With daily COVID-19 updates from the Government and the unpredictable nature of the situation, we understand that this is a stressful and difficult time for couples planning 2020 weddings.
To help you make sense of it all and get a plan of action into place, we’ve spent some time chatting to all kinds of experts, from insurance professionals to wedding dress suppliers, and have answered all of your Coronavirus and wedding-related queries.
Whether you’re worried about your wedding insurance policy, your wedding dress delivery time or having to postpone your wedding, we’ve taken all of your concerns to the people who know best.
Will I Need to Postpone or Cancel My Wedding Because of Coronavirus?
If your wedding is taking place in Europe in the next couple of months, particularly The Schengen Area which includes Italy, France and Spain, you will likely need to postpone your wedding as these countries are currently on lockdown. While we cannot be certain how long this will last, it is thought to be a long-term measure. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced that from 23rd March social gatherings including weddings will be stopped for three weeks, when the restrictions will be reviewed again. So, if your wedding is taking place in the next three weeks you will certainly need to cancel or postpone.
Head of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, Bernadette Chapman recommends staying up to date with the news and developments: “I would suggest you consider postponing weddings between now and the start of May.
“It’s too soon to decide what to do with weddings after this date, all we can do is take it day by day. It is worth speaking with your venue and suppliers in the interim to discuss their views on postponement.”
When it comes to postponing your wedding, Bernadette suggests scheduling a call with your venue and officiant first: “Have a date in mind and check they are available. Ask if there are any penalties for changing the date. It might be that, provided the change of date happens in this financial year, they will change the date for free, but if after the tax year there might be an additional charge.
“It’s also very important you speak with the registrars, because it will be a new date and you will need to give notice again, so check the registrars are free on that date.” Bernadette also suggests trying to book dates after August 2020 and asking suppliers if they will still provide their services on the same payment terms.
The Church of England have stated that they are happy to refund couples wanting to cancel and will work with couples to find a new date should they wish to postpone. However, they will still run limited services for those wishing to go ahead after the three week ban: “While wedding services may continue, numbers attending the ceremony in church will need to be strictly curtailed to the legal minimum, which is the priest, bride, groom and two witnesses. Where family relatives or friends are unable to attend given the restrictions on numbering, churches will be happy to explore ways to allow others to join the service, either through platforms such as Skype, or recording the service to send at a later date to anyone unable to attend.”
READ MORE: Church of England Announces Weddings Will be Limited to Five People During Coronavirus Outbreak
Will My Wedding Insurance Cover Postponement or Cancellation?
Wedding Plan Insurance have outlined the circumstances in which your wedding will be covered if cancellation and not postponement is necessary: “Our policy would only provide cover if your venue is unable to hold your wedding due to the outbreak of infectious or contagious disease, the venue is closed by the relevant authority, or the death, injury or sickness of you or your close relative that would make continuance of the wedding inappropriate, subject to the policy terms and conditions.” The policy is also only valid if insurance was taken out before any lockdown or venue closures are announced.
Wedinsure highlight that you will need to check the specifics of your policy as they do not cover certain situations related to Coronavirus restrictions: “The policy does not cover cancellation or rearrangement due to any claim resulting from issues relating to travel bans, flight cancellations or government acts, regulations such as a ban on public or social gatherings or any form of travel restrictions.” We recommend taking a look at the terms and conditions and phoning your insurer if you’re unsure.
Will My Honeymoon Be Affected by Coronavirus?
As Europe is now on lockdown, along with the USA who have banned travel from Europe and the UK for at least 30 days, it is likely your honeymoon will be affected. The best sources for following the latest travel updates and restrictions are the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the International Air Transport Association. We also recommend contacting the hotel, airline or travel company you booked through to get their advice on postponing your trip if you’re planning on travelling to an affected area. Most travel insurance policies will cover trips cancelled due to government action but it’s best to check your individual plan.
To reduce your risk of contracting Coronavirus or spreading germs when travelling be sure to read up on the specialist travel guidelines from the National Travel Health Network and the NHS (spoiler: contains a lot of hand-washing).
READ MORE: 7 Honeymoon Trends For 2020 and Where to Experience Them
Will Coronavirus Stop Me from Getting My Wedding Dress?
As many wedding dresses are manufactured in China, we totally get why some of you may be worrying about getting your dream dress on time. We chatted to the chairman of the British Bridalwear Suppliers Association, William Dicks, who told us that there’s no need to panic: “Our advice is very clear; there is not any problem with the supply of wedding dresses. Because the Coronavirus impacted upon China around the time of Chinese New Year, many suppliers had already received gowns early and made arrangements to ensure all orders would be received on time. So, if you have ordered a dress, do not worry, it will arrive on time.”
If you’re yet to start shopping for your wedding dress, William advises turning to local suppliers: “Our advice is that you visit your local independent retailer. It is well known that some high street chains are struggling with supply, however independent stores have a selection of designer labels in store. That means dresses coming from different places all over the world, so they will be able to help you choose the most beautiful dress and reassure you that it will be able to arrive on time. An independent retailer will know which dresses can arrive by which date and provide that advice.”
READ MORE: Wedding Dress Styles: 22 Shapes and Necklines You Need to Know
How Can I Stop My Wedding Guests Catching Coronavirus?
If you decide to go ahead with your wedding and you have a wedding website, why not add information from or link to the NHS hygiene guidelines? This will ensure all guests are up to date with how best to ward off infection and stop the spread. We would totally suggest hand-washing in time to the chorus of “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, but that’s just us.
Bernadette also advises that couples put special measures in place on the day: “Ask the venue if they have antibacterial soap in the restrooms, ask for disposable paper hand towels over fluffy soft hand towels. Ask for hand sanitisers to be placed in the toilets and think about having staff spritz every guest with high quality alcohol-based sanitisers.” If you really don’t want to risk infection getting in the way of your honeymoon plans, “you might want to suggest no kissing the bride or groom!”.
How Can I Help Make Guests Who Can’t Attend Due to Coronavirus Feel Part of the Day?
In line with government advice we do not recommend that elderly and health compromised individuals attend large events such as weddings until the situation has stabilised. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be included in your celebrations. Here are the best ways to get them involved:
- Ask your venue if they have video link equipment and invite absent guests to join you via video call for the speeches or ceremony
- If you’re having a videographer, stage a special screening of your wedding video just for them when it’s ready
- Set aside an order of service and wedding favour and present them to your absent guest/s after the wedding
- Save them a slice of wedding cake!
- Create a wedding hashtag and ask guests to upload pictures and videos throughout the day and have absent guests follow the action
Are you and your partner working from home together? Don’t miss our tips on how to take care of your relationship while home-working!