The Coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching effects on all of us. It is already changing the way we travel, eat, socialise – and of course, wed. As a result, most of our resources as wedding planners here at Tara Fay Events are currently going into supporting our existing clients who have had to postpone or make major changes to their wedding plans. For these brides and grooms, the impact of COVID-19 is very personal, but they understandably also feel guilty grieving their wedding when people around them are dying or losing their jobs. It’s been important for us to create a safe space for them to talk and a (virtual) shoulder to cry on. For those of you who are also in this boat, my heart goes out to you. We are all in this together and we will celebrate again!
As well as working with existing clients, we’re also being proactive with any new leads. It’s important to be as forthright and open as possible about timelines and which elements of weddings may be altered in the new year. Knowledge is power! We’re also working closely with the tourist board and hotels. Our mission is to formulate some guidelines for the industry in general. Watch this space!
In the meantime, here is some of my best advice for how to handle wedding planning during Coronavirus.
Think about numbers
Determining your number of guests will be one of the most important aspects going forward. For example, how many guests will have to travel? If so, from or to where? Which social distancing measures may have to be put in place and are you going to be happy with these? It’s also useful to check the guidelines for the area where you wish to have your wedding. Are there maximum numbers imposed on gatherings for the next year?
One upside to this situation is that Coronavirus has brought with it a sense of perspective. Couples are putting more thought into the meaning of their weddings and also the people they want to have around them to celebrate with them. In the future, they will focus on having the people who really matter with them and not as many of the ‘necessary’ invites.
Explore all your options
Your 2020/2021 wedding may not look like you had originally envisioned. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be wonderful! There are lots of options to consider. My best advice is to ask yourselves: what is more important at the moment, being married, or having a big wedding? For example, you can have an intimate wedding in a few months. Or you could wait a year and have the wedding of your dreams. Or both! When working with new brides and grooms at the moment, I tell them to think about the style of wedding they want. Then we have some fun virtually planning that ideal and finding dates and venues that suit it.
For example, we have had one wedding move to September 2021. However, the couple is still having a registry office wedding in July this year. It will be just the two of them and two witnesses. They will then have a lunch for both sets of parents and the witnesses. We are seating them at one large, square table outside. Each couple will be 2 metres apart. However, the table will still be very beautiful, and overflowing with flowers and candles. It will still be a truly special day for them!
Lean on your wedding vendors
Over the past weeks, there has been such a great community spirit in Ireland. It’s lovely that people are smiling at each other on the street again and saying hello. Showing respect for others and thanking their postman and grocery store workers. And of course, acknowledging the great personal sacrifice that everyone within the healthcare system is experiencing.
In the same way, it’s been incredible to see the wedding industry pull together through Coronavirus. Wedding vendors are rallying to help couples reassess and rebook and moving heaven and earth to help them and each other. Now more than ever is the time to hire a wedding planner. Even if it’s just to put contingency plans in place, working with a planner for hourly consultations. It’s also important to be very clear with all your wedding professionals about clear contracts. Good communication is key.
Mark your original wedding date
Have you postponed your wedding due to Coronavirus? A great way to do something positive is to plan something special for your original wedding date. For example, you could mark the day with part of the meal you had picked for the wedding day.
If you have friends or family who have postponed, small gestures that show you understand also mean a lot. For example, we’re sending handwritten letters and flowers to each of our couples to arrive on the original wedding date. It makes what might be a difficult day a little brighter!
Most importantly, remember that the time for celebration WILL come again. In the meantime, take comfort in the little things. Full moons, sunshine, birdsong, the smell of freshly cut grass. And of course, the love that you have for one another. We will get through this together!
Slán go Fóill,
Image by Lisa O’Dwyer Photography.