If you are newly engaged, congratulations, this is such an exciting milestone in your life! It is also coming at a very challenging time for the world right now. You absolutely should be soaking up the moment and celebrating your engagement and a normal part of that is getting to work securing the venue of your dreams on a meaningful date in a season you’ve always imagined. Most average engagements typically last between 12-18 months (or there are some of you who are on a fast track to the altar planning just six to eight months ahead), so it is important to get on these tasks ASAP. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole timeline of wedding planning has really been turned upside down.
So many couples are experiencing uncertainty with their event and are scrambling to move dates. These aren’t the only couples who will be affected during this time. We are going to see a sudden shift for everyone planning their wedding regardless of what stage in the process they are at. With couples suddenly having to make the difficult decision to reschedule their wedding industry professionals are working overtime to support them in navigating through this unprecedented time. Availability for weddings is becoming more limited for the back half of the year. I am encouraging everyone who wants a wedding in the next 18 months to act fast to and potentially explore some alternative options for your event. This is a time to be proactive, break from traditions and make your day uniquely you.
Be Open to Exploring a Few Venue Options
In my experience, many couples have their heart set on a particular venue but now is the time to be a little more flexible. Allow yourself to get creative and explore options. Consider an up and coming venue one who hasn’t opened their doors, a non-traditional venue like a restaurant or a meaningful venue like a private residence.
Hire a Planner Well Ahead of Time
Now is the time to consider hiring a wedding planner before securing your venue. They can assist right from the get-go to keep things streamlined and stress-free and make key recommendations. Trust their industry knowledge at this time to help make big decisions fast and take care of any uncertainty you may be filtering through.
Consider Alternate Dates
Fridays and Sundays are the new Saturdays and will be for the foreseeable future. Take this opportunity to get the weekend started sooner or have custom experiences for guests leading up to your day. It’s okay to be different and take lead in making weekdays the new weekends. Leading venues will often offer discounted rates for weekdays and, commonly, you may experience lower prices on other wedding services as well, like catering, photography, and flowers.
Get Married in The Off-Season
Getting married in the off-season which is typically November through March doesn’t only mean not having to compete for a desired date but can also be to your advantage on your overall guest experience. Late autumn and winter weddings bring a sense of warmth and coziness to the overall ambiance.
Don’t Be Afraid to Keep Things Intimate
The smaller, the more personal and in the age of social distancing the notion of large events are being completely rethought. There is nothing more comforting and special than a room filled with the people closest to your heart. Not only will this make your day less overwhelming it allows you to be more present and relaxed. It’s easier to secure those niche venues who have maximum limitations, save money and even consider a destination wedding.
We are truly all in this together and your journey will be such a special one. The silver lining in this all is marrying your best friend and that in itself is such a beautiful thing. Be positive, stay safe and happy planning.
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.