COVID-19 and Your Wedding

COVID-19 and Your Wedding

Yes, the feature photo for this blog are two glasses of wine because we probably need a glass or two right now. I know it is all on our brains with wedding planning and COVID-19 on the rise here in Washington State and so I wanted to address a few concerns.

What is the CDC and our government saying right now?

As of April 1st, 2020 we are still on a “Stay at Home” order by our Governor here in Washington until April 6th with the potential of that extending.  Therefore, at this time it is illegal to have any gatherings, regardless of the size.  

What is the protocol for if we have to postpone our wedding? And should we postpone?

Our biggest recommendation right now is to postpone, not cancel.  One, that ups the chances of you being able to move retainers to your new date and also, keep the original plans of your dream wedding as close to the original as possible.  This also helps out your vendors as well.  We are all struggling in this together and although it is hard to have a huge chunk or potentially all our weddings move from 2020 to 2021, by postponing it enables us to keep our businesses open and continue to serve you. 

If you are considering rescheduling, we are asking you would only reschedule about 60 days or less before your original date as it might be a bit too early to determine anything about the situation as it might get better. Also please, please, please consider rescheduling to a non-peak date in 2021.  By picking an off season, Friday or Sunday date you are enabling your vendors to make sure they still get to book a 2021 season and ensure they are still open for business by the time your wedding actually does roll around. You also might get a better discount from your venue or vendors by doing so as we all know money is tight right now. 

Rebecca Anne Photography’s contract states that your retainer is non-refundable but transferable to another date through the following calendar year if rescheduled 30 days or more before your wedding date.  If it is less than 30 days before your wedding date then your final balance will still be due but still transferrable to a new date through the following calendar year if we are available.  If the new date does not fall within the following calendar year, then a new retainer of 50% the packaged price will be due to secure the new date.  Please see your contract for full details.

What happens if Rebecca or one of her associates gets sick?

Rebecca herself started a group for Washington Wedding Photographers in case of an emergency to help support photographers who come down sick and still have events to photograph.  We also currently have a team of 3 associate photographers who work under our brand that are here to support each other and are bringing on another 2 photographers in the upcoming months.  Our first priority if one of our photographers gets sick is to keep you within the Rebecca Anne Photography team and assign another associate (or myself) to photograph your day.  If that is not possible, then we would reach out to the photographers we know well who have similar shooting styles and ask them to shoot the day while we still finish the editing and delivery process.

Next steps if considering rescheduling:

  1. Start by talking to your venue.  Venues have different protocols they have to abide by and will most likely be the ones to make the call.  Ask what their plan and protocol is for postponing.  This is also most likely your main vendor you want to keep the same.  Ask your venue for 3-4 potential new date options. 
  2. Review your vendors contracts.  Make notes of who has a non-refundable retainer and who does not and when final payments are due…etc.  This enables you to have all of the information you might need when looking to reschedule and prioritize vendors based off of their policies.  
  3. Then start talking to your vendors.  Usually the order of importance goes Venue, Coordinator, Photographer and Caterer being the top four.  Reach out to them to find out what they are recommending at this time. 
  4. Talk to your close family, especially ones who have to travel from out of state.  Find out peoples level of being comfortable still attending a wedding and in what kind of situation.  
  5. Prepare yourself for a lower guest count if you are still able to have your wedding from those who might be sick, or are concerned about getting sick. 
  6. Consider an elopement now followed by a reception later. Yes, you can totally divide up your package and do an elopement as soon as the “Stay-at-home” order is lifted. 
  7. Consider live streaming your event.  Or maybe if you don’t have a videographer, add one a videographer so you have another way to share your day with those who cannot attend.  
  8. You need to make a backup plan for the worst case scenario and then we hope and pray you are able to still have the wedding of your dreams like planned.  But once you have a backup plan in place it will ease the worry as you know your next steps.  

The biggest thing in all of this is to keep yourself and your family and friends safe.  If that means asking the elderly or those with compromised immune systems to stay home, then you need to do that.

A Institute precautions on your wedding day with extra hand sanitizers, propping doors between rooms open, seating fewer people per table and checking in with your venue, coordinator and catering in the ways they can help keep your guests safe.    

What happens if all large gatherings like weddings have to be postponed and you don’t want to wait to get married?

Why not consider a small intimate elopement with your closest friends and family and reschedule your reception for sometime next year?  We can still get you the wedding photos of your dreams and the intimate moments with your close family members and wait to have the big celebration with your friends until later.  

Most importantly, I’m here for you and we got this!

My hope and prayer is no one ever needs to read this or institute anything I said in this blog and you get to have a wedding even better than you dreamed.  But I am here for you and I want to help, however that might be.  And know that either way, we are going to capture the most amazing photos for you, and guest what, COVID-19 won’t be documented in those photos but just your love and memories.  Please do not hesitate to give me a call, send an email or text with questions, concerns or if you just need to bounce some ideas off of someone else who might understand.