You have been planning your big day for months now and maybe even years. Maybe even since you were little you dreamed of finding the perfect wife or husband. You dreamed of what your ring might look like. You may have made a Pinterest board long before you ever found your fiancé. Every detail of your big day has been planned and you’re all set to say, “I do” to the love of your life…
But then the Coronavirs Pandemic starts happening and the recommendations from the CDC keep coming in. (find out more about those here) And it may look like your big day that you have been planning for so long, that you are so excited about and have invested so much money into may have to be cancelled or postponed.
What are you supposed to do now? Where do you even start?
Start by taking a deep breath. Try to refocus on what getting married at the end of the day is truly about -marrying your person, your best freaking friend! That is what is important y’all and try through this incredibly tough time to remember that!
If it comes down to it and you cannot have the wedding you dreamed of what exactly can you do?
Reach out to your wedding vendors as soon as you can. Even if you end up still being able to have your big day as planned it is best to know what your options are. Ask them about if you can postpone your big day and if so will the retainer and money you have paid so far be transferable? Also, ask them about their availability if you do decide to postpone – are they booked out pretty much completely for the rest of the year? Do they have availability in the fall? What does their availability for 2021 look like? It is best to be informed about your options and may help ease your mind to know those just in case you have to postpone.
Okay, now that you’ve reached out to the venue, caterers, photographer, videographer, florist, DJ, wedding coordinator, bartender, etc. Now it is time to decide on what is going to be best for you and your fiancé when it comes to the Coronavirus and your big day. You do have several options other than cancelling your wedding day.
Just think, “whenever there is a problem, there is always a solution.”
Options that you have for your wedding day are:
1. Eloping and just saying forget the big wedding all together. It may be too stressful and overwhelming to think about rescheduling and replanning your big day. Just take your fiancé, have your florist make your bouquet hire an officiant and bring along your photographer and head to a mountain top or anywhere beautiful and say, “I do.” If there are still travel restrictions or your honeymoon was out of the country and now you cannot go, just stay somewhere close or local and make a little staycation out of your honeymoon. Just enjoy each other’s company and you can self quarantine together as newlyweds.
You can marry within the Smoky Mountains, head up to Max Patch, drive over to Roan Mountain, book a sweet Airbnb with a view, get married in your backyard, say “I do” near the river in Greenbrier, the list goes on and on. If you are thinking of eloping with your fiancé contact me and I can help you make it happen!
Side note – currently (as of 3/18/2020), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is still allowing elopements and weddings in the national park, but is doing open air locations only. You do need a special use permit in order to marry within the national park. If you’re thinking of eloping in the Smokies you can click here to find out more about that. I am licensed and permitted to photograph within the GSMP and would love to photograph your elopement or smaller ceremony for you. Find out more about my elopement packages and smaller wedding packages I offer here.
2. Say “I do” now and celebrate later! You can still decide to get married on the same day that you had planned, regardless of this virus. You can either elope now and celebrate later or decide to have a smaller, more intimate wedding now with close family and celebrate your big day later.
If you decide to say “I do” now you could postpone your larger wedding celebration that you have been planning for later in the year or you could also do a celebration one year to the date that you get married, as an anniversary wedding celelbration. The coronavirus may change how you thought you would be getting married, but you can still marry the person you love most now. And have your bigger celebration down the road. This way you kind of get the best of both worlds in this unfortunate scenario. You get to still get married on the date you set, but now you can have a celebration with everyone to also look forward to. You could live steam the wedding or FaceTime those who cannot make it and allow them to watch your smaller ceremony and still feel like they are apart of it. And it is very likely, I know it for sure is with Ashley Leffew Photography aka me, that your retainer and money spent towards your original wedding ceremony can be transferred to this celebration down the road.
You could plan to just elope the two of you for now or decide to include super close family and friends and have an intimate ceremony for now and celebrate with everyone later! Some options for this smaller ceremony for now are again in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, your home is a great option, especially if you have family members who may be compromised and you’re worried about going into public during the Coronavirus, a family member or friend’s home or land if they have a scenic location to get married at, a small chapel or church or an Airbnb or rental with a pretty view. There are a lot of options for this smaller ceremony and again, reach out to your wedding vendors and see what your options would be if you had a smaller ceremony for now and have a big celebration later.
3. Postpone. The last option is to postpone for now and have your wedding ceremony later in the year or next year when everything is settled down. This may be a great option if honestly this whole thing has you stressed out. Also, if you have a close family member or friend who is compromised, pregnant, or in the at risk population for this virus and you want them there when you get married it may be best just to wait for now.
Also, after everything settles down you will end up with more time to plan and enjoy the engaged stage a little bit longer. Have to find the silver lining in everything, right? But again, reach out to your vendors if you are thinking of postponing. Find a date that works for you and for as many of your vendors as possible, that way you can still have the same people working with you to create the perfect wedding day!
I know this is a scary time right now and not an ideal time for a wedding, but you have options. And having options and reaching out to vendors, knowing their policies on postponing or maybe changing to a more intimate wedding day is so important. Try to know your options and try not to stress too much. That can be hard in these crazy times, but remember your wedding day is about saying yes to spending forever with your best friend. Keep that at the front of your mind during this and try to just focus on the love you have for your fiancé.
I am here for you if you need anything during this! I offer have elopement packages, more intimate wedding packages and have availability now! If you decide to change up your original wedding plans due to everything going on right now I’m available and have availability later in the year as well. So sorry you have to be dealing with this around your big day, it should only be a time of celebration and happiness. But hopefully, some of these options can help you start figuring out what may be best for you and your fiancé going forward. Reach out if you need anything during this time and I am here for you!!