By: Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events
While we are all getting used to our new normal, I thought that I should take some time to keep you updated, and in the loop in regards to the wedding world and how it is affecting all of us right now during COVID-19.
Until June 30th the Government of Ontario has set restrictions and guidelines for events. Marriage licenses or park photo permits are cancelled. Event permits are suspended. The issuance of marriage licenses is currently suspended. The service may resume on an emergency basis.
Postpone vs Cancel: The best advice that I can give you for your wedding events scheduled in the next six-eight weeks is to postpone, don’t cancel. This means bridal showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, weddings, etc. #postponenotcancel
Although postponing is not what any of us expected or wanted, it is the safest and smartest way to move forward. Outright cancelling means lost revenue for the wedding vendors that you have hired and a loss of most or all of the retainers/initial payments that you have made.
How We Can Help With Your Vendors: We will go over the signed contracts together, and then I will reach out to the vendors that you are working with for your wedding and see what their policies are for postponing or cancelling. I will discuss dates that are available for you and them to try to get everyone on the same page, and then have a newly amended contract sent to you for signing, and the payments made previously can be rolled over to the new contract.
* Most vendors are being very flexible with their rescheduling policies and moving to new dates when/if they are available. Please note that there may, or may not be a fee involved (a reason could be some items may have been previously ordered/purchased such as florals, decor or fabric from other countries to go with theme or season and will no longer be relevant).
How You Can Help With Your Vendors: You will need to be available for phone calls and respond to emails quickly as the new available dates won’t last. Many couples will be in the same boat with their wedding vendors, as well as other couples who are looking to book their weddings after a recent engagement. When a new contract is presented to you, you will need to get it signed and sent back, ASAP.
*Please remember that some of your wedding vendors may already be booked for the new available dates or sadly, may not even be in business by the time this is all over. This means you may need to forfeit your payments and find a new vendor to replace them.
Let Your Guests Know About the New Date: Once a new date has been scheduled and confirmed, you will need to let all of your guests know. Whether you send out a save-the-date printed card, an email, phone call, or better yet, use an online stationery company like Paperless Post to email out the new information.
*Make sure that your wedding party is also available, along with your “must attend” guests.
Room Blocks: If you had previously set-up a room block for your guests, the hotel may have different availability and rates during the new wedding timeframe.
*Be aware of buyouts for conferences and children’s sports tournaments in the fall. It also might be a positive thing and cost less than a summer weekend rate.
Deciding on a New Theme: With a new date, it might mean that you need to change your theme. We can definitely help with this. It could be due to items not being available, or no longer in-season which could drive up the costs, or even the possibility of getting them (such as florals for your centrepieces, bouquets and boutonnieres). Colours and fabrics might need to be changed for the wedding party attire, linens, and even the location could be affected (an outdoor ceremony may no longer be possible at your waterfront venue).
Catering Considerations: Has your guestlist changed? Please be aware that it could increase/decrease with the new wedding date. Will the new dates affect the type of food and number of courses that will be served? A summer wedding may have had a lighter and prettier type of food styling menu, where a fall or winter wedding may require a heartier meal with substance. This can all affect the pricing of your new contract.
*On the plus side you should book a new food-tasting to approve the menu
We are all going through this together, and we need to work together to come up with new plans. It’s frightening and no one knows how long this will last and what direction it will take. Please remember that we are here for you, and will try to make informed and beneficial suggestions every step of the way.