Thursday 22nd October 2020
Planning your 2021 wedding?
Well, you could be forgiven for feeling a little anxious right now. Every day, we here at Tailored Entertainment are talking to clients with a myriad of different concerns over their 2021 wedding plans, and we totally understand why. There are so many uncertainties swirling around right now that it’s difficult to make concrete plans, even if those plans are pretty far away in the diary. Maybe you always had your heart set on a 2021 wedding date, or maybe you’ve already moved your wedding day from 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions in your area. Either way, there’s a whole new set of questions that need answering when it comes to wedding planning for 2021.
Well, we’re going to do our best to help you make sense of all this and hopefully allay some of those concerns that you’ve been feeling about planning a 2021 wedding.
First off, here’s the good news.
The wedding industry has had a good six months to get a handle on the current situation. And whilst most suppliers aren’t currently operating at full capacity, they’re ready and raring to go for when they can get back to it.
Almost every supplier and venue you’re likely to come across is offering free or reduced-cost rescheduling options should you need to postpone your wedding day, meaning the only thing you’re losing in a worst-case-scenario is a little time finding a new date for your wedding.
Take us here at Tailored Entertainment, for example. We’ve published our very own COVID promise, setting out our terms for free of charge rescheduling for any wedding entertainment booked, whether or not you’ve been able to secure wedding insurance. This is becoming pretty much an industry standard for most wedding suppliers but be sure to check all of your supplier’s coronavirus advice for weddings before booking to ensure you can move to a new date without incurring any penalties.
Once you know that you can move your date if the situation necessitates, your decision to plan and book a 2021 wedding becomes a lot less fraught. You’re free to get a date in the diary without taking any significant financial risk, safe in the knowledge that your date can be moved if needs be. This in itself is a huge relief for many couples!
Let's start by addressing those nagging 2021 wedding planning worries head-on. To help us get to grips with it all, we thought we'd ask an expert in wedding planning for a little advice.
Matthew Oliver is the owner and founder of Matthew Oliver Weddings, a luxury international wedding planning service based in Wiltshire. We've been lucky enough to work with Matthew on a number of absolutely stunning destination weddings. We can promise you that if anyone can offer great advice on planning your 2021 wedding, it's Matthew.
Let's get started!
Couples are naturally a little anxious over locking in a 2021 date for their wedding right now. What advice would you offer to those concerned about having to potentially postpone their 2021 date?
It's absolutely ok to be anxious about this, we are currently in a time of so much uncertainty and you are not alone in this. Therefore have open and honest conversations with your wedding suppliers about how you feel and what you can do together to alleviate that anxiety, this could be putting in precautionary postponement plans early on and keeping your guests in the loop. Communication really is going to help with the entire process.
How are suppliers and venues generally handling postponements? Are peak dates for late 2021 and 2022 already booking out? Are their services changing dramatically for dates that do go ahead?
At this stage, most, if not all, suppliers in the wedding industry will be pros at postponements and so should be handling them without much issue, again through keeping the communication channels clear and planning well. Peak dates for late 2021 are looking pretty full, but currently, we aren't seeing any difficulty booking dates in 2022, though please do reach out to suppliers about your ideal dates as they may be available. In terms of changes in service for suppliers, that really depends on the service offered and if they are affected by COVID rules, though I can say as an industry we are adaptive and creative, so any changes in service will unlikely be to the detriment of the couple.
Many couples who pushed their date from 2020 into early 2021 may be faced with having to decide whether to postpone again – should they just go for it instead? And what would their wedding look like if they did?
All we can say to couples is 'are you willing to adjust your vision of your wedding', if they are and they don't want to postpone again, then go for it. Based on current lock-down rules, that would see a small wedding guest list of 15 people, face masks, and no dancing, but that doesn't mean the wedding wouldn't be beautiful, personal, and emotional (the party can always happen at a later date). For those that want to have their wedding the way they envisioned it, then there is no harm in postponing, if you have done it once then there is remarkably less stress in doing it again, as you no know what to expect. There is no right answer, there is just looking at what you would be happy with for you and your partner's wedding, and deciding based on that.
Have you had any clients that decided to push ahead with their wedding plans with restrictions in place? How did those weddings look/feel for the couple?
Our clients have decided to postpone, as we do majority destination weddings, with guests usually coming in from different countries, this has been the more preferable choice for our couples. Though if they decided to go ahead with a smaller wedding, following lockdown guidelines, we would certainly be on board!
It’s difficult to predict when things will return to some form of normalcy – do you think the way that weddings are planned and celebrated will change as a result of COVID-19?
In the long term, I think and I hope the way weddings are celebrated will return to the way they were, all your friends and family with you, intimacy, hugging and dancing. COVID rules have eliminated that from weddings, which if you're not careful creates a less welcoming more clinical atmosphere and I am looking for that to be gone! Though straight out of lockdown I do expect everyone to be more cautious when mingling at events, so as planners we would be looking at venues that are potentially bigger than needed, to allow space for social distancing from those who want it. we are going to need to ease out of this and find a balance to ensure everyone is comfortable and has the best day.
