Need a Backup Wedding Plan Quick? Here Are a Few to Consider

If you need to change your wedding plans in a hurry, here are five easy backup wedding ideas to pivot to right away.

By Maggy Lehmicke

bride and groom on brooklyn bridge
Photo by Konrad Brattke Photography

Planning A Wedding During A Pandemic: Every wedding planning journey has its twists and turns. To make sure your path is as smooth as possible and to help you keep an eye out for tiny potholes and giant roadblocks, always follow the advice of your local health guidelines and the recommendations set forth by the CDC. The state of the pandemic can change quickly, but by staying informed, you can make it to your destination—wedded bliss—without a hitch.

“Love in the time of coronavirus” is quickly becoming one of the themes of 2020 with many couples forced to postpone or rethink their plans due to the pandemic. Though it’s a discouraging time for many, there are certainly bright spots along the way—if you’re open to getting a bit creative.

Thankfully, in today’s world, there are so many ways to celebrate a wedding. With everything from intimate elopements to the rise of digital weddings, 2020 brings just as much creativity along with its adversity. Below is a guide to help you celebrate your special day on your own terms while coming up with a new game plan.

Host a virtual ceremony.

Though this might seem like the biggest stretch from a traditional wedding, many couples are opting to “get together” and have a ceremony via Zoom or FaceTime in lieu of their original plans. This gives you the opportunity to still dress up, drink, and celebrate, even if it’s over the internet.

Note that you’d still need to have an officiant and follow the legal requirements of your physical location, no matter where your friends and family are dialing in from. After all, unprecedented times call for creative measures… and your virtual guests will more than likely applaud your dedication.

Elope now and party later.

One of the most common wedding alternatives we’re currently seeing is the decision to get married in private now and postpone the reception. Not only is this a great way to maintain the significance of your original date (and still get married!), but it also ensures the health of you and your guests by waiting to hold the big party until it’s safe to get together again.

Take note that this option may not be possible in cities or states that have a shelter-in-place order, which limits leaving the house to necessary travel only. As necessary as your wedding may seem, it’s best to play it safe. Read up on your state and city-specific regulations or consider calling your city hall for more information.

Celebrate alone with your fiancé.

Though it might not be an official wedding, per se, there are still plenty of ways you can celebrate your designated day with your partner. If you’re stuck at home, put on your wedding attire, do your hair and makeup, and make a day out of your original wedding date. Use your wedding hashtag if you’re using social media and alert your friends and family to follow along on as you celebrate at-home.

There are so many ways to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. Make a multi-course meal representative of your favorite meal. Have a movie marathon of all the movies you’ve seen in theaters over the course of your relationship. Craft your own at-home signature wedding cocktail or mocktail to toast the occassion. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate, only that you do! Clear your calendars that day and just be together.

Have a micro wedding (while maintaining social distance).

At this stage in the pandemic’s development, it’s highly advised that couples opt for something virtual as oppose to an in-person ceremony. However, if you currently live outside of a COVID-19 hotspot, you may consider a micro wedding. This event should consist of no more than 10 people (per CDC recommendations for gatherings).

This often includes the couple, an officiant, and maybe parents or a few friends. If you opt for this alternative, make sure you’re complying with CDC and WHO guidelines by maintaining the required distance of six feet between each other (including your officiant) and keeping the event short. Be prepared to provide guests with gloves and masks, too.


If you simply can’t envision having a wedding without your friends and family there (or don’t feel a digital alternative is your style), then postponing your wedding is probably in your best interest. This also applies to couples who were planning a destination affair. Intimate or not, traveling anywhere at the moment is highly discouraged, and in some cases, impossible.

It probably doesn’t feel great right now, especially if you were only days or weeks away from your original date. But your family and friends will understand, and when the time is right, you’ll enjoy the wedding of your dreams. Plus, there's a lot of good that comes from a ceremony postponement. Extra time gives you a chance to go back and change any elements that you wish you had more time to consider or alter. For more information on how to postpone your wedding, read here.

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