As I write this we are currently in Lockdown in the UK due to the dreaded Covid-19, a.k.a The Coronavirus pandemic that has swept through the globe. (Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past year, then I'm sure you know what it is so I'm not going to delve any deeper into this).
Anyway, if you have found yourself reading this blog post then I guess you might be in the unfortunate position where wedding postponement is on the horizon in the very near future or you have already had to do it - perhaps once, twice or even three times. You'll either be at the stage where you are contacting your wedding suppliers and asking them to reschedule your date or will be at least contemplating whether or not your day will go ahead as originally planned.
During the latest Government announcement scheduled for this afternoon, Boris will be laying out his Roadmap for the return of normality and I know we are all keen to hear what he has got to say!
At this stage it is really difficult to predict how the next few months are going to look in terms of public gatherings and in particular, weddings. Will Boris say that small "bubbles" of people can socialise together safely again soon? Will he release dates when non-essential shops are going to open on the high street? Will he talk about when schools are likely to re-open? and most importantly, will he release a plan for the opening up fo the wedding industry? Like all the other suppliers in the industry, I for one will be crossing my fingers and my toes that he brings us all positive news!
Let's talk hypothetically now. If we are given the go-ahead for our April, May & June weddings onwards, then how are they even going to look?
Last year when lockdown was lifted there were so many restrictions in place.
You must have so many questions this time around, because I certainly do...
How many guests will be allowed to attend? 6? 15? 30 or more?
Will it be just ceremonies that are allowed or can I have a wedding breakfast?
Will dancing be allowed?
Will alcohol even be allowed?
Will we still have to wear face masks and sit 2m apart from other people?
Will my wedding venue have procedures in place to keep everyone safe?
Unfortunately I don't have the answers to these questions, because let be honest - who does right now? ...but what I can do is offer you a few small snippets of advice from a wedding supplier's perspective.
We have worked with nearly 500 brides over the course of the past seven years and have styled a crazy amount of different wedding venues across the whole of the UK and what we have learnt is that every single wedding is completely different.
Although you might be getting married at the same venue as someone you know, or on the same date as a friend, your guest list is highly unlikely to be made up of the same selection of people. You'll have guests and suppliers involved who are all different ages, from different backgrounds with a variety of contrasting health conditions. Some might be disabled and require extra shielding, some might be newborn babies and some will most certainly be super fit, healthy adults. Are some of your guests NHS or key workers?
No two wedding venues are the same either. They'll be some that are bigger than others, some that are outdoors and some that are abroad. Some will have loads of staff and others will be unmanned such as marquees & tipis.
Because each wedding is different and some things will be a bigger concern to you more than others and some things will be a bigger concern to others more than you, my advice is quite simply this...
DO WHAT FEELS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR OWN SITUATION.
Here are some things for you to consider...
Take a look at your guest list and see who you have invited. Are they all likely to come even if they are allowed? Would you be happy with the day if some of them didn't turn up because they are a bit scared or are you not prepared to compromise on this? This will be a key point you need to consider when choosing to postpone or choosing to reduce your guest list numbers.
Talk to your guests and find out what they would be happy and comfortable with. I know this sounds like really simple advice, but you might be worrying that nobody will want to come to your wedding but your guests might be really looking forward to getting out of the house and celebrating with you without the same worries that you have. Just simply ask them how you could make them feel safe and if they are worried, then at least you'll know.
Talk to your wedding suppliers. Your wedding suppliers are in a very similar position to you and will totally understand your worries and concerns. Chat to them 1:1 and ask them as many questions as you need to in order to put your mind at rest. They'll be able to tell you about their current position regarding availability of new dates and what they plan to do in response to the pandemic.
Prioritise your most crucial supplier and contact them first. I would also write down a list of who your most important suppliers are and which one is literally at the top of your list in terms of priority. All of your suppliers will have been booked by you because you love what they do, but one or two of them may be at the absolute top of your list and your wedding just wouldn't be the same without them. Contact these suppliers first and check what dates they have available if you were to postpone. I can't stress enough that you need to do this as soon as you can.
The Rustic Wedding Company have spent the last year moving weddings over to new dates in 2021 and expect to do the same for 2022 after the announcement. We also already have so many prime dates pre-booked in our diary for 2022 so availability is already limited! You wouldn't want to miss out on your dream-team's services due to them being unable to accommodate your changes - so get in touch asap!
Also whilst on this subject, if you do move your date without consulting your suppliers, you will have breached your contract with them and it will become void. This will mean that it is highly likely that you are not entitled to any refunds on monies paid in deposits and booking fees etc as it will be deemed a "standard cancellation" - you may also be tied into a contract which says that any cancellations actually incur an extra fee so make sure you read through those contacts really thoroughly before you make any decisions.
Please be mindful of your suppliers too. We know as much as you do right now and will be hearing the news at exactly the same time as you, so it might take a day or two for us to process it and make sense of what it means for us as a business. Some of your wedding suppliers might have bigger teams that they need to discuss it with before they are able to give you any kind of clarity. Please be patient with us all. We know how hard it is for you to change your date both physically & emotionally but please know that our hearts are breaking with you. For lots of suppliers, their business is their only income and their livelihoods have been stripped away from them over the past year and this will be another huge blow to them. We will all be working around the clock to make changes happen in the most efficient and sensitive way possible, whilst still very getting upset ourselves.
Try to stay Positive. The reality is that when weddings do begin go ahead, they will be a little bit different than they were before so it's really important to take into account these changes and embrace them. If you're worried about everyone's safety, design a super cool hand sanitiser station! There's no need for this to be clinical, worrisome and look out of place. Why not create some nice signage and display it in a really beautiful way that fits in with the rest of the wedding styling? It will then become a treasured memory of your day and help to make your wedding unique.
And finally, don't do something just because everyone else is! The fact of the matter is that someone else's wedding day is not your wedding day and their situation will be completely different to yours. Don't let others pressure you into making decisions that you are uncomfortable with and do what is best for you and your partner, because after all, you guys are the most important people involved in your wedding and should make your decision based on your own circumstances.
Here at The Rustic Wedding Company we are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that all of our clients who are facing postponements have a shoulder to lean on and chat to. After speaking to a variety of different people in the wedding industry, we know how difficult you must be finding it so please do reach out to us if you have concerns. We're here to help.
We have also created a secret group on Facebook called The Rustic Bride Tribe in order to have a safe space where we can all chat together and ask each other questions to make the most of a rubbish situation. Unless you are a bride yourself and are facing the same problems and worry, it is unlikely that you'll understand the way a bride is feeling right now in exactly the same way as they do so we've gathered all of the local brides together in a positive environment to support each other through this.
Whether it is next week, next month or next year, your wedding day will happen and it will still be amazing!
After all, it is a celebration of Love right?
And love always wins.
Lesley & Team Rustic xx