How to Cope When Planning a Wedding during a Pandemic

Planning a wedding under normal circumstances is already hard. Planning one during a global pandemic? Let’s just say you will earn the admiration and respect of everyone you know if the ceremony and subsequent celebration will proceed without a hitch.

What makes a wedding so hard to plan (especially at large scales) is you need to coordinate with so many suppliers all at once. If you’re the wedding organizer, you need to:

  • Keep in touch with the caterers, florists, event stylists, the venue, the patisserie for the cake and desserts, and the wine and wet bar suppliers.
  • Choose a rental shop that can dress the wedding party, and a designer for the bride’s gown and groom’s tux months (in some cases, more than a year) in advance.
  • Attend to other matters like finding an affordable sound system for rent and submitting all the requirements to the administrative office, if you’re planning a church wedding.
  • Decide if your pastor, a justice of the peace, or a close family friend will officiate the wedding if you’re having a civil wedding.

Now that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, do is it still necessary to go through all the above to plan a wedding? If the couple still plans to push through with the wedding, then the answer is yes, but at a much smaller scale.

The Easy Part: Tasks You Can Quickly Complete

wedding listIt has been months since lockdowns were implemented in many major cities all over the world. By now, you must have been notified by your suppliers of changes they need to implement on their end (e.g., hotels canceling all ballroom reservations for the rest of the year) and whether they can still provide the service you hired them for.

It’s no use crying over spilled milk, so take a cerebral approach when doing the following:

  • Call every supplier and ask if they can still provide accommodate you on the original wedding date if you downscale (e.g., buffet for 30 instead of 250 people, installations by floral artists for a smaller venue instead of an entire church or massive garden).
  • Review your contracts and check for clauses regarding refunds. If your suppliers will refund undelivered products and services, verify how they will process the transaction.
  • Collect the items that are already completed and paid for (e.g., wedding tokens, monogrammed table napkins, customized balloons).
  • Check the guest list and tick off the names of the people who can no longer travel and join the celebration if the wedding pushes through on the original date.

Most importantly, talk to the bride and groom. Know what they are willing to change in the arrangements and whether they will consider postponing if it will be too difficult to achieve their non-negotiables.

The Hard Part: Let the Couple Decide

Whether you’re a professional wedding planner or a friend or family member helping out with the wedding preparations, now’s the time to step back and let the couple make the big decisions. If they decide to postpone or cancel, you can still stay on and help them with the following:

  • Informing guests about the couple’s decision.
  • Organizing and putting away wedding materials.
  • Renegotiating or terminating contracts with suppliers.

Should the couple decide to proceed with the wedding but make it a much smaller affair, your checklist must include:

  • Checking your city’s regulations for events and gatherings.
  • Checking the availability of the venue and whether it’s still a safe and viable location for the event.
  • Securing the commitment of suppliers who can still accommodate the wedding.
  • Finding alternatives for the materials and services that your original suppliers can no longer provide.
  • Finalizing the trimmed-down guest list.

It’s important to be flexible and show grace under pressure when organizing a wedding in this pandemic. You also need to be on your toes because local rules on social distancing and gatherings could change in a snap. As long as you’re willing to adapt, the wedding you’re planning can proceed as well as it can in light of current the circumstances.

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