bride and groom getting married in San Diego

How to Plan a Wedding (during Covid-19) Part III

October 22, 2020
bride and groom getting married in San Diego
Wild and Free Elopements

Get married now or after the Pandemic?

It’s time to weigh the pros and cons.

In my previous article on planning a wedding during Covid-19, I outlined some of the positives of getting married during the pandemic. Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. More specifically, what are the negatives of getting married now? And what are the negatives of waiting until after Coronavirus?

The Negatives of Planning a Wedding Now

There are some very obvious consequences to holding a wedding during the Pandemic. Of course, the regulations vary depending on the state that you live in. To keep it simple, I’ll make reference to California’s requirements.

No Dancing: The DJ’s Role in a Micro Wedding

Currently, any open venues are not able to offer dancing for their clients. This doesn’t mean that clients can forgo a DJ or Emcee; very much the opposite. For example, a DJ would still need to cue music for the processional and recessional. But, they might need to remind guests about wearing face masks or staying socially distanced throughout the event.

DJs and Emcees are the voice of the venue and planner. They are usually responsible for publicly telling guests where to go and what to do. They are incredibly important because they help uphold any of the venue’s rules and help keep the planner’s timeline. Mind you, this is in addition to playing the correct music and reading the crowd to make sure the vibe is spot on. Have you ever seen a planner hop on the microphone and tell wedding guests dinner will start in five minutes? I didn’t think so.

How to Plan a Wedding without Congregating?

Petula Pea Photography

Sounds like lunchtime in Elementary school. “Sit in your seat, eat like an adult, and get up only to throw out your trash.” Is the only thing missing is that we need to raise our hand to use the restroom? I’m sure just thinking of those childhood days sends people into some anxiety-ridden state. Beware of the lunch monitors!

I digress, instead of trying to get guests up onto the dance floor after dinner has concluded, they now have a different job-keeping them in their seats. They need to know and find the delicate balance between keeping the mood celebratory, and cultivating conversation but without dancing and congregating around a bar. It’s definitely a skill that your homemade playlist probably can’t anticipate or fix.

Because of the need to keep guests stationary as much as possible, there is no congregating. People cannot stand around a few cocktail tables and shoot the breeze, and then wander over to the displayed hors d’oeuvres to graze. Having to stay in one place while seated can definitely change the cocktail hour’s atmosphere a bit. If a guest isn’t eating or drinking, they need to be wearing a mask- talk about a buzzkill for those who want to chat with others and see others’ facial expressions.

Get Married but Only Outside?

An outdoor wedding is lovely in the Fall or early winter in Southern California. The area can easily offer heaters (socially-distanced of course) and keep guests cozy. Rain is typical in the winter months for Southern California, but what about the rest of the country?

The weather is getting cooler, and people are heading indoors to keep their celebrations going, but is that even possible? We already see a huge spike in cases across the country, and it’s only October. Many states don’t know what to do, and as a result, might be asking clients to postpone again because they cannot safely offer a wedding indoors.

It is possible that choosing to push forward with your wedding might cause the venue to push right back and postpone. Just because a state might allow small gatherings does not mean that each business has to open and offer it to its clients. Many companies are not willing to play this game. As a result, these businesses remain closed or focus their efforts on another way to stay financially afloat. No one really knows how to traverse this path. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

Should you get married later?

With all of this uncertainty flying around, some might think that planning a wedding later might solve all their problems.

Take, for example, the availability of dates. After thousands of couples postponed their weddings earlier this year, many venues are not available for next year. Whether you’re considering a weekday or weekend, choices might be slim. Many couples also don’t want to wait until 2022. This puts even more stress on venues to offer more availability or physically expand their business, which might be hard to do at this point.

Planning a Wedding with Future Costs

When was the last time you heard someone ask for 2015’s wedding pricing for their 2019 wedding? Exactly, that doesn’t happen. Just because the industry is hurting doesn’t mean that they can still afford to slash prices. Vendors aren’t going to offer you a pre-pandemic deal for a post-pandemic wedding. Costs for everything will and have already begun to increase. Of course, we all know that costs increase every year; it’s intrinsic. But some clients are always looking for that “great deal.” Maybe next year, great deals will be few and far between.

Think about it; if vendors and venues are almost at capacity, they’re not going to overextend themselves. They’re not going to hire more employees, work longer hours, and potentially gross less money. If vendors’ supply is low (think about how many are out of business), then the cost for the existing ones is higher. The more vendors that have availability, the less it would cost.

Getting Married with Future Contracts

Another thing to consider: the longer the pandemic drags on, the less likely vendors might be overly flexible. When Covid-19 first hit, everyone in the industry was trying to be as understanding as possible. Remember #postponedontcancel for the events industry?

After Coronavirus, you can bet that every single vendors’ contract will be particular. Areas that were once ambiguous may no longer be. Some of the most likely examples include determining when or if a client can receive a refund on their deposit versus retainer. Want to move your wedding date or postpone? Now the language might not allow for any flexibility without paying additional. Don’t forget that for the majority of vendors, this is their livelihood. It’s ignorant to assume that vendors have not updated their legal documents to ensure they are adequately protected and compensated the second time around.

After reading this article you might be no closer to figuring out what to do. Both sides come with pro and cons, and it’s really up to each couple to decide which avenue works better for them. As always, a trusty planner on your side can make all the difference in this crazy journey. Feel free to write!

San Diego wedding ring picture for planning a wedding inspiration
Petula Pea Photography
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