I honestly don’t quite know how to start this post. Corona virus or COVID-19, whatever it is we are calling it has quickly swept the world into a pandemic. Italy is on a total lockdown and the US has banned all flights to and from the EU. The media is all over this. Of course they are. I fully believe the media survives off of fear-mongering. I mean, the nation (and other nation’s) are basically sold out of toilet paper. And hand sanitizer was selling on Amazon for hundreds of dollars. Say what? I also heard the media suggest that people should postpone their weddings…
So maybe that brought you here.
Should you postpone your Vancouver Island wedding because of Covid-19?
As of right now (March 2020), I don’t believe that is necessary. We don’t know what is going to happen in the future but we can’t live in fear. It’s currently cold and flu season and with that ending soon, disease transmission will likely be impacted with the warmer weather coming. I’m not a health care professional nor does anyone know for sure how this virus will react.
So in short, if the government hasn’t implemented any restrictions or bans, we should go on as planned. With that being said, the government (in different provinces) has started to “ban or suggest” events of 250 people and over. While none of my weddings (or many on the Island) are over that size, it’s something to keep an eye on.
My personal view is that it would suck to contract the virus, but at the end of the day, if you are not someone who is immune-compromised, you’ll be okay.
How can I host my wedding while being cautious about the virus?
- Firstly, good hand-hygiene. That’s the most important factor with the virus and we shouldn’t forget about it during a wedding.
- Hopefully, venues will add more hand sanitizing stations and wipe stations to their space. Encourage your guests to use them.
- Have you heard of elbow or foot bumping instead of handshakes? Weddings are often family reunions and everyone wants to hug each other to say hello. Especially to the bride and groom. Perhaps you encourage guests not to hug and instead encourage them to bump feet. Elbows are kind of questionable to me since we are supposed to sneeze or cough into our elbows…
- Having an outdoor wedding? Is it a possibility to switch over? Being outside int he open air makes you less likely to contract a virus, rather than being in recycled air inside a confined space. Does your venue have windows that open? Can you leave the door open to the outside? Fresh air is good. (and we have no shortage of that here in BC!)
- If you are a guest and you are showing symptoms of the virus, PLEASE stay home.
- Are you at the maximum capacity of your venue space? Will your tables be tightly packed together? Does your venue have a larger space you could move into so you can spread the table out? If you have space to work with, can you use larger tables to give guests a little more breathing room? Can you add more space between each table?
But what if we’re still really freaked out and want to postpone?
If you’re dead set on postponing, know that you may lose money, your in-season date, and it might not be possible to accommodate you at all.
Each vendor will have their own policies and will typically review requests on a case by case basis. Most contracts will have an Act of God clause which means vendors do not legally have to agree to move your wedding date or give you any of your money back. Of course, we are human and we understand and want to accommodate as much as we possibly can. Most vendors are small businesses who simply cannot afford a year of cancellations or postponements. Larger companies and venues are simply too busy to accept a new date. You might be able to rebook for an off-season date if you’re lucky.
Here’s what’s currently being talked about in the vendor world
- Allowing rebooking but ONLY for off-season dates, based on availability,
- No rebooking at all if you’re canceling out of fear and not because of actual restrictions or bans implemented by the government. Implemented restrictions will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
- Rebooking with a penalty fee for in-season dates.
If this is the route you want to take, be prepared to face some disappointment, lose some of your favourite vendors, have an off-season wedding, incur fees, be bumped to 2021 pricing, etc.
What if we are traveling internationally and they close the border/ flights?
If you have no choice and you really can’t make the wedding happen, postpone it rather than canceling it outright. Reach out to your vendors and work on an action plan.
Things you’ll want to ask:
- Can our money put down so far be rebooked and moved to another date?
- Will we lose any money?
- What dates do you have available for prebooking?
- We really want our original date, is there an extra fee to guarantee this date next year?
Prioritize which vendors are the most important to. Deadset on the photographer you chose, but you feel like you could move venues if needed? Absolutely need your venue and you can pick new vendors for other categories? This way if the new date you choose is not available with every vendor, you can make a choice about who to move forward with depending on availability.
Will there be more logistics and factors to consider now?
Probably, yes. Now, more than ever is a great time to consider hiring a wedding planner. A planner will help you through the logistics of getting everyone to your wedding, how to keep things running smoothly once they get there and in the event of a government shut down, they can advocate to other vendors on your behalf.
Need more information? Shoot me an email and we can chat more!
Ultimately, practice good hand hygiene, keep a distance and marry the love of your life just as you had always planned.
**News with the virus is changing every day. New recommendations are being made and it’s possible that new travel bans and large group bans will come into play. I won’t be updating this post to stay current with the changing news. It’s based on my advice that I give today
Many of the products in my blog posts are either sponsored products or affiliate links. While I do receive a commission off of any sales, the price will always be the same for you.