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How To Plan Ahead For Your Wedding In Uncertain Times

  |  By Katie Gregg

All photography courtesy of Nina Larocque Photography. Wedding planning by Katie Gregg Events & Co.

Over the last nine months the effects of the global pandemic on weddings has been significant, but the desire of human connection and celebrating your loved ones has remained the same. There has been a lot of shifting and unexpected change in the event world making it an uncertain time not only for couples and their guests, but industry professionals as well. We can all agree it's been so wonderful diving back in, celebrating life's best moments and seeing couples adapt to the "new normal” while being pleasantly surprised with the incredible outcome.

The truth is, everyone is still looking for guidance during this time and although we have made so much progress, there are things to continue to be mindful of when planning your big day amidst a global pandemic and even to keep in mind for the future of weddings post-COVID-19.

Keep Current With Your Information
It is more important than ever to stay organized and informed through planning, starting with understanding the current wedding limitations and choosing a vendor team that will be there every step of the way. Hiring a planner before booking your venue has never been more valuable. Planners are there not only to bring your wedding vision together and be the connection between you and your vendor team but also to review difficult contracts and logistics. We are ready to dive in during the beginning stages of planning and be there as a support system through these difficult times.
As contracts are expanding, the comfort of having someone by your side with event experience and knowledge is very beneficial and will give peace of mind while filtering through important decisions and coming up with effective solutions. Having a discussion with your vendors about their availability in case of a postponement, flexibility around a cancellation or how scaling back in size will affect the initial contract is imperative. Choose vendors that you feel confident can guide and support you through any necessary changes that may need to be made when booking an event with a future date. Your planner will ensure effective communication with all throughout any uncertainties.

Carefully Consider Venue Booking
In times like these, there is more to booking the right venue than just falling in love at first sight. A big question is, can you envision yourself getting married at this venue even through changes that may have to take place as a result of the unknown future? It’s important to make informed decisions and ask those hard-hitting questions right off the bat to ensure you are avoiding risks at all stages of the pandemic, not just the current one.
Securing bookings and putting down a deposit means reading those contracts thoroughly and having your planner explain the terms. Many questions need to be asked before signing the dotted line to avoid any discrepancies and limiting stress through planning. What are the cancellation and postponement terms? Will there be safety protocols, prevention measures and social distancing put into place and enforced? How will catering be affected? Is there flexibility on scaling up and back on the guest list to meet government restrictions? Will communication remain open as indoor and outdoor restrictions change and will there be back up plans put into place?  How will guest interaction occur and what are some possible layout options? Is contact tracing available? Venues have been working so hard to meet the needs of couples while creating a safe environment and executing unforgettable events that are still being enjoyed by all.

Expect 2021 To Be A VERY Busy Wedding Year
We can all agree that it's hard to predict what the outcome of 2020 will be let alone heading into 2021. If we are sure of one thing, it's that 2021 will be the busiest year yet for weddings. With wedding overflow due to postponements and new bookings still being made, the reality is based on venue and vendor availability, weekend weddings will be tougher to secure. Venues are making adjustments to be prepared to host large scale events on weekdays and vendors are opening their calendars and expanding their teams to accommodate multiple weddings within a week.
Be mindful when creating your guest list that there is the potential of event overlap and maybe even some burnout for your guests. The positive means you no longer have to feel the pressure to expand your guest lists putting a strong focus on the ones who are closest to your heart that you couldn't imagine your day without. Don't be afraid to switch things up in terms of making your wedding your own and doing things differently. Guests will be craving unique experiences, fun interactions, and out of the ordinary is accepted and encouraged.

From our experience over the last couple of months, Covid weddings have truly been some of the most special yet. Seeing our couples overcome the unexpected adversities and challenges while still being able to pivot, move forward, and make the best out of their day has been inspiring.  Those who have made the tough decision to postpone remain excited for their weddings showing their resiliency and that there is no stopping love. We continue to feel so positive and connected to our couple's journeys and are grateful to see how heartfelt these days and moments have been.  Seeing venues and vendors come together to support the soon to be newlyweds in such a beautiful way gives us much hope moving into the new year.

Katie Gregg is the lead planner and founder of Katie Gregg Events & Co. Her wedding planning journey began two years ago, not long after saying ‘I do’ with her husband Chris; she discovered her passion for wedding planning and wedding media. Katie believes wedding planning is more than just staging and organizing an aesthetically beautiful event. It requires taking cues from a couple’s personal styles, incorporating details from their love story, and creating a thoughtful experience for them and their guests alike.


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