Trying to offer a somewhat lighthearted title on an otherwise very serious topic. Today, I’ve been fielding so many inquiries from reporters and clients alike asking all kinds of questions as it relates to COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus.
Today, I want to transparently share with you some personal thoughts that I initially had typed out as an Instagram post (you are all following us there, right? Because I love Instagram and am always sharing FREE tips and advice in our daily updates). Turns out, there is a character limit on Instagram captions and I couldn’t post there, so I’ve refined some of the language and am posting here for you to read:
Some of you have reached out to ask for guidance on how to handle, for lack of a better phrase, all of this. It’s a lot. As an empath, I know that you’re starting to feel more and more anxious with each day, and news report. My main advice, comes from the best person who can give me advice: my mom. She’s always told me any time I’m stressed, to focus on the things we can control, and I think that’s a great exercise for all of us. Here’s what we can control:
First, consider wedding insurance. I’ve been talking to multiple insurance reps and it seems like the policies and what’s covered is changing daily – but as of late, my understanding is that they won’t cover much related to COVID-19, but if you were considering insurance before, which would cover things like liable property damage, host liquor liability, vendor negligence, etc.; I would recommend making a purchase soon. The larger insurance companies in the UK are no longer offering policies, and I know of one American company that has followed suit. I am not aware that I’ve ever had clients need to use their insurance policy, but past couples have had an easy time acquiring wedding insurance through WedSafe. Some insurance policies say that they cover illness, but if you read through the policy, there are other areas where it reads as though they’re not responsible for COVID-19, “known events” and other vague language. My advice on this is that you’ll want to talk to a representative and ask very specific questions, giving very specific scenarios that you think you might be facing as we approach your wedding day. The list of potential scenarios is so long that it would be irresponsible for me to list out some; so the best advice I can give is for you to connect with an insurance professional and talk through the options with them.
For your guests who are traveling, I strongly recommend you discuss purchasing additional travel insurance in the event that they need to cancel their trip. This is one of those areas that I can’t speculate on what might happen, could happen, and I would say neither should you because the fact is, we don’t know. But, your guests can protect themselves financially by purchasing the additional insurance, just in case.
On this note, I think it’s time we start mentally preparing for maybe a smaller wedding than we initially envisioned. The truth is that people are scared, and based on what we know, it may be safer for some of your guests to stay home. I know that for some of you this will feel like a punch to the gut, but please hear me when I say that this doesn’t mean they don’t care, or don’t want to celebrate with you. On this front, as we approach your wedding day, I may also recommend a second round of confirming RSVPs once we’re in the two week window so we can make sure ceremony and reception spaces are property set.
In the wedding and event industry, we are starting to see even more supply chain disruptions that could have an impact on things bridal gowns, custom suiting, and bridesmaids dresses. At this stage, what you can do is reach out to your suppliers and reconfirm delivery dates. Even if you’ve already confirmed a delivery date, if it was more than 30 days ago, it is worth reconfirming. If you haven’t made these purchases yet, consider purchasing locally. We are also now anticipating supply chain disruptions for the floral industry as well. The new travel ban does have an impact on imported goods, and many flowers are imported from Holland. So far, our largest partners have all assured me they don’t yet anticipate issues, but also admit that they really can’t project more than about a week in advance, so my advice on florals is to mentally prepare yourself that we might (I think this is a very small might) have to adjust your floral plan and substitute blooms. Collectively, as I review all of your design plans and pinterest boards, I do not think we will be making any major, noticeable changes, based on what we know at this time.
Another extra step that we can take if you are concerned, is discuss ways we can minimize the risk of exposure at your wedding. Some small efforts we can make include things like seating fewer guests per table, providing plenty of hand sanitizer, and if you are planning a buffet service, it might be worth considering having a catering team serve from the buffet to limit risk. These small changes we will discuss together when the timing is right.
Finally, a fully transparent thought: at this stage, and from my conversations with my industry friends, we are all in this together. We share your anxiety and fears. Keep in mind that many wedding professionals are not huge corporations that are prepared to weather a storm like this: Like you, we’re all a little anxious about the things we don’t know and can’t control, but we’re also eager to get to work and celebrate with you. Candidly, this is really an unprecedented issue and we’re all in this together. I want to close this email with an honest statement:
Your wedding is going to be amazing; we’re going to make it work (in one way or another) because that’s what my team does, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you.