Coronavirus & Wedding Postponements
For all the lovely couples who had a wedding planned for over these recent months, I am so, so sorry. I have been watching and waiting for how the Coronavirus has evolved over the last few weeks. Everything has evolved quickly and is unprecedented in our lifetimes.
Who knew, as we began 2020, that 3 months in – we would face this situation.
For those who have been planning wedding ceremonies: I share in your worry and I know that so many of you have dreamed of this day for a long time. If you have been forced to change your plans or postpone, please know that I share in your disappointment. At the time when you should be making the last few adjustments to your plans, you are having to postpone your date and liaise with multiple suppliers to coordinate and postpone to a new date.
I know so many of you will be hugely worried and will have many questions regarding your upcoming wedding ceremony. It is ok to feel sad, angry and disappointed. The thing that doesn’t change is the person you are marrying, your family and friends who will be there to celebrate your love, the joy you will feel and the memories you will make.
As an independent Wedding Celebrant working between Sussex and Southern Spain, and I truly feel your pain. In fact, my own daughter’s Wedding ceremony, planned for early May, was, on the purpose, my first ceremony of 2020. How lucky am I as ‘Mum of the Bride’ to also be conducting the ceremony! They were lucky enough to bring their legal signing forward to just before Register Offices announced their closure and I am so pleased they did. Not least because my son in law is an ICU Doctor working on the front line. It wasn’t the day they had planned, but, with less than 24 hours’ notice, and celebrated with just parents and siblings, we celebrated with pizza and champagne. They have now postponed their original celebrations until October, actually third time lucky we hope, as they had originally planned for the early May bank holiday which was changed for the VE celebrations. The celebration will be just what we all need once life returns to the normality we had all come to enjoy before this unprecedented time in our history.
Although there is much fear and panic relating to the virus, at the present time, many Wedding Planners have already taken steps to postpone and reschedule their April to June weddings, particularly destination weddings, they are still in a ‘wait and see’ phase relating to July and onwards. I believe that investigating possible steps to be prepared and make timely decisions will help us to remain calm. Collectively, your wedding suppliers are all in this together. I hope that they will be super flexible in helping you to reschedule as things become clearer over the weeks ahead.
The situation continues to change almost daily, both in Spain and across the world. For those of you who have not yet made a decision regarding your event, be sure to check the with local suppliers who will have a clearer picture. There is much uncertainty about what the coming weeks will bring. It will also largely depend upon how the authorities work to flatten the curve.
If you are still considering you or your guests travel plans, I encourage you to look at reputable sources, and be informed about what travel restrictions and quarantine recommendations have been put into place. Know the travel recommendations both for the country in which you reside and in Spain for instance. Also, take a moment to check both your Wedding and Travel insurance. Never has there been a more pertinent time to have taken out Wedding Insurance!
So, with this in mind, what tips can I offer to help those couples in the position of having to consider postponing and rescheduling their date?
1. Speak to your team of vendors even if is only to test the water and pencil in a postponement date. Set up a WhatsApp group or Google Document so you can coordinate to find a mutually convenient date for you to work towards. My advice is to do this sooner rather an later as many vendors work 18 months in advance. Most I know will be super accommodating, offering free postponements.
2. Think of the extra planning time as a bonus. Everyone will need lots to look forward to once our lockdown ends and your celebration will add an extra special event for everyone to look towards.
3. With Registrar’s in the UK not offering legal signing dates until 1st September and beyond, remember that a professional Celebrant can offer you the opportunity to mark your special day in a truly unique way in the location of your choice.
4. If you cannot get your first choice of supplier, they hopefully have organised a support network of trusted professionals with whom they have an agreement. For me, one of my May couples from Norway, with whom I have been working with for over a year, and whose unique ceremony I had already written, wanted a date in October. I had a booking with another couple with whom I had not yet started to work and managed to pass it to a trusted colleague to take over. I was able to contact the Wedding Planner with a solution rather than a problem and know that they would be in good hands whilst the Norwegian couple would have me, as originally planned, to conduct their ceremony.
5. A Wedding Planner is really your best friend and the benefits of having one come into their own in situations like these. They are your eyes and ears on the ground and can save you a huge amount of stress and headache! Very good value for money!
6. Consider marking your original date in a special way, whether than be a toast, a special meal or a short Zoom ceremony with your Celebrant. This year will go down in history and these tales will become part of our collective social history.
Whatever you decide, I wish you well and good luck with planning your new Wedding Ceremony date. Your love deserves to be celebrated and your family and friends will welcome the opportunity to celebrate with you. I hope you will receive flexibility, care and a mountain of understanding as your wedding suppliers help you work through these changes together.
Nikki Kulin is a Professional Wedding and Funeral Celebrant based between Sussex and Southern Spain. She specialises in handwriting bespoke ceremonies to mark life’s rites of passage which can be conducted in your chosen location.
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