Complete Wedding Planning & Postponing Guide for Corona Times
The corona pandemic has taken over the world by storm and it pretty much looks like it’s something we’ll have to live with for a long time and masks, gloves, sanitizers, etc. are going to be the new normal. At this juncture, countries are in lockdown and they’ve banned all social gatherings with weddings not faring any better.
While big fat Indian weddings are a distant dream, if all you want is to get married to your fiance, it is generally possible to opt for a wedding with a restricted guest list. This pretty much ensures that the only person who is not family is going to be the Panditji. If you have planned for a big wedding with over 200 guests, it is impossible now and you’ll have to replan the whole thing again. But hey, think about the amount of money you’ll be saving! As someone once said, money saved is money earned.
Here’s the complete guide to planning and postponing a wedding amidst the corona pandemic!
Planning a wedding:
Things to note:
The government has allowed for weddings with very small gatherings. So apart from the Panditji ensure you divide the other people you want to invite equally. Mostly the list will consist of yours and your fiance’s parents, siblings, immediate family like uncle’s, aunt and grandparents, and…you’re done. It really is that small! With such a small count of people, you can do it in your home and there will be no need to book a venue! But if you are booking a venue ensure that you book one where your guests can comfortably gather whilst maintaining social distancing. Another thing you can do is online weddings a.k.a virtual weddings. With a live stream, virtual guest party, and RSVP Manager, online weddings can be just as fun as offline weddings, and a lot safer too.
Source for decor and other materials locally. Flowers are your best options and anything needed for rituals can definitely be bought from stores and markets. Ensure to visit places where social distancing is being followed and avoid places where they’re not. Yes, this includes stores, markets, and so on. As mentioned before remember to source locally. At this point in orange and green zones, make-up artists will be a bit willing to come and do your makeup. But in red zones, it’s close to impossible. So ensure that you’re well prepared to do your own makeup. There are live tutorials on Instagram, YouTube, etc. Be sure to watch them, learn, and try the look you want a few times beforehand if you’re a novice.
How to Invite?
Meeting people and sending out wedding cards is out of the question in corona times. The best thing you can do at this point is to send out online wedding invitations and create a wedding website. You can send them e-invites or wedding video invitations. There are so many great options that you can just pick one that suits the wedding theme or color if you have the time. Also, if you’re having an online wedding ensure that the zoom link is printed out in the save-the-date invitations.
If you’re having a wedding in the corona lockdown a strong suggestion would be to not offer food, as it’ll become difficult to maintain social distancing, and also your guests, would be wary of eating outside and a lot of food would go to waste. Instead, have some freshly prepared meals, desserts, or Indian sweets delivered to your guest’s doorstep. With hygienic individual packaging, home-delivered food is a much safer option. Nevertheless, if you are arranging food at the venue, ensure that there are no buffets so social distancing doesn’t become an issue and also you can make seating arrangements accordingly. Ensure that the food is served piping hot and adequate measures like a facemask, hair mask, gloves, etc. are worn by the servers. Also, get an infrared thermometer to check the caterers’ temperature before they enter the venue. In addition, your family members can help serve food and this will eliminate the need for servers altogether.
Your guests are not going to be able to shop and look for a wedding gift at this point. So what you can do at this juncture is create a gift registry. It’s really convenient and you get the gifts that you actually want and will use. Instead of adding products to your gift registry in this lockdown, try and add more gift cards, cash funds, and charity registries. Amazon gift cards are the best option as you can shop for whatever you want at a later date and use them for whatever you need.
Personalizing goes a long way in these corona times. So something handmade/handwritten will be loved by your guests since all of them are going to be the closest friends and family. But if you can’t find any art/ craft materials to create something then don’t worry, a heartfelt note with some gourmet items like chocolate fudge, almonds, cashews, etc. will do.
Don’t try to have 2-3 day ceremonies as it’ll put everyone at risk due to corona. What you can do is have pre-wedding functions like Sangeet, Mehendi, etc. online and play games, music, and dance together from the comfort of your own homes with a virtual celebration. Make a list of songs and rope in the bridal party to help coordinate everything and act as your DJ. You can ask a band/ musician to perform online for your wedding too.
Venue and Decor
As mentioned before, you either have the wedding at your home or book a venue. You won’t need the huge venue, but if your vendor is not canceling and refunding the money, then try your best to use that venue itself and on the date of your previous wedding. Most vendors will agree to a change of date if not for the refund so decide accordingly. For the decor, it’s going to be tough to get elaborate ones done. So source locally for flowers and whatever you can get and then figure out how to use it instead of picking a design/theme first and then sourcing it like you normally would do.
On the wedding day:
Your dream day is here and we’re sure you’re all pumped for it. We know rituals are an important part of Indian weddings. But ones that require you to be in contact with your guests who’ve come from their own homes should be avoided if you can. Also, congratulatory hugs and shake hands are also going to be a big no-no at this time. So enjoy and have fun as much as you can and also remember to maintain social distance at all times at your wedding.
The Corona checklist:
Here’s a list of items you need to keep on hand in these tough corona times
- Hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol)
- Masks (at least 3ply)
- Sanitizing sprays
- Tissue papers and not towels
- Infrared thermometer
What you basically need to keep in mind is to have everything that is single-use and will not come in contact with multiple people.
Postponing your wedding:
Venue Booking and Vendors:
First things first if you’re postponing your wedding pick the next wedding date as soon as you can and then negotiate with your vendors. If you can’t and just want to cancel you’ll rarely get refunds. So if you’re postponing your wedding to the later part of the year just like most people are doing, then ensure you book your vendors as soon as possible. You might have to cancel your venue and rebook it for your winter wedding if you were opting for a big fat Indian wedding as it is recommendable to keep it small and intimate in the winter too as this pandemic is going to be here for a while.
But if you’re not getting your money back it only makes sense to have it in the venue already booked. Negotiate with your other vendors and request them for bookings for your winter wedding. Do your best not to let any vendors go. If your wedding date is not set yet and you’re thinking of doing it the next year, book your wedding venue for a tentative date and keep them informed. But as to your other vendors like makeup artists, decor, DJ etc. whom you will most likely have to cancel.
Invite and Uninvite:
If you’ve postponed your wedding and have set the wedding date, then send the new save the date invitations online to the people who are all invited since it’s advisable to have a small wedding. Mostly it’ll consist of only the closest friends and family. Get on a call/ video call with them as soon as you send out the new save the dates.
If you’ve not set your wedding date and have merely canceled your wedding, then send out something similar to an open letter to them and get on a call with them. For this you’ll definitely have to rope in you’re bridal party to help.
To uninvite guests, before sending an open letter or something of the sorts, get on a call with them and explain that due to the corona pandemic you’ve opted for a small and intimate wedding with only your closest family and friends present and keeping the health and safety guidelines in mind you’re sorry to have to uninvite them. You can ask them to get together with you or throw a reception/ party once the situation clears. Since this is a lot of calls divide it amongst you and your fiance and work the list from the people who are closest to you.
Start Planning For Wedding 2.0
Now, that your guests and vendors have been informed of your decision, start planning the new wedding. If you’ve set a date, then start working on your mood board first. Book your venue and vendors according to your new wedding date. Plan everything and also have backups. Before you book the vendors and planners, do discuss refunds beforehand and decide accordingly.
If you’ve not set your wedding date then make tentative plans on your mood board, research vendors, and keep everything on hand so that as soon as your wedding date is set, you can hit the ground running and start booking vendors ASAP.
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