any recommendations?  

Of course! Many engaged couples aren’t letting things like a global pandemic get in their way of getting married! You know why?! Because love always wins! From zoom bridal showers, to video consultations with vendors-we are here to help you get creative! Where there’s a tech-savvy will, there’s a way!

Have an Elopement! If you have already moved your date to 2021, you could still celebrate your original day and celebrate two magical days! Buy a little cake, throw on a white dress and get hitched in your backyard!  Don’t forget to Zoom your family and friends and pop the champagne!  If you are looking for something more elaborate or curated just for you, we are happy to help with our brand new speciality elopement packages.

Need some tips on doing your hair and makeup?  For those of you that are choosing to have a mini celebration, check in with your hair/make up artists!  We have been seeing a lot of our hair/makeup friendors that are providing Facetime One-on-One tutorials to help you get ready for the big day!  

Looking for professional photos?  Our friend, JP Elario has been doing Facetime couple sessions and virtual engagement shoots with his clients! The photos are to die for, and what a way to remember this unique time in our lives with a little fun photoshoot you won’t forget!

Q. I still want to plan my wedding amidst the chaos.  What can I do in the meantime?  

We don’t want you to lose your momentum! Don’t stop dreaming & planning your magical day because we WILL get back to gathering and it WILL be better than ever!  If nothing else, this time has really changed us and we have a feeling that celebrations will be even more cherished and meaningful than ever before! We like to say “This is right now, this is not forever, we will celebrate soon!”

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you got this.  With some patience, courage and flexibility, you will still be able to have the wedding you have always dreamed of.   If you need to take some time to process everything, you deserve it.  No one could have ever anticipated something like COVID-19 affecting your special day, and you are not alone in fighting the emotions that have resulted from it. Sending love & sparkle your way. 

Want more? Click the link below for a FREE Checklist with helpful tips to successfully navigate through postponing your wedding day!

If you have any questions that we did not answer, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@katieoevents.com.  We look forward to seeing you celebrate your special day soon.  Our hearts are with you!

The Katie O’ Events Team