Updated: Apr 20
As a Wedding Photographer I have seen first-hand how worrying and frustrating these times can be for engaged couples, caught up in the whirlwind of a global pandemic.
Everything is changing on a daily basis, we are well and truly in uncharted waters. I have put together some simple tips here that I hope will help you get the show back on the road.
It is a perfectly natural (if unproductive) reaction to panic a little bit. Years of carefully crafted plans, all gone up in smoke. But this is not the case. All that work, all that research, all those difficult decisions – that is still solid and not wasted effort. Most, if not all, of that work can be reused & recycled. Invitations & save-date-date cards is probably the only certain casualty (unless you want to go down the Tippex route).
Speaking of invitations & invitees, don’t be agonising about having to tell your guests that the dates have changed. You are not alone in this boat, it will not be unexpected that you have to bend to the will of a global pandemic and change your Wedding plans. If any guest does take umbrage at your flightiness, maybe this is a good way to filter out those guests that will not be receiving an updated invitation.
It is very important to take control of the situation. Be proactive. Get in touch with each of your vendors, starting with the hotel / venue. Don’t beat around the bush, be direct.
Find out where they stand with your current date and what are their proposed alternatives.
Call the other vendors in your team, find out where they stand on the alternative dates.
Most important – find out where the vendors (including the venue) stand on booking deposits. If they can cover the new dates then your deposit should carry over. If they cannot cover your new dates then what happens your deposit? Do not leave this question unasked (or unchallenged).
Keep track of all your responses (a table with the alternative dates, marked with the availability of all vendors).
You may lose some of your deposits, a lot depends on the policy of the vendors. Personally, I am accommodating all date changes where I am available and refunding deposits where I am not. But that is me, and other people may have different approaches (and different interpretations of the word ‘fair’).
If you are taking a hit on a deposit or two, have a think about whether you need more time to save or whether you want to scale things back a bit. Maybe you might want to consider renegotiating or downsizing with a vendor or two. Just beware that most (or all) your vendors will have been savaged by this situation (an entire year of work & income has disappeared) so be sound.
Don’t rush into the new date. Take your time, don’t let anyone put pressure on you. Remember how you agonised over the initial date? Remember all the factors you considered (big and small) before the stars aligned and one date popped out of the Ouija Board (confirmed by a Magic 8 Ball or two)? The second pass at the date selection is no less important.
Have a cuppa, look over it all with a cool head, consult your table with the vendor availability, and find the date that works for everybody, including yourselves. No use picking a date that makes everyone else happy apart from you guys – this is your day, don’t let the tail (or multitude of tails!) wag the dog.
Make sure you consult with the Government guidelines of course.
It is not all doom & gloom & negatives here. You can make the best of these changes and turn this into an opportunity.
First off, enjoy the easement of pressure – the big day is a bit further down the road! You have a second pass at the entire Wedding now, you can use this as a chance to make the changes that you felt you couldn’t at this late stage.
Change vendors (subject to deposit policy of course)
Change the guests, either for the reason I mentioned earlier or because your circle of friends has changed a bit. You can always blame the postman…..
Change the Groom / Bride – for those who truly like to think outside the box.
Change the Season – if you feel the whole thing is becoming a bit stale in your mind, change the Season for the new date – you would be surprised how this can make the entire planning feel fresh and exciting once again.
A bit of a cliché right now but do stay safe and keep perspective. It is a global pandemic. This is ‘just’ a date change. Might feel catastrophic but it is really anything but. You guys will be spending the rest of your long lives together. This also gives you more time to plan your Diamond Jubilee anniversary. Stay kind, stay zen, stay nice, stay sound.
Hopefully you found this useful, please share it with anyone else that might need it. Best of luck with your changes. Keep a cool head & clean hands.
Until next time,
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Stephen O'Sullivan is a documentary wedding photographer. It appears he talks about himself in the third person these days....... Apologies.... I am an award winning Wedding Photographer, specialising in relaxed & fun Wedding Photography. No awkward nonsense, no excessive posing, no hogging the couple on their big day. My style is natural Wedding Photography. I have twin bases in Dublin & Killaloe and I serve Dublin, Kerry, Tipperary, Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Cork, Wexford, Wicklow, Monaghan, Galway and anywhere in between. I would love to hear from you, get in touch here, fill in some details and get a quote. No awkward nonsense, simply beautiful photos.
I love my work, and you will too.