Planning Your Wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are 3 tips we hope will help you during your wedding planning
May 22nd, 2020
First off, we’d like to congratulate you and your partner on taking this momentous and beautiful decision in your life! We are so very happy for both of you.
We’d like to, at the same time, offer our deepest sympathies for the troubles you may have been facing organizing your wedding amidst the COVID-19 madness. Weddings can be rather stressful at the best of times and this pandemic is not helping matters, is it?
When COVID-19 hit France, we have to admit, all of us vendors and wedding planners in the wedding industry were a little shell-shocked. I think during the first week, most of us were walking around in a bit of a daze, and not entirely sure whom to turn to for advice on how to proceed. That initial shock then wore off, and we realized that this was not going to blow over anytime soon. We then promptly started contacting our brides and grooms to help guide them in the best way we possibly could with the information we had from our government and health-care workers, and our experience with, in comparison, more-classic disasters.
We at Lace & Lavande have reflected on the last 2 months (March and April 2020) and would like to offer you some tips that we as wedding planners, think might be useful to you. We’ve noted down 3 tips here in order of priority.
1.Take a minute to catch your breath in all this
We are not mental health care workers, and far be it from us wedding planners, to tell you how to navigate this emotional upheaval. We would, however, from our personal experience, just suggest this – please do not bottle down the complicated and messy mix of emotions, you could be going through. You may perhaps just need someone to whom you could vent to without any judgement. Please reach out to a friend, family-member you’re comfortable with, or a professional counselor to help you deal with this. We put this as our priority because the decisions you take moving forward, for your wedding, will depend largely on how emotionally-stable you were when you took them. This is important as decisions taken in fear and panic could lead you to lose good money.
2. Get in touch with your second-in-command
This is where your wedding planner comes in. We cannot stress this enough; it is crucial to get in touch with your wedding planner at the earliest. They have their ears to the ground and can guide you through this difficult period if you let them. If you are having a destination wedding, your wedding planner is the one to go to asap. They will advise you on the government regulations concerning COVID-19 in the destination country, especially if it is a non-English speaking country likes France. They will give you not only those crucial governmental regulations but also the general sense of where they see this heading. With their connections to the various vendors in the industry, they could negotiate better terms for you whilst organizing the potential postponement of your wedding.
3. Get in touch with your insurance
After contacting your wedding planner in France, the next person to contact would be your wedding insurance representative. Now a little tip that can be used across the board would be to approach them calmly. With the pandemic, they have been fielding calls from irate customers for months now and if they find in you a voice of calm understanding for their plight, we can say with almost certainty that your case will be treated at least a little bit differently.
Please educate yourself on force majeure clauses and then look over your vendor-contracts with your wedding planner in France if needed. Since 28 February 2020, COVID-19 has been considered as a ‘force majeure’ in France. The article we found here could be informative for those organizing their weddings in France.
There is a little message that we have stuck on our office-wall at Lace & Lavande. It goes like this “The right thing to do in never defined by formal agreements or legal contracts alone. Neither is it defined by the expectations that others have of us. What is right is defined by our own high expectations of ourselves, by the culture of fairness & trust that we wish to establish. We always know, if we listen deeply enough to our own inner voice, whether we’re being totally fair & right. – Unknown”. This is something we like to live by at Lace & Lavande. We, as wedding planners are here to sort things out for you, to give you a helping hand and guide you through these trying times to make your wedding day memorable.
So, what’s currently happening in the south of France…and how does it affect destination weddings?
In the case of postponement, in the south of France, the majority of the vendors postponed May and June 2020 weddings to later in the year at no extra charge. Many of them also postponed to 2021 without any penalties if the couple postponed to a weekend in the off-season (Jan to April, October to December) and a weekday in high-season (May to September). The couples were charged a fee if the wedding was postponed to a weekend in 2021 in high-season.
For destination wedding couples, who often come to France for a week at least, this can be a blessing. If you can postpone to a weekday in high-season or a weekend in the off-season you can continue organizing your wedding with very little penalties. This may apply to other destinations as well, so please talk to your wedding planner in France for more on this.
Now, besides these tips, please follow the rules of your country’s health-care workers and stay safe, do try to appreciate those little things that we may not have pre-COVID19, and we’ll see you on the other side of this.