Planning in the Midst of a Pandemic

Planning in the Midst of a Pandemic

What Does COVID19 mean for the wedding planning process?
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has dramatically changed how we do things, and wedding planning is no different. So what does COVID-19 mean for you when it comes to planning your big day? It all depends where you are in the process.

Planning Stage: Newly Engaged – Let’s Get Started!

Congratulations on your engagement! We’re so excited for you!

Most of the initial planning stage can be done sans masks – meaning from your living room!

In this stage, you should focus on gathering inspiration, discussing & creating your budget and researching local vendors. This is the perfect time to nail down your vision for the style of your big day, discuss the budget with your fiancé and anyone else contributing financially to your event and researching local vendors to create a short list of the ones you potentially want to hire for your big day.

The one major component of this planning stage is booking your venue and reserving your date. So once you’ve done your inspiration and venue research, begin scheduling venue tours with the ones of interest to you. Not comfortable venturing out of your home (and, let’s be honest, your comfy pajamas)? No worries – most venues are very flexible and offer virtual tours of their property.

To dos for this planning stage:

  • Gather inspiration
  • Discuss & create your budget
  • Research local vendors & create a short list of your favorites – be sure to check reviews!
  • Book your venue
Photo: Charity Lynn Photography
Planning Stage: We’ve set our date & have our venue booked. Now what?

Awesome! Congrats on selecting your date and finding your wedding location. Let the countdown begin – in a good way!

Remember that short list of local vendors we recommended you make in the first planning stage? Of course you do! The next step will be to take a look at that list and reach out to the vendors of interest asking them about their availability for your date and for their pricing. As the information comes in, reference your budget to see which vendors are within financial reach to help you narrow down your options. If you’d like to bring on a wedding planner, make sure to reach out to planners first, as their job is to guide you through the planning process, including the vendor research portion of planning. Wedding planners also are able to confidently recommend professionals based on your personality and style preference.

Once you collect information from vendors and find some you’d like to potentially have on your team for your big day, ask them to schedule a call or video chat to discuss your big day. This will help you get a feel for their style and personality that will give you an idea of how you vibe together. Not every vendor will be a perfect fit for you, and that’s perfectly okay! All vendors approach their craft with their own twist and style, so there’s sure to be one that’s a perfect match for you, it just may take a few calls to find yours.

Additionally, now is a great time to create your wedding website and begin your wedding registry, both of which can be done completely online!

To dos for this planning stage:

  • Contact potential vendors & gather information
  • Book your vendor team
  • Start your wedding registry
  • Create your wedding website
Photo: Angie Myers
Planning Stage: Vendors booked. What do I do now?

Great work! You’ve got your team of professionals and you’ve worked with them to put together your vision for the event.

Most of these tasks are typically ones that are done in person, but professionals in the wedding industry know a thing or two about pivoting when needed! Most professionals are able to offer a virtual or pick-up option for their craft – just reach out and work with them to get creative with you.

In this stage, you should be discussing with your vendors your selections for your big day and making final decisions. This may include catering & cake tastings, attire shopping, dress fittings, hair & makeup trials, choosing stationary, and finalizing rentals & floral selections. While many of these things are typically done in person, many of these tasks can be done a la COVID.

Check in with your florist to see if they can create a floral mockup centerpiece and video call you so you can take a look. Request catering and cake tastings be to go style so you can pick them up and try them in the comfort of your home. Schedule a video meeting with your rental company to see how your tablescape looks all put together.

Some tasks are not able to be completed completely via technology. For example, hair and makeup trials and attire fittings will most likely require a third party. When you are ready for these tasks, just be sure to reach out to your vendors and see what COVID precautions they are taking to protect everyone involved to ensure you are comfortable with the process.

To dos for this planning stage:

  • Catering & cake tastings and selections
  • Finalize floral, rental & décor selections
  • Shop for & purchase wedding attire
  • Select & order stationary
  • Hair & Makeup trials
  • Schedule attire fittings as needed
Photo: Suzanne Delawar Photography
Planning Stage: The day is near. We’re a few months away – now what?

You’re so close now! Get ready to celebrate and enjoy all your hard planning work over the past months. It’s going to be amazing! But first, let’s wrap up some final to-dos before we get this party started.

Assuming you’ve booked and confirmed all of your vendors and finalized all wedding day decisions and selections, now is the time to get the official word out and tie up any loose ends.  

Get your invitations ready to send out and go ahead and get them on their way! Once responses begin making their way back to you, begin working on your seating chart. This isn’t always the most fun part of the planning process, but if you take it a little bit at a time, it won’t be so bad! Pro tip: a glass of wine can help make this task go from frustrating and boring to a fun at-home date night.

Purchase wedding related items as needed. This includes things like ordering a guest book, party favors and remaining stationary like menus and place cards. This is also a great time to check in with your bridal party members to make sure they have their wedding attire and are all on the same page with the wedding itinerary. Now is also a good time to go over your ceremony with your officiant and to begin writing your vows (if you’re writing your own).

Arguably the most important part of this planning stage is providing your vendors with important event information. Check in with your vendor team and ask them to let you know what information they need from you. Once they send it over, go ahead and begin filling out the required information and send it over to them. Your professionals should have a form or list of information for you to fill out. For example, your DJ or band should request music styles you’d like (and would not like) to hear on your big day, your photography team should request a list of portraits you would like taken throughout the day, and your caterer/venue should know if you would like the top layer of your cake saved. We know it’s a lot of information, so we recommend taking it piece by piece as you have time. Read: don’t wait until close to your big day to do all of this at once. We don’t want you stressed!  

To dos for this planning stage:

  • Send out invitations
  • Check in with your vendor team & provide necessary information
  • Create a portrait shot list (Click HERE for how to create a shot list)
  • Create your seating chart
  • Begin writing your vows & working on your ceremony with your officiant
  • Make sure your bridal party is good to go on attire & event schedules
  • Purchase any necessary wedding-related items (guest book, favors, etc)
Photo: Poirier Photography

We get it, planning a wedding is a whole lot of work. Add a pandemic into the mix and – don’t even get us started! Remember, the coronavirus pandemic is new territory for everyone, including your vendor team. Work with your professionals to come up with creative and safe solutions throughout the planning process and for your big day. We know planning during a pandemic isn’t ideal, but with the right amount of creativity, grace and teamwork, we’re confident your big day will be absolutely stunning and, most importantly, full of SO MUCH LOVE.

If you’re finding the planning process to be overwhelming or stressful, or just need an extra bit of help to get you to your big day, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner. Have some questions about how a planner can help you right where you are in the planning process? Click HERE to contact us and we’ll schedule a time to chat with you about how we can help. We’re here for you!

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