What To Do If You're Planning A Wedding Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic?

There are many moving parts that goes into planning a wedding solidifying plans, booking vendors, sending RSVPs to guests who have to in turn make arrangements just to attend. Paired with a global pandemic that is said to affect millions of Americans and its enough to make anyone cringe. Although what might seem like an apocalyptic movie plot (between social distancing, toilet paper and other essentials being sold out and the closing of nearly everything) some helpful advice to take during all of this is one of self-care. Take care of yourself! Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. Take a deep breath, meditate, go for a quick walk. During this stressful time it is best not to lose focus of that, you got this!

first and foremost, know the facts (What to know about COVID-19)

Whether you’re having your wedding at home or abroad, plans are being disrupted at every facet of wedding planning. In the state of Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker is temporarily banning most gatherings of over 25 people in Massachusetts — according to Mass.gov effective (3/16/2020).

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced citywide school closures as well as other precautionary measures to battle spread of the virus.

"Despite were you are located, the entire wedding industry is being affect as we have yet to experience anything like this" Says a Brooklyn wedding planner Shirley Hudson of Hudson Events. Shirley also adds "Dresses coming from China are being delivered later or being canceled, even with prices for airline tickets being at an all time low; many guests are not taking the chance". This all comes at the heels of President Trump calling for the suspension of travel from most of Europe (with the exception of the United Kingdom) to the United States beginning Friday 13, 2020.

As more information on COVID-19 becomes available day to day it is important to not make any major hastily decisions without being properly informed. As a rule of thumb using the CDC's risk assessment guide as your point of reference is a great starting point. Beyond the obvious takeaways of hand hygiene, infection control and social distancing below we highlight important information for future bride and grooms planning on saying their "I do's".


If You Are Planning On Having A Destination Wedding

Whether you’re booking honeymoon accommodations or flights weddings require some degree of travel even if your having one locally; either you or you guests will have to travel.

• Be sure to know all of your cancellation policies per each respective booking.

• Visit the CDC and WHO websites daily to track the most recent developments on COVID-19.

• Consider cancel for any reason travel insurance (CFAR) it might sound like another expense, but if your intuition is telling you otherwise; go with your gut!

• Plan a smaller wedding, per estimates across the airline industry this will be the toughest season since 9/11. Expect a good portion of your guests to be fearful of flying. In order to anticipate that take a little more time to contact your guest list, review, modify and eventually reduce the guest list.


If You Are Shopping for A Dress

According to the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association about 80 percent of wedding dresses are manufactured in China. Along with other Asian countries, it is important to know that buying online should not be your primary option.

• Buy your dress early, if you planned on buying a dress in 12 weeks, cut it down to 6 weeks.

• Shop at bigger/newer boutiques, often times these salons may have a larger selection of dresses. If you are in the Boston Area, we recommend a new bridal boutique called bettyonce boutique its stocked with gorgeous new inventory and offer a wedding dress rental service.

• Shop local! Rather than shop online, buying locally allows you to buy the dress when you want it, and avoid unpredictable shipping times.

• Request a PDF of available dresses emailed to you. In order to limit your exposure in public spaces. This may be a great option for those traveling with at-risk relatives (I.e mother, grandmother, aunts, etc)


If You Are Ready To Do This With Or Without A Pandemic

"Everyone knows that planning a wedding is a big commitment that takes a lot of work, time and money. The best advice I would give to a bride is, you would want your family, friends and future spouse to be safe and healthy. If the venue cancels your day, that is okay! You can always postpone to a more certain date however, you cannot postpone a loved ones failing heath due to an exposure. Let's live to say I do another day!" said by popular wedding emcee Host Valcin

The nation's top infectious disease experts believe COVID-19 will alter the daily lives of millions of Americans —however, if you believe you are taking the necessary precautions here is what you should know.

• The more up to date and informed you are the better, visit the CDC and WHO websites for the latest.

• Keep in contact with all of your vendors.

• Make sure you are communicating with at risk relatives (those who may have preexisting conditions, the elderly and newborns).

• Triple check all of your contracts, especially regarding cancellations.

• In case a good majority of your guests cannot make it to your wedding, live stream it! However, Only offer it as secondary option to those who cannot make it.

• Don't make any decisions in fear or in a rush. If something seems off to you; trust your intuition and hold off!

After It Is All Said And Done Keep calm and marry on!

When it comes down to it, COVID-19 imposing its influence on the world is a horrible way to enjoy the process of being engaged and the joyous organized chaos that goes into planning a wedding. It is unfortunate that people across the world are being affected by this illness, the thought that an experience such as seeing another wedding or engagement is gone forever truly saddens us. With that said, it is vital that we follow all procedures of infection control, proper hand hygiene and limit our exposure in public spaces. If you and your loved ones are safe and healthy; it is a blessing that should be acknowledged every chance we get, because each day is a gift!

If anything that the new year is teaching the world is to appreciate the present, live in your moment — and in your happiness.

So go ahead! Keep calm, wash your hands, and get married!

++We at Oak and Lace are not physicians, this editorial piece is to reference valued information regarding the effects of COVID-19 in planning a wedding. It is always best if you feel you are sick to follow the advice of guidelines set by state and government procedures which includes but not limited to:

Self quarantine, monitoring your symptoms, drinking plenty of fluids and contacting your primary care doctor (CDC)

Stay safe!