Just Got Engaged? How to Start Planning Amidst COVID-19

Newly engaged and planning your wedding? Find out how to start or continue planning a wedding during COVID-19.

By Deanna deBara

bride and groom kiss after wedding
Photo by Carletta G Photo

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.

Congratulations, you're engaged! Chances are you’re feeling a whole host of emotions right now. On the one hand, you’re excited about your engagement and planning your big day. On the other hand, with the world coming off the heels of COVID-19, you’re also likely wondering how to best go about planning your nuptuals.

First of all, your wedding will be wonderful—no matter how you make it happen. Second, we’re here to help!

Let’s take a look at how to move forward with planning a post-COVID wedding—whether you’ve been planning your wedding for a few months, a few weeks, or just got engaged and aren’t sure where to start.

If you just got engaged and haven’t started planning yet:

If you just got engaged, you’re probably excited to start planning your wedding. And there’s no reason you can’t get started right now. You just may need to consider a few extra things first.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re just starting to plan your wedding:

  • Start with the vision. With all the new trends joining the wedding space in 2021, it can be hard to know where exactly to start planning if you're newly enaged. So this is a great time to focus on the vision for your wedding. What’s your wedding color palette? What kind of menu do you want to serve? What kinds of venues do you want to explore? Get on Pinterest and start looking for inspiration. Find out what new services vendors are offering for post-COVID weddiings. Crafting the vision for your wedding is something you can do on your own, in your own time, from the comfort of your home. It’s the perfect way to plan your wedding with all the inspo that's available to you.
  • Place safety first when scheduling anything in person. You probably want to celebrate your engagement—but with social distancing and travel restrictions just beginning to ease in some places, you and your partner might not be ready to do a big, in-person celebration quite yet. Consider planning an intimate gathering with family and friends, keeping in mind the local safety restriction that may be in place in your area. Alternatively, there's always the option of planning a huge virtual engagement party with your loved ones across the globe.

If you just started planning your wedding a few weeks ago:

If you’re just getting started with wedding planning, good news: There’s no reason to stop. But there are a few things you’ll want to consider as you move through the planning process:

  • Vendors may have longer response times—and less availability. With weddings coming back in a big way this year, couples having rescheduled their 2020 weddings and those newly engaged more confident with locking in their dates, it might take some wedding vendors longer than normal to get back to you. And because most of those couples have rescheduled their wedding to a later date, vendors may also have less availability than they normally would. Rest asssured, there are plenty of vendors out there that are happy to service your upcoming wedding, just be aware that the more flexible you can be with your dates and lead time, the easier it will be to connect with and book wedding vendors.
  • Some businesses may still be closed, or even closing down in your area, which may impact your wedding planning. Cities and states across the US having ordered all non-essential businesses to shutter their doors during the pandemic is still having a huge effect today. Some of the local businesses or venues you were hoping to be major parts of your wedding may still be closed, or even out of business. Take some time to research or even reach out to your local venues, restaurants, or wedding boutiques to find out how they're handling their post-COVID wedding bookings.

If you’ve been planning your wedding for a few months:

If you’ve been planning your wedding for the better part of 2020, you may already have new dates picked out after rescheduling. If that’s the case, here are a few steps you’ll want to take as you continue to do your wedding planning:

  • If your wedding is in the near future, stay in touch with your vendors. If your wedding date (or any wedding-related events) is in the next month or two, be sure to be in close contact with your vendors with any and all changes to ensure your big day goes smoothly. Though we've all been adjusting to the new norms of post-COVID weddings, if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that communication and flexibility is key when pulling off any size wedding.
  • Stay in touch with your vendors even if your wedding isn’t in the near future. Even if your wedding isn’t quickly approaching, now is still a good time to touch base with your vendors. Just keep in mind that wedding vendors are getting a lot of bookings right now, so if it takes them a while to respond, don’t take it personally. Patience is key!
  • Continue planning—just be prepared to be flexible. If you’re already well into the wedding replanning process, you're well ahead of the game and on the right track. It's ok to still be a bit uncomfotable planning and setting things in stone, but know that your vendors and even your family and friends are willing to be flexible and patient as you plan.

Tips For All Couples Planning—At Any Stage

No matter where you are in the process, here are a few steps you’ll want to make wedding planning easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful for everyone involved.

  • Weddings are comming back. With so much uncertainty last year, it can be easy to feel both excited and cautious with weddings as we knew them coming back. And those feelings are totally valid and justified! But do remember that everyone's adjusting right there with you, meaning when you finally get to have the wedding you want, your loved ones will be right there with you celebrating after all the challenges you overcame to get there.
  • Practice compassion. Though things are returning to normal in most places, this can still is a tough time for some. Make sure to practice compassion throughout the process, whether that’s compassion for yourself (for example, if you’re feeling sad about having to push out your wedding date or adjust your wedding planning process), your partner, or your wedding vendors.
  • Be flexible. The more flexible you can be with your wedding planning during this time, the less stressful it will be. Things are changing and evolving every day, so as much as you can, try to go with the flow and adjust your planning as necessary.
  • Find a supportive community. Chances are, you have a lot of feelings around planning your wedding in general, COVID related or not. You don’t have to shoulder those feelings alone! Finding a supportive community of other couples trying to plan a wedding during coronavirus can help you feel less alone. Plus, it can be a great way to get new ideas on how to navigate the wedding planning process from begining to end.
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