How to Plan the Perfect Wedding This Pandemic
Planning a wedding is a challenge. There are plenty of moving parts and all of them can cost a pretty penny. Every bride or groom wants their big day to be perfect for it only happens once in their marriage life. Unfortunately, perfection requires a lot of mindful planning and decisiveness. Without a doubt, adding the current global crisis into the already stressful mix is bound to make the process even more complicated. The pandemic has put everything in limbo. It can be difficult to be decisive if you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Nevertheless, the stress of planning this (hopefully) once in a lifetime affair is well worth the payoff. Ask any bride or groom, the toils of months of planning are nothing compared to the joy of finally meeting down the aisle, professing your love in front of the people most important to you, and dedicating the rest of your lives to each other.
If it’s true love, not even a global pandemic can slow two people down. We’d like to dedicate this simple guide to committed brides and grooms so we can help you traverse through a complicated process in this even more complicated times:
The Ultimate Question: To Postpone or Push Through?
Depending on the scale of the event you want for your big day, wedding planning can take anywhere from ten months to two years. It is all a matter of how much time you can dedicate to planning, the professional help that you are willing to take on, your guest list, and the number of different vendors you intend to work with.
There is no denying how difficult the planning process would be especially in the midst of the pandemic. Ultimately, the decision to push through or postpone lies on the couple. Weddings are deeply personal and there are good reasons to push through with the affair despite the global crisis.
Professional planners do advise recently engaged couples to err on the side of safety throughout 2020 and 2021. While Ontario is doing relatively well when it comes to containing the virus, there is still much that is unknown about COVID-19. The last thing you want your guests to take home after going to your wedding is a communicable disease.
Moreover, and it cannot be stressed enough, planning a wedding, any event for that matter, is more challenging at this time than ever before. It is better for everyone’s mental health to take this time to fine-tune your plans rather than endeavoring with the whole process while making sure that you are safe from the virus.
Should you have started planning before the pandemic hit, vendors are likely to either refund your deposit or reschedule the date given the current circumstances. It is important, however, for you to come up with a decision in haste so as to give your vendors and planners the time to pivot and adjust.
Pushing Through: Guide to Local or International Venues
Should you decide to push through with your wedding, it is very important for you to keep an open mind and remain flexible. While it is possible, making sure that your vision turns to reality would be more challenging during this time. After all, at present, vendors are limited and venues might not be opening their doors at all.
It is also imperative that you remain updated on the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions on mass gatherings in your area. The limitations are different from city to city. Moreover, the rules change as the situation progresses. It is ideal to stay on top of the news.
At present, almost 48,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Ontario. The virus has taken more than 2,000 lives within the province. Restrictions have eased in the area over the last few months. However, a recent spike in the cases has subsequently pushed authorities in the province to impose stricter regulations on mass gatherings. More on the current guidelines below.
The uncertainty of traveling and the ever-changing limitations have made destination weddings almost impossible to plan during this pandemic. Choosing to stay local for your wedding is arguably the best choice that you can make for your sanity. Pivoting your plans to a more domestic destination would allow you the ease of working with local vendors and more budget to play around with.
Nevertheless, planning a local wedding can still be stressful. Below are the first few steps that you should do in order to make sure that the event would go on without a hitch:
- Setting the Budget
As with any big purchase or investment, one of the first few things that you and your partner should decide on is the budget you can expend on your wedding. While there is no denying how much of a milestone a wedding is in anyone’s life, it isn’t a good enough reason to start a marriage with debt amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
Truth be told, you can plan a magical wedding at any price point. What is important is setting a financial boundary that is within a comfortable range.
Pandemic or not, the budget plays a big role in the subsequent decisions that you and your partner would make. It is best to take a good hard look at your financial situation and be honest with yourself about how much is within your means.
Considering the COVID-19 issue, there are limitations to mass gatherings in Ontario. This means that planning an intimate wedding with a limited guest list would give you more wiggle room to add vendors to the event that you couldn’t have afforded if you had 100 people in your guest list. Sure, it is a small silver lining to the current situation, but it is a silver lining nonetheless.
- Narrowing Down the Guest List
For most families, weddings are an opportunity to be a witness to a loved one’s special day as well as a chance to spend time with people that they haven’t seen in a long time. Truth be told, it is an honor to be invited to someone’s wedding. The invitation means that you matter to the bride and groom’s life and they want you to share their special day.
