Planning a wedding in 2020 is kind of like having a wonderful dream only to have it turn into a nightmare. The global coronavirus pandemic has highjacked normal life and greatly impacted the wedding industry. Trying to navigate the seemingly daily changes in policies and opinions can be mind-boggling. Our couples have been stressed to the max no matter what they chose to do with their wedding plans this year. Here's a few steps that could help you in the planning process.

1 >> CHECK LOCAL POLICIES

It is good to know what the state guidelines are for weddings, whether there are restrictions on indoor or outdoor ceremonies, whether people have to wear a mask, whether eating in groups is allowed. Some people get around some of these guidelines by using venues that are privately owned and not public use. Additionally, vacation rentals and hotels may have restrictions of their own, and some travel restrictions are still in place in parts of the U.S. Check on both the state and the local level for the most recent information leading up to your wedding date to avoid any issues cropping up at the last minute.

2 >> BE FLEXIBLE

If you are definitely set on your wedding date, you may have to make other changes. Be willing to reduce the guest list and look into live streaming your ceremony for friends and family that can't be there. We offer a special videography package for those downsizing their wedding that includes both a highlight film and the ceremony raw footage. So many brides have been dreaming about their wedding for so long, and it is difficult to imagine something less, but remember that it's the beginning of your marriage to the one you will be with forever, and a celebration can always take place later as well. Many couples are finding very creative ways to have unique weddings, and that makes it even more of a special day!

3 >> CHECK IN WITH ALL VENDORS

If you've booked your vendors and locations already but haven't heard from them, definitely check-in. They are probably operating under the assumption that all is going according to the original plan, but you never know in this crazy day and age what is going on with someone. Communicate often and keep those lines open so that you don't get hit with any surprises. You may find that there are some weird restrictions on certain vendors and that's something important to know as soon as possible! You will also want to make sure that they are willing to protect themselves and others if that is a high priority to you, and you will want to know what their requirements are too.

If you haven't booked your vendors yet or are moving your wedding to another day, remember to have a list of questions so that you can get a good idea of what they would require if things are still restricted.

4 >> LIST YOUR PRIORITIES

For some couples, this might be a big wedding, or the perfect decor, food, and cake. For others, it might be the party with everyone that is important to them. And for some, it's the specific date they chose.

Write out a list of all of the most important things that you don't want to compromise on. See if you are both on the same page. This will help you know whether you need to postpone or go ahead, whether you can let go of some plans like a big cake and a beautifully catered meal. One of my favorite things that has happened during the pandemic is seeing couples throw out all the cultural "must-haves" and choose to marry each other despite the day being completely different than they had imagined. I have brides that booked with me over a year ago that have postponed another year, and I completely understand why. There's a lot of money and time and dreaming invested in their wedding day, and they should get to have it the way they want. But if you are one of those couples that is ready to get married despite the circumstances, know that we are 100% dedicated to walking alongside you and helping you document it so you can celebrate it with your family and friend later. Whether it's in someone's backyard, on a lake or mountaintop, or at a place like Harmony Meadows that is creating special all-inclusive elopement deals for couples, we are with you.

If you have questions or want some additional help with all of the changes happening, send me an email. I'd love to help.