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.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the many couples concerned with how the coronavirus may impact your upcoming wedding. We totally understand. We know how much time, effort, and money our couples put into planning their dream weddings. So, to have your entire ceremony up in the air can not only feel stressful, it can certainly feel a bit heartwrenching.
First things first, we’re here for you. While the team here at Zola can’t claim any medical expertise, we do have a lot of wedding expertise—and we want to support you however we can as this situation unfolds.
With thousands of people sickened worldwide and in the US, the global community is working hard to contain and slow the spread. Various measures including quarantines, travel bans, and total shutdowns in various fields of business are being put in place to keep the overall population healthy and safe.
We also know that the spread of coronavirus is disrupting many weddings, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and more. Wedding guests are reconsidering their travel plans, some venues and vendors may change their policies, some destination weddings may have to be postponed. The CDC has recommended that all gatherings of ten or more people be postponed or held virtually.
Social distancing is also being highly recommended in many states as officials and medical professionals look to individuals to help flatten the curve.
Coronavirus is impacting individual weddings differently. We strongly advise each couple to carefully consider their own personal circumstances as they make decisions about their wedding and wedding planning.
Please regularly check updates from public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for up-to-date information. Your safety is their (and our) number one priority.
Here, too, is some general guidance for couples wedding planning amid this outbreak:
Don’t panic. Of course, easier said than done. This situation is frustrating and likely saddening for you and many, many others. Your feelings are totally valid. However, as you discuss potential options with your partner, your family, your vendors, and others, remember that panicking or outbursts aren’t ideal for anyone. Understand that all parties will work to support you no matter what you decide to ultimately do about your wedding.
Consider your personal situation. Again, weddings are all different. Your timeline, logistics, vendor contracts, and overall planning is not the same as someone else’s. Be wary of making any decisions without fully assessing your personal circumstances. For example, if your wedding is scheduled for October, you may want to consider a different course of action than someone whose wedding is slated for the spring or summer.
Reach out to your wedding planning team. Right now is a great time to get in touch with your vendors, your wedding planner (if you have one), your venue, and any other parties helping to plan and organize your wedding. Be mindful that they are likely to be inundated with similar calls and emails from other couples. Be polite and professional as you explain your situation, concerns, and request for guidance.
Understand the impact. No matter what decision you make about your wedding, it's yours to make and you should make the best choice for you. Many couples, for example, are choosing to elope (with an officiant at a distance) and others are hosting virtual weddings for their families and friends. There are many more routes to take. All options have varying impacts, though, and it's important to be aware and realistic as you make your decisions. If you reschedule, for example, understand that you may not receive a full refund from some vendors/venues. It depends on your vendors and the contracts you signed. However, it’s important to be aware that it may not be possible for businesses to completely bend for all couples in this situation—especially as this affects so many couples. Talk to your team, they will help you!
Develop a backup plan. Right now, you may need a backup plan. Can't postpone? OK, what's the new plan? Can you postpone? OK, who do you alert? Can your vendors transfer their services to a later date (for a potential fee)? Can you host your wedding with a few guests missing? Aren't sure about any of this? That's OK. Again, it’s all about your personal situation. This is when expert guidance from your wedding planning team comes in. We know you want a clear answer for your specific situation and your vendors and planner are the best resources for that.
Again, we really do understand how hard this must feel. Your safety is our top priority and we want to support you in every way that we can.
Contact Zola customer support. We’re part of your wedding planning team, too. For specific inquiries about registry items/orders, invites and paper orders, wedding boutique orders, and other general wedding planning questions, please contact our customer support team. Email us at email@example.com.
Communicate with your guests. We understand this can be one of the most difficult parts of this. To help you best explain your situation to guests and vendors, here are messaging templates that you can use for outreach. We are also happy to update your wedding website for you, if necessary.
Dear Friends and Family,
We have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding due to the coronavirus outbreak. Your health and safety are our top priority! We will keep you updated regarding our wedding details.
Love, [Couple Names]
Dear Friends and Family,
We wanted to check in given the changing travel climate due to the coronavirus outbreak. At this time, our wedding is going forward as planned and we’re excited to spend time with all of you.
If you are no longer able or feel uncomfortable traveling or attending, we understand. Please let us know as soon as possible—no later than [date]—so we can update our relevant vendors.
We will update you if the circumstances change and are looking forward to celebrating together.
Love, [Couple Names]
Rest assured that your wedding will be a gorgeous, love-filled affair no matter when or where it ultimately takes place. In the meantime, continue to reference information and updates from the CDC and WHO and consult your wedding planning team. Reach out to our customer support team—we are here to support however we can.