The development of COVID-19 is ongoing and, understandably, has the world on high alert. World Health Organization has now declared it to be a global pandemic. British Columbia’s top health officials are advising against all non-essential travel outside Canada and asking that all gatherings of more than 250 people be cancelled at this time. It is clear that weddings in Spring of 2020 are in crisis mode.
I’M GETTING MARRIED SOON - SHOULD I POSTPONE OR CANCEL THE WEDDING DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS?
For anyone that is supposed to be getting married during this uncertain time, it’s probably time to discuss with your family and come up with some contingency plans for your event. Consider all your options before you completely cancel. Your personal back-up plans may depend on the severity of Coronavirus as things progress:
If the decision is to proceed as planned: Ask guests to let you know if they will be unable to attend. Discuss with your vendors ahead of time to see if changes can be made to your booked package. If there is a minimum spend for your venue, talk to them to see if it can be flexible, if not, you can choose to upgrade your food and drinks selection to meet the minimum spend.
If a large portion of your guest list is unable to make it: Consider having more of an elopement or small wedding ceremony on your original date and throw a party or reception at a later time. Tell your officiant about the situation so that he/she can design a ceremony that will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.
Should I invest in event insurance?
Check with insurance brokers and look into event insurance such as WeddingGuard, their package includes wedding cancellation, you can claim the deposits paid or contracted to be paid because of if the venue is unable to host your wedding. Suggest that you do research on your insurance to make sure it covers the right things.
I want to proceed with those who are able to make it. How can we keep ourselves and our guests as safe as possible?
Generally speaking, you’ll want to do what is best to keep you and your guests safe.
For the wedding itself, you may want to discuss safety concerns with your venue, caterer and any vendors that might have chances to contact you or your guest closely on your wedding. Have a transparent and honest conversation about your concerns on the topic of sanitization and what vendors are doing to keep themselves and their wedding party/guests safe. For example, our officiants sanitize and clean our stationary before and after each ceremony, and we use our own microphones & voice amplifiers during weddings as a precautionary measure.
Ask those who have been in contact with anyone who may have had the virus to stay home. This is especially important in regards to anyone spending time with elderly or someone who is immuno-compromised.
You can also encourage the use of hand sanitizer and good hygiene, none of the above completely mitigate the risk but are all good practice steps to reduce the risk and in line with current official advice.