GETTING MARRIED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Even if you’ve been living in a love bubble for the past few months, it’ impossible not to be aware of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. For many brides-to-be, this begs the question ‘will coronavirus affect my wedding?’ ‘And will weddings happen in 2020?’
Wedding season is vast approaching, typically from May onwards, with around 18 per cent of weddings taking place in July and August. If you’re one of the many couples worried about the repercussions of this global pandemic, here’s a few helpful pointers.
Right now, you naturally have plenty of questions running through your mind. How do I postpone my wedding? Will I get refunded? Are my wedding vendors willing and able to reschedule? What do I tell my guests?
What is the Coronavirus?
Guidelines on how to avoid catching or spreading the illness have been well publicised.
So how could this all affect your big day?
Planning a wedding during Coronavirus
Whether you’re newly engaged, getting married soon, or getting married abroad, here’s how the Coronavirus situation might affect you.
- Just Engaged
With the recent leap year taking place (February 29, 2020), there has been a surge in proposals very recently. This should be an exciting time for couples, many who are keen to start planning the big day.
You may decide to remain engaged until there’s more stability, or indeed carry on wedding planning as usual.
If you decide to plan ahead for an imminent wedding, do consider how relatives and friends will be able to attend. Currently, mass gatherings in the UK are still ‘allowed’ but this is an ever-changing situation.
If you’re getting married in the UK quickly through a Registry Office, you must first give 28 day’s notice. Furthermore, both partners must be a resident in the UK, for seven days prior to given notice. There are some exceptions such as serious illness.
There is no notice period for religious ceremonies, although banns must be read in advance.
On the upside, if you do decide that getting married in the UK quickly is for you, then there’s a chance that some venues may be cheaper than usual. However, there may be limited suppliers, from wedding photographers to wedding cake makers at this time.
Wedding insurance is worth considering for peace of mind. Be sure to read the small print first. Pay particular attention to refunds for the; honeymoon, wedding venue, food and drink, accommodation and transport, owing to cancellation, force majeure, or illness.
Check With Your Wedding Insurance
If you have wedding insurance (which you should), your first call should be to your insurance company to explore what the policy covers and what it means for you and your suppliers. All couples should check and see what it covers before reaching out to vendors. Unfortunately, it won’t cover Covid-19 entirely but it may cover the difference in costs from suppliers or vendors. That said, if you don’t have wedding insurance don’t beat yourself up, but definitely get it for the new date.
- Getting Married Soon | Corona Virus
For those in the challenging situation of a pre-planned wedding taking place imminently, there are a few options. This includes cancelling, postponing, or going ahead –with or without guests.
Before making a decision, consider the following:
- The latest government advice on mass gatherings
- Precautionary measures for guests (particularly older guests)
- Is the church/registry office still operating as usual?
- Guidance from the wedding venue – any restrictions in place
- Preventative measures for the wellbeing of guests
- Coronavirus travel disruption – the implications of travelling abroad for your honeymoon and whether this can/should be postponed
- If you have wedding insurance, be sure to look at the terms and conditions in place and what this means if you decide to reschedule your ceremony
As well as you wondering ‘will coronavirus affect my wedding’, so will guests. Therefore whatever you decide it’s important to keep them abreast of any changes.
Given the circumstances, some cancellations are likely, so speak to your venue about any cancellation notice periods. For instance, some venues charge by head count, but may not need final confirmed numbers until a week before.
- Getting married abroad and Coronavirus
If you’re getting married abroad, you may be wondering what the implications of ‘coronavirus travel’ are. With this being an evolving situation, it’s best to follow guidance from the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Sadly, as Italy is one of the most popular destinations for getting married abroad, many couples will be affected by recent developments. The FCO currently advise against all but essential travel to Italy.
If you have a wedding abroad planned and decide to carry on, be sure to check with the venue and suppliers, such as wedding photographers and catering, to understand any provisions in place.
You may also want to share travel advice with guests, so they can also make an informed decision. Be prepared that cancellations are to be expected, and how this might impact your special day. If guests are planning a key role, consider having stand-in’s, such as; best man, bridesmaids, ushers, speeches.
If you decide against getting married abroad, first check the cancellation terms with venues, suppliers and accommodation and airlines.
As with honeymoons, the impact of coronavirus travel has meant we are entering unprecedented times. Both British Airways and Easyjet, for instance, have amended their policies to allow greater flexibility for travellers. However, the FCO have specific advise around cruises and travel to certain destinations, to read up on.
Suppliers Are Having A Tough Time Too
Be aware that wedding suppliers may be booked or unavailable. Some deposits are nonrefundable and, if a supplier is unavailable, you have to understand that they did not decide to not do your wedding. Even if your original vendor is not available on the new date, they may be able to make recommendations. The wedding community is a close community and when issues arise, we are here to help and make it work regardless. We rise to the occasion, support one another, and most of us leave the competition at the door.
It’s important to remember that all your wedding suppliers are also people who are devoted to the wedding industry. Be understanding of the wedding suppliers who are unable to reschedule. Be understanding of them as they have been understanding of you. Everybody is here to help.
If you’re getting married in the coming months and wondering ‘will coronavirus affect my wedding’, it’s likely that some disruption will occur. From the wellbeing of guests, to enjoyment of your honeymoon abroad, it’s important to plan ahead and ensure adequate provisions are put in place. Most important of all, keep in touch with your venue and suppliers, as well as travel providers, to monitor any changes.
Latest Coronavirus Information
The above information does not constitute professional advice. Please consult professional medical advice from a GP or caregiver, or call 111.