Lots of our clients are naturally feeling really stressed right now, with the happiest day of their lives suddenly laden with a lot of stressful baggage. Can you offer any advice on how to refocus, and get the good vibes back again?
One of the silver linings of postponements is the gift of time, take this time to get to know the people involved with your wedding, start building more of a relationship with them, so you have someone invested in your wedding to get excited with. Also, take this time to focus on the personal details, what will can you add to your wedding which when your guests arrive they can immediately see both your personalities jumping out at them. It's building these relationships and focusing on these fun or emotional details that will bring all those good vibes flooding in!
Thanks for your time, Matthew! So many helpful bit and pieces in there.
It goes without saying that it’s pretty difficult to predict when weddings will get back to pre-COVID levels of normality. However, the wedding industry as a whole is feeling incredibly positive about a busy and successful 2021, and this is being reflected in the volume of bookings being made.
Peak dates for 2021 are booking up fast. Even summer Saturdays in 2022 are starting to see significant levels of inquiries. So if you have your heart set on a 2021 wedding date, it’s at least worth exploring the idea of getting the ball rolling on bookings as soon as possible.
As we discussed earlier, even with a date in the diary and suppliers booked in you’re still going to have plenty of options. But what do they look like? Here, we’re going to explore a few possibilities depending on what the guidelines permit.
1. CARRY ON REGARDLESS?
Now there’s every chance that, by the time your wedding day rolls around, you’ll be able to have the exact wedding celebration that you’ve always wanted – no restrictions on numbers, no pesky face masks...many of our clients with dates deep into 2021 are happily waiting to see how the land lies closer to the time.
But if you’ve already moved your wedding once before, or you’ve been waiting to tie the knot for a long time already, you might just want to press ahead with your plans all the same, even if restrictions remain in place in some capacity or another.
Like many wedding suppliers, we here at Tailored Entertainment have curated wedding entertainment packages for celebrations taking place under COVID-secure guidelines. And you can still have an incredibly magical experience with an intimate guestlist. All of your suppliers are adapting their services to make sure you still have an incredibly special wedding day, even if it doesn’t look quite how you envisioned it when you started your wedding planning.
We’re offering ways to keep your incredible wedding entertainment whilst still remaining within government guidelines – many of our acts are performing stripped-back versions of their standard set-up with fewer band members to keep tabs on numbers. Alternatively, you could book one of our wedding soloists, or maybe even a professional wedding DJ. There are tonnes of options out there for those who want to press ahead with their wedding plans!
2. SPLIT THE CEREMONY AND THE PARTY
A popular option for many couples in recent months has been to go ahead with the wedding ceremony itself on the original date, and move the party a few months down the line to a date when all of their guests will be able to attend and celebrate the marriage with them. Our clients Emily and Alex did this earlier this month, pressing ahead with their ceremony at The Four Seasons Hampshire, and moving their ‘wedding party’ into next year, with their preferred band Soul Supreme moving to the new date (free of charge, of course!).
We think this is a great middle-ground option for many couples, one that strikes a great balance and still allows you to celebrate your marriage with all of your family and friends at a later date. Obviously, this won’t be for everyone, but it’s certainly worth thinking about!
3. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, RESCHEDULE!
If the first two options don’t work out for whatever reason, all is not lost! You can simply move your wedding date forward in the diary to a point in time whereby you’ll feasibly be able to press ahead with your wedding as originally intended. As we said earlier in this article, all wedding suppliers worth their salt are offering rescheduling options free of charge meaning there’s very little risk involved for you as the client.
One stumbling block may be that all your preferred suppliers aren’t available for your new date. It might be useful to come up with a list of priority suppliers – one’s that you’d really want to keep hold of in the event that you have to move dates. It might also be worth having a fall-back date in mind, just in case!
Whatever route you take, we can guarantee your suppliers will bend over backward to ensure your wedding plans stay on track. Don’t forget – we’re all on your side!
We’re going to finish by reiterating another great point from our interview with Kat at Rock n’ Roll Bride in an earlier blog. Be sure to cut yourself some slack. The last few months have almost certainly been no end of stressful for you - in many aspects of your life. You’re allowed to be mad. You’re allowed to be hurt and upset. But ultimately, the crucial thing is that you end up married to the person you love. Give yourself plenty of time to ask yourself what you really want to do, and don’t feel forced into making any decisions because of time pressures or the actions of other people.
What will be will be. And after the last corks have been popped and the final pieces of confetti have been swept away, what will remain is the memory of celebrating your love in front of the people that mean the most to you in the world. And nothing can ever diminish that. You can always chat to one of our expert team for more advice on postponing your wedding day due to COVID-19. We’d love to hear from you.
From our families to yours, we wish you health and happiness.
See you at a wedding very soon!
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