At this moment in time, health and wellbeing are taking precedence, but what can you do if it looks as if social distancing and closed borders will keep you from what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life – your wedding?
The, ‘It’s only one day’ stance is actually hardly ever true in reality, as anyone that has made it down the aisle will confirm – there’s the rehearsal, the hen night, the stag do, the bridal shower, the honeymoon and copious potential for outfit changes on The Big Day. This is an emotional time. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and the emotional rollercoaster probably just flew off the rails. Many will have made the understandable (and by the time you read this, no doubt mandatory) decision to start the process of cancelling or rearranging some of all of these events.
When you feel ready to think ahead, we have put together five tips to help you to have something to look forward to again, should you be thinking of, or in the process of cancelling or delaying your wedding festivities:
1. Think positively
We can all agree that the most important part of a wedding is the unity between you and your loved ones. Don't lose sight of this and try to remember that you can still enjoy the most important parts of the day when it comes, and it will come! If you feel like it, maybe you can still celebrate your day by opting to live stream it, so that the entire family can be present for your big moment; even if the new venue is your front room! Or just know that you have found someone you love and who loves you back and you want to spend forever together – that is a positive that remains constant regardless!
2. My wedding is abroad, where do I start?
You can check the Government’s web portal for travel advice and even sign-up for emails about your chosen destination, so you’re notified about changes to border and travel rules as they happen in the future. What with travel restrictions on the rise and more prohibited destinations being added to the list daily, some travel companies are offering free reschedules or refunds to customers that have been hit in the pocket. You may know more about this already, as airlines should be sending you correspondence detailing any changes in their schedules. If information hasn’t been forthcoming, check the social media and websites of your travel providers and make contact by telephone during off-peak times. Set an alarm for their opening times if you have to phone them, as waiting times will be long.
3. Know your rights!
It is important to regularly check the official government guidelines relating to your query. You can sign-up for email alerts for the Government’s response to COVID as it happens. Be sure to check the clauses and read the small print in your existing wedding/general insurance plan for specific types of cancellation deadlines, as if your decision to totally cancel your wedding is through choice and not through an official directive, most insurance companies won't cover you.
4. Consider extra charges that you may incur
Check in with your vendor or planner about extra charges that your wedding rearrangement may incur and consider that a wedding on your new preferred dates may be more expensive than your previous dates. Also consider any admin charges that might apply and depending how far in advance you reschedule or cancel, the cost of perishable items such as flowers and food. If you have decided to cancel your wedding, it's important to keep a log of how much you’ve spent when making a claim through your insurance company. Here is a checklist to start you off – add or delete as is appropriate for you.
After all, not everyone is as inventive as the couple who planned to hire a shark tank for their ceremony, if social media folklore is to be believed; or indeed if you’re not seeking as much adrenalin as the Russian bride and groom to-be who hired 100 bicycles, so they could get married ‘mid-cycle’ :-O
- Engagement ring
- Wedding bands
- Wedding planning service
- Where applicable; flights, hotels and plans abroad
- Ceremony venue
- Reception venue
- Honeymoon bookings
- Official/celebrant who is qualified to conduct the wedding
- Any legal requirements such as copies of birth certificates or visa fees
- Dress and tuxedo fittings
- Shoes for him and her
- Accessories such as tiaras, veils, pocket squares, cravats, handbags, jewellery
- Bridal shower and hen and stag parties – traditionally, the friends of those who are tying the knot will arrange and pay for these events
- Bridesmaid and page boy outfits
- Thank you gifts and letters for your bridal party
- Hairdressers and barbers for you and your wedding party
- Make-up artists for you and your wedding party
- Nail technicians
- Pedicures, hair removal and bonus spa treatments like body scrubs
- Transport to and from the wedding venue
- Cake and meal/buffet/drinks
- Venue decorations
- Guest book
- Photographer and videographer.
5. Try to be time-sensitive
Remember, there may be a number of people going through this unfortunate situation – even Princess Beatrice has announced that her nuptials have been cancelled, so a quick social media search could connect you with fellow brides and grooms to-be that have tips to share. Minimise time-wasting by deciding on a block of potential new available dates to propose to your planner/ venue. This will make the situation more time and money-efficient and will take pressure off guests too.
Remember to try and think long-term – your big day may even end-up being worth the longer wait.
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