I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about COVID-19 and social media expectations. Since my page is wedding-related I think it’s important to recognize that this is a really scary time for anyone in the midst of wedding planning, especially those whose weddings are coming up soon. The uncertainty can be overwhelming and I’m definitely feeling it too. My wedding is May 24th, which is just two weeks outside of the CDC recommended 8-week cancellation period. As much as I'd like to carry on business as usual, the community we've built here is currently very affected by what's been going on. I think it's important to address it head-on so we can tackle what comes next together. In light of recent international travel bans and recommendations from the CDC regarding mass gatherings, I felt compelled to share some tips and resources that I've found useful. I'm sharing my Tip Tuesday a day early this week to provide support to all brides who are struggling during this emotional time.
Ask for help if you need it! The Knot and WeddingWire have joined forces to provide a hotline for all brides struggling during this time at (833) 998-2865. Support can be reached by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can reach Zola for support at (408) 657-9652 or email@example.com. All resources are standing by to support you each step of the way.
Seek out Additional Resources: I'm just a blogger, not a wedding planner, so I highly recommend seeking out a professional for specific questions. If you don't have a wedding planner, The Knot has great resources for all brides who are facing the deacon of canceling or postponing their weddings.
Rely on your friends: You do not have to go through this alone. When you selected your bridal party you probably didn't think you'd need them for something like this, but remember that you chose them for a reason! Your bridal party and family are your biggest supporters, so rely on them for support throughout this time of uncertainty. If you're not in a place to handle things yourself, ask someone to call vendors, update family, or even just listen if you need to talk.
Review your contracts: Before making your first calls. Review those contracts. Figure out what you're working with before you jump right in.
Call your vendors: We're in uncharted territory here. Just like you've never dealt with this before, none of your vendors have either. Not only is there the potential to lose the date you've been planning for months, but financial uncertainty is also a huge contributing factor to the stress you're likely feeling. Give all of your vendors as call and find out how you may be impacted. There may not be an answer right away, and over time the answers may change, but you'll want to at least reach out and figure out exactly how COVID-19 will affect you.
Provide reassurance: If you're one of the lucky ones whose wedding date hasn't been affected yet, reach out to your venue and vendors to provide reassurance! Let them know that your wedding is on as planned and that you're thinking of them during this time.
Support your vendors: If you're able to, support your vendors during this time as much as you can! The wedding industry is about to take a huge hit, which means many of your vendors are likely going to feel an immediate impact. Think of ways to support them, such as using your catering service to pick up food to-go rather than using a big chain.
Make a backup plan: It's time to make a backup plan. Maybe you're not immediately affected by what's going on, but are worrying that you will be as time goes on. If you're within 6 months of your wedding, the best thing can do is start thinking about your options. Inquire about alternative dates, venues, or vendors and start having conversations with your friends and family.
If you're a few months out, don't jump the gun! As you start to figure out a backup plan, don't feel the pressure to start making changes- yet. Don't forget that information is not only changing by the day, but also by the hour. If you're a few months out from your wedding, try not to push vendors or venues just yet if they are in the process of supporting other brides. Leave room for those with the most immediate needs to get support first.
Update your website: One tip to consider is adding a disclaimer to your website to update guests on the current status of your wedding events. You're likely getting questions from all angles, and adding an official statement can take some of the stress off of you. Your statement can be a formal decision or simply telling guests that you'll update them with more information. Being able to access your statement on a website should cut down on the questions you'll need to answer.
Communicate: As soon as you realize that you have to make the heartbreaking decision to postpone, communicate! You'll want to do so as quickly and concisely as possible. Don't be afraid to be transparent, let friends and family know you're struggling, and ask for privacy if you need it. You could also include the name and contact information of a designated family member, bridesmaid, or groomsman who can field questions for you.
Keep an eye on the news: Truthfully, I hate this tip. My fiancé and I decided to limit checking the news to 2-3 times per day, and it has been SO hard! Don't let yourself get sucked in, but make sure you're keeping an eye on the CDC, WHO, and all local and state regulations.
Feel your feelings & focus on what's most important: My best advice is to let yourself be sad, lean on the ones you love, and stay focused on what’s most important. As hard as it may feel this is the perfect reminder that at the end of the day it’s all about the marriage, not the wedding.
Have your wedding plans been affected by everything that’s been happening the last few days? My goal for this page from the very beginning was to create a community for brides to-be to come together & share. While this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, I think it’s the perfect time to lean on and encourage each other. 🤍