The situation in our world is ever changing, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are following these changes closely. We have communicated already that here in New York, starting on March 23rd, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state is on PAUSE “until further notice”. No social gatherings, no nonessential workers reporting in each day, everyone told to stay at home and not move about. Then today President Trump issued guidelines to extend the social distancing and gathering restrictions until April 30 which is the biggest directive we have heard from the White House so far. Previously we had been working off the CDC’s suggestions of canceling events of 50 people or more and limiting human-to-human contact for 8 weeks (announced on March 15) which by our calculations would extend out until May 10th. That CDC message was a suggestion and not a mandate, so it is worth noting that today’s announcement from the White House is the most direct messaging we have heard from the Federal government on what we should all be prepared for in terms of length of limitations. Also worth noting is a second point made by the President that he hopes we can see a return to normal activity by the beginning of this June.
What does this mean for weddings?
Social restrictions are in place now for at least the next month. How far they will be extended past that, no one knows. Weddings for spring 2020 are certainly going to be affected.
If you have a wedding scheduled in April what should you do?
After today’s announcement from the White House it appears that April weddings will not be able to take place as planned. You should contact your venue immediately to talk about postponement plans and find a future date to lock in on. Then reach out to your vendors to reschedule them, and communicate with your guests so they can change their plans. Stay calm in this and know that your union – your marriage – is more important than your party. But also that your party can still happen, even if it’s not in the original way you envisioned.
If you have a wedding scheduled in May what should you do?
There has not yet been communication about whether restrictions will extend to May, but if you can see the writing on the wall you will know that this virus is spreading in our country (and still in the world) very rapidly right now and the mandates coming out of all government offices have been accelerating their projections with each passing day. Last week the President said he wanted the country back to normal by Easter (currently two weeks from now) and today he said all operations are on hold until April 30th. It may only be a matter of days until a Federal or State mandate extends into part or all of the month of May. Do yourself a favor and call your venue right away. Find out if you can push to a future date and get that date held on their calendar until April 30th. Talk to your vendors and see if they would offer a similar hold for you. Try to keep your vendor team together while looking ahead at what a wedding on a future date would look like to you and your family and your guests. Don’t wait until April 30th to make a move. Now is the time to do what you can to prepare yourself and keep your wedding in place while you wait to hear more details from government officials.
If you have a wedding scheduled in June or beyond what should you do?
No one has a crystal ball to understand what could or could not be ahead of us. June is 2 months from now, July is 3 months from now, etc. While we all want to get back to life as normal as quickly as we can we also have to look at the reality of the countries who have suffered through this pandemic before it ever hit American soil. China just started lifting some of their bans this weekend but they first had cases back in December. So they were in a quarantine mode for close to 5 months before their citizens could operate as life as normal. The cases in America started in late January on the west coast then soon southern NY and NYC became an epicenter for the cases in our country. If we follow China’s path of a 5 month curve then we would be looking at May at the best (Washington state’s 5 month mark) or many months from then for states who have barely had any exposure so far. It is not out of the question that events in June may be impacted regardless of where in the country they are slated to be held. The question lies as to whether or not it’s smarter to stick it out, hold hope, and wait? Or make moves now to get ahead of everyone else who is moving their wedding to a future date? My personal and professional opinion at this time is that if your wedding is scheduled for early June you would be smart to consider moving it now. But if your wedding is slated for late June? That’s a tough one. Going off the info we have today, your guess is as good as mine.
Want another option?
Eloping is always a possibility, and an easy choice for couples who want to experience a romantic wedding day that is free from external distractions. While it might not be right for everyone, it is looking like an appealing option for a lot of couples who are more interested in marrying the love of their life and not having to try to work around the rules and restrictions being posed by the outside world. If elopement is appealing to you we can help with that, too. 😉
One last thing to note… Our President made mention last week that we could be in this mess until August of 2020. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of scientific facts to back this prediction up, but because it was presented in an official capacity it only makes sense for us to keep it on the pile of items that are all in the realm of possibility. Something for June/July/August/and beyond couples to think about if nothing less.
As more information is released I will continue to update you all with the facts as I understand them. This is a tough time for so many people in our world. I hope these posts give some level of knowledge and comfort at this trying time. <3
photo by Tracey Buyce Photography