This post is probably a year overdue, but in honesty, we thought we would be back to shooting weddings by now. It seems crazy to be writing this a year after Covid began, but the reality is that the first 6 months of 2021 weddings and some even later in the year have already rescheduled. We currently have dates on the books for 2023. Many couples are reaching out to ask us, “How do I reschedule my wedding because of Covid?” Keep reading for some points to ponder.
If you did, this is definitely the first thing to look into. It is important to find out early what is covered and what isn’t before making any decisions. Will they cover a full cancellation, or any rescheduling costs? Are there restrictions, like only having coverage is beyond your control? Make sure you follow proper procedures as outlined in your policy. Any wrong moves and you may end up negating the insurance all together.
The sooner the better for everyone. We know you are upset, but for your vendors, this is how they earn a living and right now, they can’t work. The sooner they know your plans, the sooner they can make plans of their own. And the sooner you come up with plan B, the more choice you have to reserve new dates and secure your vendors before they all start filling up. You can check in the order you booked them, or the order you value them. Maybe your photographer is available a certain date, but your florist isn’t. Who do you need to have and who can be replaced? It might be time to hire a wedding planner if you don’t already have one to help navigate the new rules and coordinate with vendors.
Is it even possible to change or reschedule your wedding? Keep in mind having to reschedule due to government regulations is not the same as postponing because you can’t have 150 guests. Vendors know certain things are beyond your control. And while most vendors are willing to reschedule for you, most will not return your retainer for a cancellation, even if it a pandemic. That is a pretty standard part of any vendor contract.
Every vendor is going to be different but it’s important to remember that your vendors really want to support you, but they also need to protect their businesses. Many vendors have lost a year’s salary with little government help and they are doing what they can to survive. They won’t be much help to you if they aren’t even in business anymore once your wedding can finally take place. Avalon Wedding Photography has decided to not charge any rescheduling fees.
Again, a solid contract is your best advocate here. If you have a contract, our advise is to pay your invoices in full to avoid additional fees later, after all, you were planning on paying them by your original date anyway. But some vendors may be forced to raise prices based on current global economics. (Look at how the price of lumber has gone crazy due to supply and demand). We could possibly see similar instances with consumables like flowers, dresses and food and beverage. When you can, get it in writing.
It is definitely difficult to uninvite people if you downsize your wedding, but explain the situation. It really is beyond your control, and people have come to expect the constant fluctuations. But don’t wait. Some of your guests may have already begun to make the necessary plans to attend; clothing purchase, hotel reservations – the sooner they know, the easier it will be on them. One trend that we have seen over the last year is the Intimate Wedding to meet government regulations. Small wedding now and a big reception later. You can invite them all then.
Intimate weddings may also offer certain discounts. For sure you will save money. Less guests, more money to spend to wow the guests you can have, or upgrade services from your vendors, like getting the steak instead of the chicken, and upgrading your wedding album. Look into live-streaming options for guests who couldn’t attend because of size or travel restrictions. A small wedding doesn’t have to feel small.
When the restrictions are finally over, there will be a flood of weddings. You may have to consider getting married on a weekday, or in a different season than you had planned. Remember, weekdays are the new weekends! It’s a bummer to have to switch to a weekday, but it’s going to be a common trend for most couples to have their celebration during the week, so embrace it.
And finally, and probably most importantly, keep everything in perspective. This is happening to everyone, and vendors are working hard to help make your day work out for you. The wedding industry is amazingly resilient, and new ideas and adaptations are coming up everyday. Even covid can’t cancel love. At the end of the day, if you get married, however it may happen, that’s all that counts.
If you are an Avalon Wedding Photography couple and need to reschedule your wedding, or you are planning a wedding and want to know our policies regarding rescheduling around covid, click below to set up a virtual meeting. We would love to talk.
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Hope to hear from you soon!
Guylaine and Gord
Avalon Wedding Photography
May 10, 2021