In case you missed it, last week we joined Olivia from Modern Luxury Weddings Philadelphia for an Instagram live. The MLW team asked couples to submit questions (we were up for anything!), and we touched on so many different topics. We thought we would recap the questions and answers from our live below for you to read through if you missed it or revisit topics once more in writing. Join us as we talk through options pertaining to COVID-19, postponing vs. cancelling your wedding, how we think weddings might change in the months to come, and much more.
What is the first step we should take if we would like to postpone or cancel our wedding due to COVID-19?
The very first thing you should do if you feel you need to take precautions due to COVID-19 (or any other reason!) is to contact your wedding planner. If you’re not working with a wedding planner, send a note to and call your venue/caterer to talk through your options. Then get in touch with your officiant/house of worship. Both your venue and your officiant drive many wedding planning decisions, particularly your wedding date, so you will want to remain on the same page with them first. Once you know your options, such as financial implications and new dates, proceed with contacting the rest of your wedding professionals. Remember to get revised contracts with the new dates and terms. You will want to have everything in writing.
If we’re choosing a new wedding date, is August too soon?
Unfortunately, weddings during the summer, including August, may be too soon. We’re all uncertain about what will be happening next and when, so we’re recommending choosing a new wedding date that’s up to a year in advance. It may feel far away, but it will offer much more assurance when it comes to potential travel restrictions and the number of guests able to gather per CDC guidelines. The worst scenario will be choosing a new date, revising all your wedding plans, and then having to postpone again.
How should we communicate our new wedding date to our guests?
You have several options for communicating your new wedding date to your guests. If you have only sent save-the-date cards to your guests, you can opt to include a revised RSVP card with the new date when you send your invitations. If you have already mailed your invitations, consider sending a postponement announcement to your guests. Many stationers are offering templates either for a minimal fee or for free that you can update and mail. Lastly, revise your wedding website! Your wedding website should act as a “home base” for your wedding’s information, and guests will turn to it. So, make sure all the information included on your site is accurate.
How do you think guest counts will change for weddings?
We do hope larger gatherings are approved again in the future. But, for right now, we’re seeing a shift toward weddings with smaller guest counts. Talk with your wedding professional team because many pros, particularly venues, have started to waive minimums. We all understand and support the desire to be safe while still having the opportunity to celebrate and have fun.
Should we change our colors and themes for our wedding if we change our wedding date?
If your wedding will now occur during a different season, you may want to update your colors for your wedding. If your bridesmaids and groomsmen have already purchased their attire, think about the color(s) they will be wearing in your new palette. The biggest area in which you will want to keep an open mind is your wedding flowers. Flowers are seasonal, and not everything is available year-round. Being open to designs with different blooms than you originally imagined will be key to having a positive experience with your florist (and vice versa!). Everyone is truly trying to find a happy medium and work together as best as they can during this time.
Where is the best place to source wedding signage?
We love working with local stationery designers (Chick Invitations, Papertree Studio, The Papery of Philadelphia, and House of Catherine), and we’ve also worked with great florists who have provided wedding signs and added flowers. With that said, if you’re looking to source wedding day stationery online, we frequently look to For Your Party and Etsy.
What impacts a wedding day timeline?
So many details can impact a wedding timeline! We like to work with the team when we’re creating timelines because it allows everyone to remain on the same page. With that said, if your wedding will now occur during a different time of year, you will be impacted by light. There is less daylight during the fall, for example, so you will want to work with your photographer, hairstylist, and makeup artist to decide on the best times for your wedding portraits. You will also want to talk with your ceremony venue and officiant about updating your ceremony time. The key thing is to be able to capture photos when natural light is readily available.
How can we create a wedding with an intimate feel if we have a large guest count?
Lighting, décor, and floor plans are the three things that impact the feel of a wedding the most. Lighting can make the biggest difference! If the ceilings are higher in your reception space, consider working with a lighting team to dim the lighting on the ceiling. Doing this will make the room feel smaller because the ceilings won’t appear as lofty. Of course, adding moveable walls and pushing tables closer together will help to create a more intimate feel as well.
We would like to host a wedding at home. What should we do first?
The very first thing you should do if you would like to host your wedding at home is to talk to a tenting professional. He or she will likely be willing to visit the home where you would like to celebrate to ensure the ground where a tent will be placed is level and the size tent you need will properly fit. You will also want to add catering and green room tents. Lastly, you will want to decide whether you (and the owner of the property!) are onboard with trucks driving onto and over the grounds. There will be many teams setting up, working, and breaking down throughout your celebration, and the ground at the home where you host your wedding might need a period to experience regrowth after your wedding ends. Tented/Outdoor/Home weddings are something we love to do, and we recommend working with an experienced planner as we know the ins and outs of making this work.
How are wedding professionals navigating COVID-19?
Just like you, wedding professionals are experiencing COVID-19 for the first time. There aren’t any guidelines any of us can follow, so we are trying to be as flexible as possible. We want to work together with the couples who have entrusted us with their wedding days, so we’re trying to find the best possible solutions for everyone involved. We’re encouraging you to read the contracts you have already signed, so you’re tuned into the details of them. We’re also sending revised contracts with new dates and updated language that we have all agreed upon. Overall, we’re trying to make any changes as seamless as possible!
Should we postpone or cancel our wedding?
In terms of COVID-19, we highly recommend postponing your wedding rather than cancelling it. We want you to celebrate just as much as you want to get married! Wedding professionals are happy to work with you to find a new date and new circumstances that work for as many people on the team as possible. You have planned your wedding day for months, and you’ve been looking forward to it. So, you should still get to experience it even if it’s slightly delayed. If you can’t find a solution that works for you, then talk about cancelling. However, be mindful of cancellation policies included in contracts.
Can we get wedding insurance to protect our celebration from COVID-19?
Unfortunately, to date wedding insurance policies do not cover couples who are currently having to make changes to their celebrations due to COVID-19. A pandemic does not quite fall under “Act of God” policies, so the best thing to do is to communicate openly with your wedding professional team to find a solution that works for as many people as possible.
If you have a question about any of the above or something outside of what we covered with Modern Luxury Weddings, feel free to comment below or contact us! We’re happy to help guide you.