Wow! It seems that almost overnight we find ourselves in a world that we don’t recognise. Events being cancelled, venues closing their doors indefinitely and bans and limits on gatherings…. all of these things could affect your wedding.
As a celebrant, I work closely with my couples to help them realise their dream day and to give them the best experience possible, so it breaks my heart to know that my couples are having to consider downsizing, postponing and even cancelling their carefully made plans.
So…. what are your options?
As it stands today, if you have planned to have your wedding to take place between March and August this year, and your guest list is over 100…
[and remember that this number includes you, your guests, the staff at your reception venue, all your wedding vendors including your photographer, celebrant & DJ, etc…]
…then, I’m so sorry to say that you will have to make some big decisions, which isn’t going to be fun….. and if your wedding is sooner rather than later, unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of ‘waiting and seeing’. Listening to the medical experts, it looks like it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better, so here are your options at the moment…
Postpone – Choose another date that works for you and your vendors either later in the year or maybe even safer (I’m no expert!) into next year. If you act early, this will give you a much better chance of locking in all of the same wedding vendors on the same date and they’ll appreciate being able to carry over your fee rather than giving a refund.
However, one thing to note…. a lot of next year’s Saturday @3pm slots will have already been booked by new couples, so you might consider a Friday or a Sunday or another week day…. also a morning ceremony can also be lovely.
As disappointing as it may seem, you may need to stop and recalibrate and realise that changes to your perfectly planned day might need to happen.
Minimise – and practice “Social Distancing” – Explain to some of your guests that you need to downsize your guest list in order to fit the limit of 100 gathered people…
[remember the limit of 100 people for indoor gatherings was correct at the time of writing on the 20th March 2020 – but things are changing overnight, so stay informed]
Elope – Just your celebrant and your two witnesses (standing 1.5m away from each other) and you declaring your love for each other and then signing the paperwork – just save your festivities for later on when the dust settles. We can also include a “Celebration of Love” ceremony to those festivities.
Cancel – The last resort, because if you’ve gone to the trouble of planning your wedding, you clearly want to get married, so you’ll still get married, just down the track a little… but if this is your choice – cancel everything, try your best to secure refunds from your vendors [check each vendor’s Ts&Cs for info on refunds & cancellations] and then wait it out and see what happens. Then, when you’re ready, try and book it all again.
What can I do to help you?
If you have lodged your NOIM with me and paid your lodgement fee [this fee, as you know, is non-refundable], then I am locked into marrying you at some point. The NOIM is valid for up to 18 months from the date of lodgement, so if your new date happens to go beyond the 18 month mark, we will simply lodge a new NOIM and I will waive the new lodgement fee.
If you have paid for your ceremony with me in full, your payment will be held and when your new ceremony date comes around, it will be like you’re getting my services for free as you won’t need to pay anything more.
If I am already booked on your new date, then I will find you a new celebrant and together we can work out the transfer of documents and fees.
If your decision is to cancel altogether, please give me a call and we can talk it through.
These are unprecedented times and I can only imagine the disappointment that will be felt by having to undo and redo your wedding plans, but this is where we’re at and if we want to play an active part in protecting our loved ones, especially those who are the most vulnerable, then these drastic decisions have to be made.
It’s important to remember that while having a big party to celebrate your marriage is tradition and great fun, your end goal is to become married to the love of your life…. and we can still make that happen.
To keep up to date with the information as it comes in – always follow reputable sources… just because somebody on Facebook said it, doesn’t make it true.
Stay safe… practice Social Distancing… If you’re ill, call your doctor… self isolate… and wash your hands!