Firstly, how lucky are we that this all happened at the end of the wedding season here in the Southern Hemisphere? We managed to get through all of our weddings during the 2019/2020 season *breathes a sigh of relief*. But where does that leave those couples looking to get married at the end of 2020 and beyond?
Is your wedding planned in NZ in 2020?
Good news, in the latest information released by the government, it looks like small weddings will be able to proceed very soon. Remember to consider travel restrictions if you have guests wanting to attend from overseas as it is likely that international travel restrictions will remain in place for some time. Also consider whether your domestic guests will feel comfortable travelling within NZ, or being a part of a large group gathering. Do you have guests who fall into high risk groups if they contract covid? Addressing these considerations might help you when deciding with confidence if you need to postpone your wedding date.
What to do if you need to postpone your wedding?
You have made the decision to push out your wedding date to a time when you can celebrate safely, with as many of your guests as possible. Ideally, by the time you reach this decision you will already have created an open dialogue with essential vendors to make sure they can accommodate your alternative plans. If not, get in touch with them now - the good news is everyone is trying to navigate this together and most vendors will be super accommodating. In a perfect world, all of your vendors will be available on your new wedding date. If this doesn't happen, make sure that you know which ones are your priorities.
When considering when your new wedding date will be, remember to also keep in mind your guests and how much notice they may need to arrange or amend travel plans. This includes the financial implications of changing travel arrangements too. Keep communication with your guests open, let them know of date changes as soon as possible, even if you have not yet picked your new wedding date.
When deciding to postpone your wedding, the sooner you make the call - the better. Many 2020 wedding dates will be getting pushed back, which means dates for 2021 and even 2022 will fill up faster than ever. So make the call with confidence. Your big day will happen and it will still be amazing!
You had planned an international wedding in 2020?
Firstly, remember you are not alone and take a deep breath. Due to travel restrictions, if your wedding is booked overseas in 2020 the likelihood of it being able to go ahead exactly as planned is not looking good. If you are considering postponing your international wedding, open that dialogue with your suppliers as soon as possible, check your cancellation policies and consider the changes required to your guest accommodation. When you think about your new wedding date, consider what else might be happening in the area at the time and whether the rates will be the same.
Thinking about scaling back and bringing your international wedding home to NZ? The covid-19 pandemic has certainly thrown the wedding industry into turmoil worldwide. Perhaps now is the time to take a step back and have a look at what is really important on your wedding day. A wedding is a celebration of a couple and their unique love story. Weddings were trending downwards in size even before the covid-19 pandemic, now with the cap on numbers at 100 this downsizing in weddings looks set to continue. But let's look on the bright side, not only are small weddings better for the budget, but you get to spend more time with your friends and loved ones on your big day. In New Zealand we are blessed with some of the best venues and scenery in the world, so there is an abundant choice of venues if you decide to bring your wedding home.
We know that lockdown has affected small businesses more than any other group. You could take this opportunity to make your wedding socially conscious and truly wonderful! Look to help businesses and suppliers in your community by buying local. Choose locally sourced beer, wine and food and local musicians and seasonal flowers from local providers. Choose vendors who are social enterprises and who give back to the community. A socially conscious wedding day is a great start to the rest of your life. Knowing that each choice you made helped to strengthen your community and to support local businesses struggling post covid-19.
Planning a wedding for 2021 onwards?
Try not to let the uncertainty take away from the excitement of planning your wedding, because it IS exciting! So book in your vendors and make your plans but bear in mind that 2021 will be a year of flexibility. Flexibility around dates, guest numbers and travel restrictions, So remember to give yourself as many options as possible.
Vendors are still running their businesses remotely during this time, so why not reach out and offer them some assurances that the future is bright and that people will still get married. When booking vendors, now more than ever is the time to really read contracts. Make sure you are crystal clear on what would happen if your wedding needs to be cancelled or postponed.
Remember to be kind in your dealings, we are all learning throughout this process. So relax and enjoy it. We are all in this together!