By Simone Sant-Ghuran
As if wedding planning wasn’t stressful enough, add a pandemic into the mix and you could have a reason for getting that box of tissues out!
The Covid pandemic has caused many postponements, changing of arrangements, shrunken guest lists and unforeseen compromises.
Fear not though, as wedding professionals, it is our job to do everything we can, to work within the health and safety parameters, to help you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are six tips for how couples could approach wedding planning during or post-pandemic:
Feel your feelings
This can be an emotionally difficult time and you can’t avoid that feeling of disappointment if you’ve had to postpone your wedding date. It’s important to grieve the loss of your wedding date and the vision of what you wanted. However, try not to stay in that process for too long. Embrace the thought of moving forward with maybe newer or better plans!
Ensure that your marriage license is still valid
If you have decided to postpone and have settled on a new date, ensure that your marriage license will still be valid. If it would have expired by your new date, you can schedule a walk-in appointment at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, to renew it. The renewal fee is TT$100. After the wedding, the Ministry has an online facility to help you get a computerised marriage certificate.
Know your cancellation terms
Some vendors will treat postponement on a case-by-case basis, but others will enforce cancellation clauses. Vendors will be more flexible if they have not invested any time/money to prepare for your wedding, particularly for perishable items, for example, has the florist already ordered your flowers? Has the caterer already ordered menu items? If items have already been purchased, you may be responsible for the costs (depending on how your contract is worded).
Communicate with your vendor team about issues that may be important to you
For example, handling all food (including the cake), beverage, décor, and rental items with gloves, appearing on-site with masks and sticking to the transportation/set-up time schedule, in order to limit the number of persons on-site for event set-up or dismount.
Interact with your guests
Communication with guests needs to be multi-directional. The best way to let them know about any changes, is to phone them or rely on your wedding planner to handle these communications for you. Most guests will want to know the number of guests that will be attending and whether the event will be indoor or outdoor, to make a more informed decision as to whether to attend.
It’s crucial that guests receive health and safety information (e.g., mask requirements for entry, hand washing upon arrival etc.) and other event guidelines via email, at the time of their RSVP.
Have a Plan B
Covid is not over and so, there is still tremendous uncertainty for those weddings pushed back to later in 2022 and into 2023. Therefore, it would still be wise to have a Plan B.
If you have postponed to 2023, bear in mind that the marketplace may be very different – venue and vendor availability might be limited, and costs may rise.
It might be best to pay deposits where you can, to secure services. You could also consider alternative formats (if weekend dates/venues are unavailable) – such as: weekday weddings, at-home weddings, or brunch weddings.
Not sure how to handle postponed weddings? Or deal with your vendor contracts?
We are here to help you. Kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org for Wedding Coach consultations.
More details: trinidadweddings.com/the-wedding-coach/