Covid-19 (Coronavirus Pandemic Response for 2020 Weddings)
WELL THIS IS PANTS!!! I realise that many of my wedding couples are concerned about how the Coronavirus will affect their wedding plans, especially those with weddings in the next few months. First of all, I want to express how sorry I am for the way this pandemic has disrupted such a happy time of life for those planning to get married and I’m sure it’s been a confusing and stressful time navigating this urgent need to shift things around. It is also deeply worrying for all businesses involved with weddings.
So, to help couples navigate through this confusing and upsetting time, I have detailed below a few options to consider and what you can expect from me, both for those with existing contracts in place, and for those thinking of booking with me in the future.
If you choose to postpone and reschedule your wedding date
This is currently the most popular option for couples with weddings affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. It is likely also the safest option for you, your guests and all of your suppliers too.
If you’re thinking of doing this please get in touch to compare calendars before booking a new date – A lot of my current couples have rescheduled to next year and as the lockdown continues, it might be safer to reschedule to later next year. It’s frustrating, but having to reschedule twice will hurt so much more. 2021 is likely to be extremely busy with many 2020 weddings postponed and also lots of couples planning a wedding for next year, so please get in touch as soon as possible with your choice of new dates.
If I am available on the new date you choose, the contract will remain the same and it will be a simple process- I’ll just send along a date change addendum, and everything you’ve already paid (including the booking fee and any balance paid) will be applied to the new date. For those couples re-scheduling, I have wavered the rescheduling fee and the contract price will stay the same.
If it turns out that I’m unavailable and you have sent me a choice of 3 or more possible dates, then I will refund 50% of your booking fee and any further payments you have made (i.e. the balance which is due 4 weeks before the wedding date), and your contract will be cancelled.
Cancelling the Wedding
Unfortunately cancelling has a ripple effect which will affect many businesses involved with your wedding. However, If you decide to cancel the wedding altogether, the contract will be cancelled. Your booking retainer will not be refunded, this is in accordance with rules issued by the Government’s Competition and Markets Authority. The booking fee covers the costs incurred before the wedding takes place e.g. marketing, advertising, insurance, admin costs. It also acts as a retainer for holding the date and turning away other business.
If postponing just isn’t an option for you
If you don’t want to wait as long as 6-12 months or more for your wedding, scaling down is an option. Based on the government’s guidance, it looks likely that very small weddings will be able to go ahead again from August onwards.
Even a very scaled down version of your wedding will be lovely, you will have to reduce your guest list – potentially to just the most important guests, whilst adhering to government numbers and strict social distancing measures. Don’t forget to count your suppliers and the registrars in your headcount.
Your venue isn’t available for your new date
If your venue can’t accommodate your future desired date, you might want to consider moving your wedding to another venue. Many venues have long waiting lists that are getting longer by the minute with so many rescheduled weddings. However, depending on the date and their availability, most of your other suppliers should be able to help, as long as it’s a pure location swap, within a reasonable distance from the original venue.
Get Legally Married Now and Celebrate Safely in Style Later
If you really can’t wait, do the legal bit now and plan the party of the century when this crazy time is over and celebrate with all your friends and loved ones in style – I would be delighted to capture this special celebration for you.
Attending Your Wedding During the Pandemic and What Happens if I become Ill or Have to Self-Isolate for Your Wedding Day?
As well as keeping myself and my own family safe, I also have a duty of care to my second shooter and I would have to consider our personal risk of attending a wedding that did not adhere to government safety guidelines. Please be assured that if your wedding goes ahead and follows all the Government guidelines to keep everyone safe and well, then we will be there to photograph it for you, ensuring that we are also doing our bit and working within these guidelines for the safety of you and your guests.
I am taking every precaution to avoid the virus but if I am unable to attend your wedding because of the Coronavirus (unwell or self-isolating) I would do my best to provide you with an alternative photographer of the same style and experience, to work alongside my regular second-shooter. I have a group of photographers who I work closely with, and I would call on one of the available photographers from this group to step in for me and photograph your wedding. Following the wedding, I would still undertake the post-production and editing of your photos to ensure they have the same style as you viewed in my portfolio. In the event of you not being happy with the replacement photographer offered, a full refund of all money paid will be given.
Love is patient….
Couples will again be able to have the wedding of their dreams when this pandemic is over. Things will return to relative normality. Venues will reopen, DJs and bands will make music, florists will decorate and your suppliers (including me!) will be excited to be part of your special day. I know it is such a disappointment if you have to postpone your wedding day – stressful, emotional, upsetting… but the reason for the celebration remains the same. 🙂 And that’s the most important thing!
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything at all!