There’s nothing quite like planning a wedding during a pandemic.
Three years ago, when my partner and I started seriously discussing marriage, we never imagined getting married under these circumstances. When we envisioned our wedding and the planning process, it didn’t occur to us that we would need to consider mask mandates or capacity limits. We thought planning a typical wedding would be hard—let alone planning a wedding during a global pandemic!
The ever-changing guidelines and expectations of a COVID wedding over the past two years have left couples uncertain and often discouraged about their big day. It sometimes feels impossible to keep up-to-date with all the new information being thrown our way.
As someone who is planning their own wedding during COVID, I hear you. I am experiencing the same anxieties as you.
When it comes to weddings, these are five of the biggest concerns that couples have about their big day—and how you can avoid letting them overwhelm you!
Problem #1: My wedding venue is already booked up!
The most stressful step in planning any wedding is booking your venue and securing your desired date. Unfortunately, setting a date is an even greater challenge in 2022 and 2023.
The wedding industry took a hard hit during the first two years of the Coronavirus lockdowns. Weddings were downsized or postponed due to lockdowns, public health measures, and travel restrictions.
With lifting restrictions comes a flux of happy couples ready to tie the knot the way they originally planned. This is resulting in a bottleneck of people trying to book their weddings in 2022 and 2023.
This is the part where I tell you that you may need to expedite the process of planning your wedding.
My fiancé and I got engaged in 2020, several months into the pandemic. By early 2021, our venue was already running out of availability in October 2023!
To avoid stress and disappointment, start to book your wedding as far ahead as you can. You don’t need to have every detail mapped out. To date, we have only booked our venue, food, and photography. But once you get those big items out of the way, you’ll feel a lot more at ease.
Problem #2: Something happened and now I have to postpone/cancel my wedding!
Okay, don’t start to panic… But wedding postponements or cancellations aren’t unheard of during the pandemic.
I know that this is the last thing anyone wants to hear about their wedding day. Planning a wedding and then having it crumble around you is devastating. As we’ve seen over the past two years, however, it is possible.
In the unlikely event that you’ll need to make major adjustments to your wedding day, you definitely want to be as prepared as possible.
This means ensuring that your vendors have policies pertaining to cancellations and postponements that align with your needs.
Before you sign a vendor’s contract, make sure you carefully read and understand their terms and conditions. The last thing you want to do is get stuck with no way out when circumstances arise that force you to make these adjustments to your plans.
Problem #3: There are no vendors available for my date!
Once you get into the thick of wedding planning, you realize just how many vendors you need to secure for your big day.
There might be florists, DJs, caterers, photographers, videographers, makeup and hair stylists… The list goes on and on. It might seem overwhelming but researching, contacting, and booking your vendors is an important aspect of your planning process.
Wedding websites across the Internet can provide you with estimated timelines for booking your pros. However, a lot of this info is outdated and doesn’t apply to the current state of the world—or the wedding industry.
Currently, The Knot recommends securing your high-priority vendors about 12 to 15 months before your wedding date.
It might seem crazy, but I recommend reaching out to your preferred vendors as soon as possible. If they aren’t booking yet for your wedding date, ask them when to expect them to open up new dates. Mark it in your calendar and be sure to reach out to them at that time.
You’ll feel so much better when your vendors are secured well in advance of your big day so that you can turn your attention to smaller details.
Problem #4: There is a lockdown or new restrictions/mandates are announced that affect my big day.
Look, I’m going to be real with you. By now, we all know that we are living in extremely unpredictable times. Within a moment’s notice, things can change and restrictions can be implemented.
There’s really no way of knowing for sure that your wedding day won’t be impacted by COVID.
The best advice that I can give you when planning your 2022 or 2023 wedding is to go with the flow.
Inevitably, something won’t go the way that you imagined. Even in “normal” times, this was the case.
I know the disappointment of changing plans all too well. Initially, my fiancé and I planned to have a destination wedding at Walt Disney World. It was our dream for years. But several factors related to COVID made it challenging for us to plan a wedding abroad. Instead, we decided to get married locally here in southern Ontario, Canada.
In my personal experience, changing your plans can be really hard. Especially if you’ve been excited about them for a while. At the end of the day, your wedding is your special day, no matter how it happens. What matters is that you get to celebrate your love with the person you care about the most!
Problem #5: I can't decide if I should have a COVID wedding or wait it out.
Determining whether or not to have a wedding during the Coronavirus pandemic can be a difficult decision. There are many factors to weigh out, with so many pros and cons to consider.
Ultimately, what you do has to be the best for you and your partner.
You should also bear in mind that in 2020, we never imagined that we would still even be saying the word “COVID” in 2022. But here we are.
An important factor to contemplate is whether you want a big wedding or not. Many couples are choosing to have far more intimate weddings these days, whether by choice or by circumstance.
If you have your heart set on the “big white wedding” with hundreds of guests, maybe it’s worth considering holding off on your plans. However, if you aren’t opposed to scaling down your guest list, an intimate event list might be perfect for you!
Before you make your decision, make sure to do as much research as possible and consider all the details!
Weddings are so different these days. There is so much information out there that might be super disheartening. But you can definitely create a beautiful day that fits you and your partner, even in COVID times! Make sure to follow these tips when planning your wedding and keep an open mind, and you’ll be sure to have a great day!