I am a wedding and portrait photographer who keeps things light, fun, and full of energy. I’m based out of Springfield, Illinois however I love traveling all over the midwest and beyond.
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We are definitely living in a very different season of life than I think everyone every thought! In my mind, 2020 (simply because of the numerical fun of the year) I pictured it being total perfection! But, because the universe sometimes has a tendency of putting us in our place…Here we are. In the midst of the global pandemic, Covid-19, trying to navigate our new normal. However, this is all heightened if you are also planning your wedding in the middle of this uncertainty. How do you even continue planning your 2020 wedding in these crazy times or even begin if you are newly engaged and maybe planning a 2021 wedding? Today I’m sharing some of my best tips for how to plan your wedding while dealing with Covid-19. Am I an expert? I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself one, however many of my brides and I have already begun learning to discover some of the best ways to move forward during this new season so I have a little experience.
Each state and each county within your state have different guidelines and restrictions as far as social distancing and stay at home orders. Keeping up with what the CDC is saying as well as your local community is key to moving forward with your wedding. Are their limits to the number of people you can have gathering in one place? Is your wedding venue even allowed to have any type of gathering regardless of the numbers? Could you even have a sit-down meal with your guests if you wanted? Understanding these guidelines (which I know can sometimes be tough) will give you a better idea of what your upcoming wedding might look like going forward.
As we have quickly learned about Covid-19, things are changing every day and new information emerges daily. Even hourly. So being flexible when it comes to your wedding plans is essential. I know as a person who loves a good plan, this can be difficult when you want your wedding vision to be completely as you imagined in your mind. I totally get it! However, if you learn to let some of the small things go and be flexible with plans, believe me, it will allow you to truly enjoy the process so much more.
Trust your vendors during this time! We are just as saddened by how much Covid-19 is affecting our clients as you are about your big day! I’m personally invested in my couples after spending time getting to know them at their engagement photos and on this journey we have been on together. So the last thing any wedding vendor wants to do is go our separate ways because of poor communication. First, reach out to your vendors (preferably the ones who only book one wedding per date for example like your venue, photographer, videographer, and band) and see what options they have if you feel like your wedding date may be at high risk of being postponed due to restrictions and health concerns. They can give you other dates they have available if you are leaning towards postponing your wedding, which will help you narrow down a new date that can work for those big vendors. Second, reach out to vendors like your florist, DJ, caterer, and bakery to find out if this new date can work for them as well before making any official changes. Most likely these vendors are a little more flexible in their dates because they serve multiple couples on one day. Talking to your vendors BEFORE changing your date will absolutely help in any transition to a new date if it is necessary. Allow your vendors to help you find the best outcome possible. You hired your vendors for a reason. Trust them and give them an opportunity to continue working towards giving you an incredible wedding.
Your actual wedding date means something to you! That’s why you and your fiancé picked it, right?! Maybe it’s your dating anniversary. Or it could have a deeper meaning like your grandparent’s wedding anniversary! No one is saying you have to give up that date in your own love story. So even if you are forced to postpone your big wedding plans why not still officially get married on your original date? I have LOVED this option! Although your guest lists may decrease on your originally intended date, with many states allowing gatherings of 10 people, you can still have an intimate ceremony where it’s about your commitment to one another surrounded by immediate family. And you can still have someone like me, a wedding photographer, be there to capture these fantastic moments you will want to remember forever. Then, plan to share your love for each other at a bigger reception on a later date when this Coronavirus world has calmed down a bit. I don’t know about you but that sounds like making lemonade out of the lemons you are handed!
Speaking of your guests, keeping them updated with any changes to your plans is easier than ever. With wedding websites (which you may have set up at the beginning of your planning) or on social media, you can let your most important people know if you have chosen to postpone the celebration to a later date and what new plans you are working on. I have even seen couples using their engagement photos and mailing out “Change The Dates” to all invited guests.
If you are just in the early stage of your wedding planning this is a wonderful time to reconsider having a more intimate day to celebrate your commitment. In this new season with Covid-19, I have a feeling it may be some time before we see weddings with 300-400 guests in a room. Sad, I know and I’m really hoping I’m wrong! Yet, having a more intimate wedding gives you more opportunities to go big in other areas of your day. Maybe you can have the big bouquets of flowers you have always dreamed of all over your reception as opposed to every other table! Or you can spoil your guests with the most delicious over the top meal because you have a smaller list. I believe many couples moving forward will come to realize what a blessing a small, intimate wedding can bring into their lives.
Yes, wedding planning during this pandemic is not fair for any bride and groom. This is not how this once in a lifetime event was supposed to go. However, this is a time to re-center yourselves as a couple and know it will all work out in the end. Your wedding day may not have the exact aspects you originally thought it would include. But that’s totally okay! In the end, if you walk out hand in hand with the love of your life and sharing the same last name…It will all be worth it! Then you will have a story to tell your future children all about how their parents persevered through the Covid-19 pandemic to get married under crazy conditions! Remember, the wedding is ONE DAY in the rest of your life. The marriage part is the part that matters most. What an inspiring legacy you will have!
If you are a newly engaged couple looking to continue your wedding planning for 2021, I would love to chat with you about the wedding photography services I have to offer! Contact me today!