Needless to say, while it might seem like the easiest task, trimming your guest list isn’t simple nor is it a good time. However, it is an unavoidable part of planning a wedding during a pandemic. The best way to avoid hurt feelings is, to be completely honest and sincere with your friends and family. Let them know about your plans early on so they can adjust to the guest list you have decided on.
If you really want to celebrate with everyone that you love, it is a good idea to have your closest friends and family during the wedding ceremony and reception and then plan a separate intimate gathering for everyone else. Make sure to check with Ontario’s guidelines before planning the event.
- Scouting Venues and Vendors
The pandemic has definitely made scouting venues and vendors a lot more complicated. Thankfully, most wedding-centered businesses have pivoted with the times and are now providing virtual tours and meetings. Before contacting anyone, best to list down the specific things you are looking for in a wedding venue. Likewise, figure out the amenities that you want for your big day.
Because most of the conversations would be done online, it is best to be specific and decisive. Be very clear with your target date, the aesthetic you are going for, the number of people that would be attending, and the safety precautions you want to see during the wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – in fact, it is a good idea to prepare them beforehand.
Like discussed earlier, choosing to pare down your guest list and sticking to a local venue would allow you more budget to accommodate different vendors to spice up your wedding day. This extra money can be allotted to a better menu, a wider selection of flowers, or the opportunity to rent a photobooth.
- Secure the Date
Urgency is key when it comes to planning a wedding during the current pandemic. With everything in limbo, venues and vendors are often scrambling to rebook previously scheduled events and accommodate the weddings that are still pushing through. Having a clear date in mind and coordinating with all the moving parts accordingly would make for a less stressful conversation with the companies that are trying to make your big day a reality.
The sad truth is – pushing through with a wedding at this time is hard enough, planning a destination wedding is even harder. Expect that tensions would run high and there would be plenty of sleepless nights. Nevertheless, it isn’t entirely impossible.
Destination weddings are quite an experience. If you want a truly unforgettable wedding for you and your guests, taking them to a beautiful place to celebrate your beautiful love is definitely the way to go.
- Pushing Through? Hire Professionals
The COVID-19 situation is different for every country. As discussed earlier, guidelines change so often that it can be difficult to keep track of. At present, air travel is limited and it would be very difficult to secure a permit to host an event on an international venue.
If you are determined to plan your destination wedding on your own, we suggest to postpone it to a later date. The easiest (and only, in most situations) way to accomplish such a herculean feat is with the help of a professional planner as well as a destination wedding travel agent.
- Choosing Professionals to Help with Your Wedding
Even during a pandemic, you can plan a local wedding at a domestic venue. Sure, it would be difficult but it isn’t impossible. It is, however, a different tune when it comes to destination weddings. If you decide to push through with your plans, you can only make it happen with the help of professionals.
Not all planners and agents are created equal. During this time, it is best to choose professionals that have years of experience and success under their belts. You need someone to work with you locally as well as someone on the ground. This would take a load of stress off of your shoulders.
If you’re having a destination wedding then having a romance travel specialist helps with all the travel arrangements for the group, guides you through the process, and connects you with your onsite wedding coordinator.
Current COVID-19 Wedding Guidelines in Ontario
Ontario has gradually eased its restrictions on mass gatherings over the last few months. However, at the time of writing, there has been a big increase in cases across the province. This has prompted local officials to impose stricter rules on congregating within the area.
Currently, there is a limit of ten people for indoor gatherings and a limit of twenty-five people for outdoor gatherings has been enacted in Ontario and an 11 pm curfew has been put when it comes to serving alcohol at local bars and restaurants. The situation can improve or deteriorate over the next few weeks which is why it is all the more important to remain updated on the changes in guidelines. For timely updates, it’s best to refer to toronto.ca.
Wedding Planning Made Easy
At its core, a wedding is a celebration of love. It isn’t a showcase of lavishness and extravagance. Weddings are beautiful because of the energy that the event exudes. It is possible to plan a wedding during a crisis. With mindfulness and preparation, you would be able to have the wedding of your dreams. After all, COVID-19 is no match for two people in love.