As the World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty on what life is going to be like in the coming weeks. With social distancing and travel advisories coming into effect, you may be wondering about the status of your upcoming wedding. Here are all the things to think about:

First of all – don’t panic

The last thing you need is more stress. Get your information about the COVID-19 outbreak from credible news sources and take their suggestions seriously. Currently, the government of Canada has declared a state of emergency, and prohibiting all events with 50 or more people for the next 2 weeks.

Destination Weddings

The Canadian Government is currently restricting any non-essential travel outside Canada, so, if you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s likely that you’ll have to cancel your wedding due to COVID-19 if it’s supposed to happen within the next couple of months. We suggest checking with your travel insurance provider, travel agent and wedding planner to see what can be done.

Things to Consider

Social Distancing: Currently, doctors are suggesting a social distancing protocol. Since weddings tend to be the opposite of this, take into consideration what social distancing means for your event. Will people feel comfortable sitting close together during the ceremony and dinner? Will people feel comfortable dancing?

As much as postponing your event will suck – in the end it may be for the best.

Your Guests: While the majority of people infected will be fine, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of becoming extremely ill. When deciding if you should cancel your wedding, remember that your older relatives and likely some friends will not be able to come without putting themselves at risk. This includes, people with asthma, transplant patients or anyone on immunosuppressive medication and those with chronic health issues.

If you are able to, and plan to go ahead with your event, consider a live broadcast so those who cannot attend in person are able to watch. It is not ideal, however it may be better than the alternative.

Your Dress: Even if your wedding isn’t for a few months, one thing to consider is the time it may take to receive your dress. Many wedding dress manufacturers are based in China and are seeing a delay in their shipments. Contact your bridal salon immediately to see what solutions are available or if you need to be concerned.

Your Vendors: If there is a possibility of postponing your wedding, review your contracts and contact your vendors immediately. Some vendors, like your venue, will already have policies in place to deal with the situation.

Unfortunately, some of your vendors are small businesses who rely on events for their income – they have mortgages and bills as well so having to cancel your wedding would be a big hit financially. If you can, offer to pay them on schedule if they are able to commit to your new wedding date in the future.

Cancellation Insurance:
If you purchased cancellation insurance, contact your policy provider and discuss your options. It is always better to be on team “Better Safe Than Sorry” so if you are able to reschedule your big day, do so.

Situations like these are why we always suggest purchasing cancellation insurance: the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are covered is well worth the investment.

If your wedding is imminent…

Sit down with your partner and discuss all possible outcomes. If you do decide to postpone, communicate to your guests immediately so they can cancel any arrangements needed. Let them know that the wedding will be happening, just at a later date.

If your wedding is a few months away…

Again, don’t panic! Decide on a ‘drop dead date’ where you will decide whether or not to postpone and continue to receive COVID-19 updates from credible sources. We suggest contacting your venue and vendors to let them know you are monitoring the situation closely and let them know when you will make your final decision.

Remember, at the end of the day, staying happy and healthy should be our main priority. Your wedding will happen, it just might not be when you expected. Take time to be with your partner and maintain and open dialogue about your fears and anxieties.