If you’re planning to get married in 2021, the idea of wedding postponement, a plan B or possibly even cancellation has probably crossed your mind – but how do you decide? Revelry Events are here to help.
Thanks to the continued lockdown across the UK we’ve entered season 2021 of Covid: The New Strain with yet another will they/won’t they wedding dilemma. Now, I don’t know about you, but this series just feels little too derivative of season 2020, where mostly the answer was ‘no, no they won’t.’ We’re hoping 2021 will have a different outcome, but for all those long term viewers (those who’ve already had to deal with wedding postponement in 2020) and new joiners (hi 2021 weddings) we thought it might be handy to recap current wedding guidelines and offer some advice on what to do next.
Right now, as of start of February 2021, weddings are pretty restrictive. England says no unless in exceptional circumstances and even then only six people are allowed (not counting those working at the event). Scotland will only allow five and this does include the couple, officiant and witnesses. Wales and Northern Ireland are a little more relaxed, with Wales putting the onus on the venue to allow as many guests as can safely social distance, and Northern Ireland allowing up to 25 but with face masks. However, the lockdown is due to lift early March (fingers crossed) so it’s possible that weddings will be back on the agenda and get more and more like ye weddings of olde as the year goes on, but just in case they aren’t, now is the time to think about contingencies (oooh so romantic!).
1. Do your maths
If you have to reduce numbers to go ahead with your wedding, work out who makes the cut now. Who gets to come if the Government slashes the head count to 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50? It might sound a bit laborious (and harsh) to play guest top trumps, but it will save you a lot of stress later.
2. Make the most of the outdoors
Although ceremonies can go ahead in some shape or form, the same can’t be said for receptions. If they’re allowed after lockdown there may still be some concessions to be made. Opt for a standing reception with bowl food and chunky canapés instead of a sit down meal, avoid any roaming entertainment and instead have a designated performance area for unplugged musicians or socially distanced entertainment like magicians or caricaturists.
3. Stay safe
Even with the vaccine rollout, the virus is here for a while so keep yourselves and your guests as safe as possible with hand sanitisers, face masks and social distancing. It’s easier said than done at a wedding with everyone wanting to wish you well, but at least no one is going to spill a drink down you!
Be prepared to accept that certain elements of your day like letting loose on the dance floor may not be allowed, and create a Plan B schedule that you’re happy with. What is a non-negotiable? What can you live with losing? Can you get to a Plan B day that you’re still happy with? It will make the will you/won’t you decision much easier to make if weddings remain problematic throughout the year
5. Consider wedding postponement if Plan B isn’t for you
Even if this is the second wedding postponement, suppliers and venues are being as flexible as they can to meet your needs. Talk to them about your concerns and find out their availability – start with venue and caterers – so you can put another date in the diary that you feel more comfortable with it.
6. Have the conversation about cancelling
If your Plan B isn’t working for you and postponing isn’t an option then you can just flat out cancel. There’s no rule that says you’re wedded to this wedding (pun absolutely intended), but if you’re heading down that road don’t leave it too late. Those contracts you signed way back when, will include a cancellation policy, which means you not only lose your deposit but could find yourself liable to pay a fee which normally increases the closer you get to your wedding date
7. Don’t rely on your wedding insurance
That’s not a good Plan B. They are unlikely to pay out due to Covid at this stage and they don’t consider ‘but it’s not the day I wanted’ as a valid reason to hand over some cash. Although important to be insured – especially if your venue or suppliers have been adversely affected and/or can no longer fulfil the contract – your insurer will not provide you with a wedding windfall
8. Stay positive
If you’re living together during lockdown and are making it through relatively unscathed then you can be pretty sure you’re committing to the right person, which in the end, is what a wedding is all about. If that doesn’t cheer you up, try chocolate
On those pearls of wisdom we’ll leave you to enjoy your daily exercise/stuff your face/watch Netflix (delete as appropriate) and be back next month with our guide to micro weddings. Turns out good things can come in small packages and your Plan B might just turn into your Plan A after all.