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How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Weddings

All anyone has been talking about lately is the COVID-19 pandemic, so it will probably come as no surprise to anyone that weddings are taking a big hit. Brides are having to push their big days and travel plans are being cancelled. It hasn't been an easy transition for anyone. Venues are feeling the heat as well, wanting to accommodate and help shift couples' plans, but unsure of what will be safe in the coming months.

If you're planning a wedding this year, you've probably already started considering how COVID-19 will effect your big day. Here is some information, as well as some things to remember as you evaluate your plans.

So what is Corona anyway?

Covid-19, or the Corona Virus, is part of a large family of viruses that attack the respiratory system. According to WHO (The World Health Organization), some of the more common side effects are a dry cough, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, chest pains, and a fever. In more severe cases, the virus can lead to organ failure and death.

We don't know much about this virus and scientists and medical professionals are learning more and more each day. People can be asymptomatic and carry/transmit the virus without even knowing that they have it. Stay-at-home orders went into effect in most states, but some (like Texas) are slowly starting to lift restrictions for slow openings.

What does this mean for weddings?

Well, it means a lot of things. Many brides that had a spring or summer wedding scheduled for 2020 have had to make a difficult choice - do they postpone the wedding to a later date or do they do an intimate ceremony with just immediate family? A lot of factories and businesses have closed down, so things like dress shopping or ordering ceremony items have come to a halt. Almost 80% of Western wedding dresses are made in China, where production has virtually stopped at this point. Vendors (venues, photographers, videographers, DJs, etc.) are scrambling to work with brides and reschedule their big day.

What to do if you're planning to get married in 2020

If you're planning a wedding this year, your plans are probably changing. It's hard to judge how we will be impacted four to five months from now. Remember, your health and safety - along with the health and safety of your guests - should be the first thing you consider. Is it going to be safe to put 200 people together in an enclosed space in June? Probably not. There are several options - postponing your plans to a later date, or just getting married with a very small group in attendance. Many couples are opting to marry now and have a large reception next year when they can safely celebrate with their friends and family. Here are some things to think about when weighing out your options.

How many guests have to travel?

While airline travel is pretty cheap right now, most people will probably not feel comfortable getting on a plane or even staying in accommodations. If there are VIPs that need to travel, keep them in mind.

How many of your guests are elderly or immunocompromised?

While everyone is encouraged to stay home right now, these two groups are at the top of the list. Are you okay with a ceremony without grandparents?

How many people are on your guest list?

This is a HUGE consideration! Indoor venues are only allowed to hold 25% of total capacity with groups (immediate families) sitting six feet apart. For Vintage Oaks Farms, this means we can hold 25 in our indoor event hall and 50 guests in our outdoor pavilion. If you're looking to get married under the oaks outside, we are able to hold 50% of normal capacity, meaning you could have up to 100 guests in our outdoor space. We still must seat guests 6 feet apart and block off every other row - even outside.

Now you need a pan for the big day!

Plan A: Obviously everyone's desired plan A is to go ahead as planned. And for some couples that may be possible. If your guest list was already really slim and you weren't planning on a large reception, your plans may be uninterrupted. Make sure to contact your venue to find out.

Plan B: Ask guests to let you know if they are still panning to attend. If your numbers fit into your state's guidelines and you are okay with a smaller number, go ahead! Contact your vendors and adjust things like number of linens, food, and cake.

Plan B-1: Get married with just your partner (or partner and immediate family) and plan a larger reception for a safer time. Still keep your ceremony details!

Plan B-2: Elope! Plan an elopement with just your partner at a pretty outdoor location. Use the money you saved for a big honeymoon when you're able to travel!

Plan C: Postpone. If your heart is set on a big ceremony and party-like reception, your only option is to wait it out. Pick a date in 2021 and reschedule ASAP!

What to do next

Reach out to your guests!

Whatever your plan is, you need to contact your guests ASAP and let them know. That way everyone can adjust their plans accordingly.

Contact your vendors.

Your vendors will likely have tons of brides needing to reschedule or adjust plans. Reach out to them and let them know your plan.

Consider live streaming

Although it's not perfect, a live stream allows your guests to join in your ceremony from a disatnce.

Remember why you're getting married.

This is such a crazy time that it is so important to take a step back and remember you are getting married because you love your partner! You have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with! That is no small feat. Take some time to appreciate your partner and let them know how thankful you are for them.

Always remember that your health and safety are the number one priority!


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