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Engaged Couple Ask Wedding Experts Their Top Questions: COVID-19 Edition

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This photo is of a bride and groom in their COVID-19 mask and they are kissing. They are seated at their reception table, and behind them is a greenery wall with a glowed up sign saying "The Hansen's"

This week we feature an engaged couple, who like many bride & grooms to be, had to postpone their wedding to 2021. Our founder of Belle Bodas & Events, Braelynn, is answering all their top wedding questions.

“Our original wedding date was for August of 2020. We made the hard decision around May that we didn’t want to continue planning with the ‘unknown’ so decided to postpone for August of 2021. “

-Carolina & Keenan

There is a basket of mini hand sanitizers that are for the guests at the wedding party. They each have a sticker saying "spread love, not germs". This is a perfect party favor to have for guests to make sure the wedding adheres to the CDC guidelines.

Our priority is to be your number one resource when it comes to handling all the moving parts. Not only are we here to answer all YOUR top wedding questions, but it’s our job to stay informed with any updates as the situation evolves. Don’t hesitate to send us a message with any questions or concerns you are having in trying to plan your wedding.

Q: How to budget for potential cancellations? How has the industry been responding as a direct result to COVID-19?

A: Reviewing each clause in your potential vendor’s contract has never been more important! What used to be the quick skim through and easy press on the “accept + agree” button is not the way to bind yourself in a contract. It’s important to note that 90% of wedding vendors are not refunding retainer fees, as the retainer fee holds and confirms your wedding date on their calendar for their company’s services. First and foremost, you need to make time to sit down and focus as you go through your vendor’s contract. Write down your questions as you sift through each clause and the payment plan, so you can then send over all your questions and/or concerns via email or have them prepared and ready for your next Zoom meeting with the vendor.

Q: What important questions should I be asking my vendors?

1. Can my initial retainer be applied to my rescheduled wedding date?

2. If you are booked for my rescheduled wedding date, do I receive any refunds for the services I purchased? 

3. Do you have any rescheduling fees? If so, is it a flat rate or percentage of my cost of services? 

4. Can you explain your cancellation clause to me? 

5. If we reschedule for 2022, does that require me to pay your updated 2022 pricing? Or does my quote stay the same?

Q: We originally had 200 people, but now highly considering doing a smaller wedding of just a bridal/groom party and immediate family. How do we start narrowing down a guest list?

A: The advice I give my couples when it comes to choosing their bridal party is to go consider the following questions together. “ In 20 years, when you’re looking at your wedding pictures, will the people standing in your line be a part of your life still? Will they have a relationship with your kids? Or do you think you will possibly regret your decision and wish they weren’t in all of your wedding photos?”. This same method can be applied to narrowing your guest list. Especially for those looking to go from a big to a smaller wedding.

Q: How do we customize our wedding invitations during this unpredictable state?

A: We are all going through COVID-19 as a collective, therefore most people are understanding as to why they aren’t receiving an invite to your new micro wedding. The reception card for your new micro wedding should include “You are invited to the Micro Wedding of…” at the top. This immediately tells your guests that it’s an intimate wedding. It’s important to make clear if guests are or aren’t allowed a plus one. You can do this by the way you address the guest’s name on the envelope.

Q: A fear of mine is sending out invites and having to cancel them all over again. I know we can’t predict the future, but what is the longest I can wait to send out invitations to our guests?

A: Honestly, social media is a big help to all the mishaps that COVID-19 has caused. I recommend making a private group on Facebook and adding all of your guests to it. This helps you communicate with everyone together and not have to send 30+ text messages that say the same thing to 30+ people. I advise a lot of my couples to do this when inquiring for guest addresses. Guests can either post their address in the feed or private message it to the couple, whichever they prefer. Also post your wedding website in the private group and ask your guests to RSVP 7-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. You can then only send wedding invitations to the people that RSVP’d 4 weeks prior to the wedding. However, the wedding invitation should solely be an invite.

Q: In the beginning, we had planned to have our bridal and groom party by our side, but now love the idea of it just being us 2 with our officiant at the altar. How do you communicate this without hurting anyone’s feelings?

A: If there is anything that COVID-19 has caused us all to have- it’s hard conversations. I am always coaching my couples to choose themselves first during the planning process. Why? Because their wedding day is ONE day all about them. A wedding takes 400+ hours to plan and is executed in 12 hours or less. Therefore I firmly believe that those 12 hours should be entirely up to them. This is definitely a conversation that requires emotional maturity and if they don’t understand now, I promise they’ll get over it soon enough!

Q: My style has changed over this past year, and I am not as in love with my wedding dress as I was over a year ago. How do you recommend I plan about getting a new one?

A: The number one rule in the wedding industry is to book your wedding venue before getting a wedding dress! Once you have the style and design of your venue, you’ll know what kind of wedding dress will pair perfectly. For example, a cathedral gown wouldn’t work for an outside beach wedding. Let your venue and the design of your big day be the guides to choosing a new wedding dress! As far as what you can do with your current one, Still White or Pre Owned Wedding Dresses are great online marketplaces to resell wedding dresses.

Q: What are some guidelines I need to implement to adhere to COVID-19 for a 2021 wedding? We are getting anxious just thinking about it.

A: Here is the COVID-19 event-form from the state of Utah: COVID-19 EVENT PLANNING TEMPLATE. This template is required for any and all events. It shows you specifically what needs to be implemented, some examples are; a plan to track attendance to support contract tracing, signage to educate guests on rules + regulations that must be followed, multiple hand sanitizing stations, etc. As a wedding planner, it is my requirement to have this template filled out. Therefore I am always working on creative ideas for my couples to have all guidelines met. Your local state should have a similar form template with their specific regulations, just make sure it’s the most updated one.

Q: When should we start planning a honeymoon? We are hoping to still go abroad.

A: I would start planning your honeymoon now. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. As far as when to buy flights for your honeymoon, that all depends on where exactly you’re going. Do some research on your destination to figure out if they require a mandatory quarantine. For example, Hawaii has a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all travelers arriving in Hawaii that is currently in effect. Also, look into the airline’s cancellation policy. Many have recently removed changing flight fees and/or waiving cancellation fees depending on the purchased date.

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A Pinterest friendly image so anyone can save and share this to their Pinterest board. It says "engaged couples ask wedding experts their top wedding questions: Covid-19 edition" @bellebodasevents is our Instagram handle name.

Photography by Makaily Wyckoff | Correna & Travis Hansen Wedding


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