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No matter what stage you’re at with wedding planning, the coronavirus crisis has certainly affected many happy couples’ plans. While the health and safety of your loved ones is on your mind, your big day is still a top priority! Whether your California wedding is a local event or a destination wedding, the best thing to do right now is to stay calm, informed, and excited for your big day! Just think, the day we can all come back together to celebrate your marriage is going to come, and it will be a truly magical event. To ease your mind and make the next wedding planning steps easier, don’t miss our tips for wedding planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embrace the extra planning time

While the situation is not ideal and there are still many things up in the air, take a deep breath and take a moment to embrace the positive. Whether you’ve decided to postpone your wedding, move forward on a small scale, or it’s still early on the planning stages, you now have extra time to make your wedding day everything you’ve always dreamed it would be.

Use the quarantine to grow closer as a couple. If you’re looking for a few ideas, consider:

  • Trying a new hobby together
  • Taking a marriage prep course online
  • Getting a head start on those DIY decor items or wedding favors.
  • Practicing your dancing skills for the big day. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to inspire you.
  • Working on your health and fitness goals together.
  • Creating a scrapbook or video montage you can showcase at the wedding.

Overall, remember that you get to enjoy more time together as an engaged couple, which many married folks will tell you is a truly romantic, special time.

Think digital

Weddings and the wedding planning process doesn’t have to stop just because of quarantine. Rather than halting or changing their wedding plans, some couples are embracing the digital connection to celebrate in various ways — while still practicing social distancing.

  • If you want to get married right away, stream your ceremony online for family and friends to join in and watch.. You can then start planning for a larger reception in the future that allows everyone to celebrate together once it is safe to do so.
  • Depending on the wedding timeline, you can also plan a virtual bridal shower or engagement party to celebrate and share well wishes among loved ones.
  • Set up digital happy hours, long-distance game nights, and video chats with your wedding party to keep everyone connected and continue planning when you can’t meet face-to-face. The planning process doesn’t have to stall while you’re social distancing!
  • If you recently got engaged, come up with a fun, memorable way to announce your engagement or ask a friend to join your wedding party via Zoom or social media.

Update your wedding to-do list

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to adjust your to-do list or create a new one. COVID19 phase-ins are happening quickly, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a game plan. Your to-do list should include:

  • Any follow up with vendors and guests
  • Rescheduling appointments and other important to-do’s that were canceled or changed due to business closures.

Overall, a solid to-do list is a good way to relieve panic and figure out what you can move forward on while we wait to return to “normal.”

Talk to your wedding planner or team of vendors

Whether your wedding is one week or one year away, communication is key. Most California wedding vendors are small businesses and are going through many of the same struggles and stressors as you are, so it’s likely they are going to work with you and adjust as needed.

  • If you’ve already scheduled, review your options and understand your contracts. This will serve as a starting point for future conversations.
  • Switch face-to-face meetings to Zoom. Most planning can be done via screen shares and video conferencing.
  • Discuss safety. As businesses start to reopen and your wedding moves forward, it’s important to know how your vendors are keeping you and your guests safe.
  • Secure your preferred venues, vendors, and other details, start booking or reschedule the date sooner rather than later. There are going to lots of couples rescheduling dates, booking venues, and making plans throughout this time — and that will only increase once things officially start to open up and return to somewhat normal again.
  • Save money by taking advantage of deals and promotions that businesses are offering during this time.
  • Order wedding decor items and other non-perishable items now. That way, you’re not rushing to get them at the last minute or worried about items being out of stock or on back order.

Communicate with your guests

The more you’re able to keep everyone updated about any changes to your big day, the easier it will be for them to adjust their plans and travel schedule accordingly.

  • Social media and wedding websites are a great way to keep everyone in the loop all at once, without physical contact or a lot of extra work.
  • For those you need to call, consider enlisting the help of family members and your wedding party to save time.
  • Encourage safety and social distancing throughout the planning process and on the big day. Of course, you want everyone involved, but everyone’s health and well-being should always come first.

Make health a priority

Things aren’t going to go back to normal overnight, which means you may need to make some adjustments to your big day — even if it’s months in the future.

  • Consider adding a sanitation station to keep loved ones happy and healthy during your wedding. Stock it with hand sanitizer, masks, hand soap and other cleaning products so that they’ll feel comfortable at your event. You could use a producer from the community to keep things local, print custom labels, or even personalize them as wedding favors!
  • If need be, opt for no contact greetings and keep hugs, kisses, and handshakes to a minimum.
  • Go with individually plated meals rather than a serve-yourself or family-style buffet to minimize germs.
  • Look to your location vendor on ideas of how to space tables and chairs appropriately.
  • Consider adjusting your table seating plan to families that live together instead of mixing it up. Then your guests have the choice of who they connect with.

Stay informed

Make it a priority to keep up with what’s happening in regard to this virus so that you can continue to adjust as needed. Be sure you’re following trusted, official resources for up-to-date information and recommendations for your wedding day and overall health and safety. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so here are a few of the resources we’ve been watching that couples may find helpful include:

As noted above, you’ll also want to keep in close contact with your vendors and/or wedding planner for smaller-scale and personalized details about their business operations.

We look forward to reopening and helping you plan the perfect wedding. Let’s get started now!