Planner Advice & Updates on Postponements and Back-up dates-
As a wedding professional planning weddings and events is my life and passion. I’m local to Illinois, near the Chicago-land area. As a planner, I travel wherever my client’s weddings are located. I have clients all over the country and have been following the news with updates on travel and weddings very closely with the COVID-19 virus. My business revolves around people celebrating in large group settings and with the health regulations by the CDC it has been advised to cancel all events and weddings at least until mid-May. With that being another month away, I am taking all the precautions and working hard on backup dates and alternative options with my clients and prospective clients.
I’m willing to help couples who have not hired a planner or coordinator but who are now looking for additional support and help during this time. Planning is stressful and I want to help any couples and help you remain organized and calm during tough times more than ever. If I can be a guide or resource, I am happy to offer my advice and expertise for all areas of weddings wherever you are in the process.
I want my couples to know I am here for them and I care. I wish I had a crystal ball to see the future and know when it is the right time and when this will all be over. It is an extremely frustrating time and I can't imagine the emotional roller-coaster some of my couples are on with wedding dates planned over a year ago suddenly changed or cancelled. Postponing your date just means we will celebrate when it is safe for everyone!
There is no need to panic. Just be calm and keep perspective, this is something that all of us are trying to overcome and accommodate. None of us have control over a global pandemic, but we will get through this. Though it might not happen as quickly as we are all hoping, I am optimistic we will have life back to normal in the coming months. However, the reality is, a return to normalcy won’t happen overnight. It’s hard to imagine that May 1st things will go from the stay at home order straight to it's safe to have large group events and weddings again.
Until we know more, all we can do is be prepared with backup dates and alternative options. There are still options and alternatives to have a smaller celebration in the next few months once stay-at-home order is lifted. Most venues are giving couples open dates for later in 2020 or next year. If you are open to next year, you may want to consider days other than Saturdays, as most are booked out far in advance. Some venues are also opening up Thursdays and Mondays to accommodate couples rescheduling from March and April into May.
Part of planning is having a back-up plan in place. I would recommend not waiting and deciding based on what we think we know and what we can plan for. There will be a progression and stages of safety for group gatherings. Here are some things to consider and think about for postponement vs waiting it out:
If you want to wait and try to celebrate in June or July 2020 are you willing to limit your guest list? Maybe think of lists for 10, 50, 100, or 150 guests and being prepared to have to cut lists down if that is the current order and guideline with the CDC. Think of maybe doing something like a small elopement or micro wedding, then rescheduling the reception to later in the year or next year when the venue is available to accommodate the larger group you were planning on.
Waiting without a backup date or back-up plan decreases the chances of having the venue you wanted and the vendors to be available for the new date, once decided. If you have a back-up date and you know some of your vendors are available, you know where to go from there. If you don't have to use the back-up date, then that's great!
I'm here for my couples and prospective clients who have questions and concerns. I am here to help and can give you resources, referrals, review vendor contracts, help you negotiating with venues or any potentially difficult vendors and be a sounding board for changing plans and making revisions in your wedding vision. We will celebrate and weddings will go on! I want you to have your special day and be there to execute your vision. As always, I will be there with you every step of the way.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy! Stay Calm, Stay Sane!