HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

Are you planning on getting married soon or perhaps you were supposed to get married in the past few weeks but have been unable to do so due to the lockdown in South Africa? If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the many couples who have been significantly affected by the global pandemic which has left many dealing with the challenging decision to postpone or cancel the wedding. We totally understand how the past 3 months have caused a lot of stress, anxiety, and disappointment in your wedding preparations. Here at Bride&Co, we are focused in providing you with information related to weddings and COVID-19 that will best help, during this challenging time. No matter what phase of planning you’re in, we’re here to help. Below, we’ve put together some guideline to help you navigate this time.

WHAT WE KNOW

In the efforts to curve the spread of the coronavirus, the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus (Covid-19) a national state of emergency following his announcement made  19th March 2020 which led to the decision to enforce a national lockdown across South Africa. For most people, this decision simply means staying home and avoiding crowded public areas, but for many engaged couples this means changing or adjusting their wedding plans according to the implemented lockdown regulations and adhering to 1.5m social distancing rules. This mandate has unfortunately led to the disruption of many weddings, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and more. While South Africa may be under a lockdown your wedding planning does not need to be put on hold.

GETTING STARTED

Should I postpone my wedding?

Making the decision to postpone your wedding isn’t an easy one, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak. With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, it’s important to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of yourselves and your guests. While it may be heart-wrenching to postpone your celebration to a later date, couples need to consider the significant risks associated with large gatherings particularly for elderly guests. With the lockdown safety regulation also including the banning of all social gatherings, this further impacts weddings scheduled to happen within the year 2020. Once you’ve made the call to postpone, it’s important to maintain an open communication with your wedding guests, vendors and venues. Most importantly, couples need to stay abreast of the latest COVID-19 updates via https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

Inform your guests

Once you’ve made the decision to postpone the wedding as a couple, communicate to all your invited  guests that you will be moving your wedding date to a later date and will keep them updated once a new plan has been made. Most family and friends are aware of the current health threat that has hit the world and may already be expecting communication from you regarding the wedding.  While an email is the best email communication at this stage, it’s also important to send out a mass text message to everyone or make calls to anyone close to you those that don’t check emails. If you have a wedding website, update the website with all the details regarding the new date. You can also send out a postponement announcement or change the date cards.

Reach Out to Your Vendors

If your wedding date was scheduled between March and July, get in touch with all your vendors (venue, florist, photographer, caterer, videographer) to discuss your current contract terms and their policies on rescheduling. While all vendors are doing their best to accommodate client changes and dates, couples need to be aware that postponing or cancelling may potentially come with a cost. Keep a list of the information in a file or book for each vendor so you can easily reference it as needed. This information will also help when you start discussing new dates so you can keep track of who is available on which dates. Once you have an agreement on the new date with your vendor, ensure that you get a new amended contract with the new information. Even if your wedding is set for later in the year or 2021, now is still a good time to communicate with your vendors.

Your Wedding Dress + Bridesmaids Attire

For most brides across the country, the national lockdown came with the decision to transition the wedding to a different season. This in turn has impacted the wedding dress design and silhouette decision of many brides-to-be. As of 2nd June 2020, our selected Bride&Co stores have been permitted to operate under strict health and safety guidelines. For many brides-to-be this means that you can return to your wedding dress planning. Should you wish to get in touch with us regarding your options with our wedding dresses, we have 2 methods in which you can do so:

  1. You can book a FREE virtual appointmenthttps://brideandco.co.za/virtual-appointments/

Once we have received your booking request, one of our Bride&Co stylists will give you a call to set up your appointment based on your availability. You will receive a 1 hour personalized virtual session to identify your needs, styles and receive advice based on your needs. Our virtual appointments are done in the comfort of your home via a Zoom call and can be attended by you and any of your bridesmaids/family members.

  1. You can book a FREE in-store appointmenthttps://brideandco.co.za/book-your-free-fitting/

Our stores are currently operating under strict health conditions. When visiting any of our open branches, our couples are advised to attend their booking with one additional person i.e. Bride & Groom or Bride & 1 Bridesmaids. All our products and fitting room are regularly sanitized accordance to hygiene standards before and after every appointment.

A Contingency Plan

While all social gatherings including wedding ceremonies and inter-provincial travelling are still prohibited during the national lockdown, the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi has made the announcement that couples can opt to get married at their nearest Home Affairs office while following social distancing measures and wearing of masks under lockdown level 3. The good news is that couples getting married can have 2 witnesses accompanying the newlyweds. Alternatively, host a virtual wedding and share live video of your ceremony with your loved ones who are unable to attend in person. Celebrate your wedding in a small intimate setting at home with family, and don’t forget to sanitize your hands.

Stay Updated about the Coronavirus

We are working on keeping you up-to-date with all the guidelines to use during your lockdown wedding planning. Keep an eye out on all the developments about the outbreak by following World Health Organization and the SA Coronavirus website

https://covid19.who.int/region/afro/country/za

https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

We will be updating this article as we learn more.