How to Start Planning Your Wedding During COVID-19

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19

Getting engaged is a major milestone for you and your partner. But what happens when you get engaged during COVID-19?

Let’s be honest – you probably didn’t think you’d be planning your wedding with a global pandemic lingering in the background! And with so many changing rules and restrictions, you may understandably feel a little hesitant about organising your special day. 

While it’s true that wedding planning might look slightly different during these times, it shouldn’t stop you from getting excited about your upcoming nuptials. With a few wedding planning tweaks (and a backup plan or two!), you can still pull off a beautiful celebration.

From choosing the right venue to considering your guest list, keep reading for our tips on how to start planning your wedding during COVID-19 below.

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19
Photo via Amy and Jordan

Use Virtual Platforms to Find Your Dream Team

Depending on the restrictions in your local area, venue tours and face-to-face meetings might be on hold for now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with your suppliers virtually instead! 

Thanks to the pandemic, most wedding venues are now offering one-on-one virtual tours, allowing you to “walk through” the space, chat to the venue coordinator and ask questions as they arise. You can also screenshot or record any key details to look back on at a later date – and, bonus, you can do it all from the couch in your sweatpants.

Similarly, you’ll find wedding vendors are more than happy to jump on Skype, FaceTime or Zoom during these times for virtual meetings and consultations. From your wedding planner to your wedding photographer and celebrant, you can essentially book your entire dream team online from the comfort of your home.

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19
Photo via Paige Jones

Consider a COVID-Friendly Wedding Venue

Speaking of venues – if you’re worried about the pandemic hampering your wedding plans, you might want to consider an outdoor venue rather than an indoor location. Outdoor venues are more spacious with natural ventilation, making them less likely to be hit with tight guest list restrictions.

If you do have your heart set on an indoor space, it’s a good idea to choose a larger venue that allows plenty of room for your expected guest numbers. You might also want to chat with the venue about their COVID-safe policies. For example, how often are surfaces and amenities cleaned and sanitized? Are there seperate doors for entering and exiting? Will staff members be wearing gloves or masks? Choosing a venue with strict policies in place should help you feel more at ease leading up to your wedding.

Double Check Your Contracts

Before paying any deposits or signing any contracts with your wedding vendors, it’s important to get clear on their cancellation policies – especially if you’re planning your wedding during the pandemic.

By now, most vendors should have clear procedures in place if you need to downsize, postpone or cancel your wedding due to COVID-19. Make sure you ask the right questions so you know exactly where you stand if circumstances change.

For example: is the deposit non-refundable, or are you able to transfer it to a new date? Can you reduce your guest numbers without being penalised? What happens if you need to cancel your wedding altogether? This will vary from supplier to supplier, so it’s best to have an open conversation with each of your vendors at the beginning of your relationship. 

Keep in mind that this is also an incredibly tricky time for business owners in the wedding industry, too, so be sure to approach these conversations with understanding and kindness.

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19
Photo via Sheyanne Lyn

Create a Plan B That You’re Comfortable With

We know it’s the last thing you want to think about, but during COVID times it’s important to consider your “worst case scenario” plan B, just in case. 

Sit down and have an honest chat with your partner about your priorities for the day, and create a plan B (and C… and D!) that you’re both comfortable with. What will you do if restrictions change and your dream wedding can no longer go ahead exactly as you’d imagined? 

Would you be happy to proceed with a “minimony” on your original date, and throw a party with your loved ones once restrictions ease? Would you prefer to postpone the entire wedding altogether? Cut down your guest list and host a micro-wedding? Host a virtual wedding and live stream the ceremony to any loved ones who can’t attend? 

Getting on the same page as your partner will help to reduce any last-minute stress if you need to rethink your original plans closer to the day. Check out these 5 ways COVID-19 might impact your wedding and what you can do about it here.

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19
Photo via Tanner Burge Photo

Create Multiple Guest Lists

Speaking of backup plans, this can also apply to your guest list, too. With venue capacities constantly changing during COVID-19, you may want to create 3 different guest lists for some of the potential scenarios that could arise.

The first: your dream guest list, if numbers aren’t an issue. The second: a slightly reduced guest list, if numbers are capped closer to the date. And the third: an intimate group of absolutely essential guests, if restrictions are tightened even further.

Hopefully you won’t have to use these “backup” lists, but it’s helpful to have them already prepared just in case! Not sure who to invite to your wedding? Read our ultimate guide for creating your guest list here.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

It goes without saying that wedding planners have become even more instrumental for couples planning their wedding during COVID-19. 

Staying up to date with constantly changing (and often confusing) event guidelines – on top of everything else you need to organise for your wedding – can be extremely stressful. A wedding planner will be able to monitor the situation on your behalf, liaise with your suppliers and implement backup plans as needed. 

how-to-start-planning-your-wedding-during-covid-19
Photo via Victoria Carlson Photography

Keep Guests Informed

Understandably, your guests will probably have some concerns about attending weddings and events during the pandemic. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to reassure them about the safety precautions you’ll be taking on the day.

To make it super easy, we’d suggest creating a detailed FAQs page on your wedding website to address any COVID concerns. This will give your guests peace of mind about attending your celebration, while also ensuring you don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again! We’ve rounded up 9 COVID-19 FAQs to address on your wedding website here.

You’ll also want to ensure you keep your loved ones in the loop with any important updates closer to the day. Save time (and stress!) by using a digital platform like WedSites that allows you to send email blasts and group announcements to your guests.

Stay Flexible

If you’re planning a wedding during COVID times, you’ll undoubtedly need to make a few compromises – whether that’s mandatory masks, capped guest numbers or dance floor bans. 

Our tip? Take a deep breath and focus on what’s actually important: marrying your best friend and starting this exciting new chapter together! If you can stay flexible, roll with the punches and approach it with a positive mindset, we promise you’ll still have an incredible day.