Planning your Wedding Amidst COVID-19
(12th May 2020 Update)
It has been 50+ days since the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world. It has also forced us to stay indoors, cancel our ‘normal’ lives and everything else we thought to be perfectly normal. Yet, things are easing out now. In recent weeks, we have seen, heard and read of couples tying the knot online, i.e., with family members and friends present via ZOOM or Hangouts. At times, couples, along with their immediate families, have gone ahead with intimate weddings hosted in their own homes. These couples give us hope. They reinforce our belief in the fact that once the pandemic is put to rest and the lockdown, travel ban is lifted, we will see a surge in the number of weddings and events being celebrated around the country.
On this note, we would like to inform you that in most cities, our venues are now accepting recce requests and bookings for all dates. You can now plan a visit to the venue of your choice*. However, please ensure:
Adhere to all government norms for hygiene
Please wear a mask
If you are unwell – have cough, fever, etc. please avoid the visit
If you wish to explore the venue but not visit it, you can always speak to the Venue Manager in charge of the venue to provide you with photographs and videos of the venue via Whatsapp
Number of Guests Allowed
In the current situation, state governments are allowing weddings to be hosted with very limited numbers. In some states and cities, a gathering or 20 people or 50 are allowed. In some cases, only the immediate family members are allowed. It is best to stick to these numbers so as to minimise risks and not flout any rules.
Please also ensure that whoever is attending the wedding is healthy and fit. It is best to not have family members over the age of 65 attend the wedding or travel to the wedding as they are at higher risks of falling prey to the virus.
Hosting a Wedding at a Local Venue
Please note that the things to consider while choosing a venue will change now. The venue itself may offer limited services as certain services are subject to the availability of things and staff members.
So, when booking the venue, ensure the following:
Safety measures followed by the venue owners, staff and more
Hygiene is maintained at the venue, the banquet halls, food stations and food areas
Washrooms are frequently sanitised
Proper disposable bins present at the locations
Availability of sanitizers at the venue, etc.
The frequency of hand sanitizing undertaken by the staff at the venue
Role of Wedding Vendors
As we are aware of the situation; with the current travel ban and unavailability of resources, wedding vendors may not be able to provide everything as per your wedding plan. Therefore, it is best if you work out a proper, ‘doable’ plan with your vendors. Ask them the right questions – what is available, what can be done, how much décor is possible – what flowers, props, seats, etc. are available at the moment.
It is best to work this out beforehand so as to avoid disappointments. Also, ensure the vendors too follow all Government norms and adhere to all hygiene rules set to combat the virus.
Important points to note:
Non-veg can be avoided – this is because the safety measures taken while procuring the raw meats or seafood can be debatable
Limited no. of dishes is a good idea
Handwash stations equipped with hand sanitisers should be placed at the beginning and at the end of the buffet line
Staff serving food should be wearing proper protective gear – gloves, masks and even a hat if required
An important point to consider is the Wifi availability. If it is not available the venue, the wedding planner or decorator can make arrangements. This is because, with limited attendance, people want to virtually include their friends and family members in their celebrations.
To ensure safe wedding celebrations, we at Weddingz.in are taking the following measures to maintain complete hygiene, sanitisation, in keeping with government norms:
Important Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Weddingz.in Venues/Banquet Sales Office:
At the venue sales office, there shall have 4 or fewer staff members including the security guard, venue manager and venue owner/owner representative. However, if the venue also provides any essential services such as online food delivery then additional people for managing the essential services may be allowed.
All the staff members shall be wearing face cover and hand gloves at the venue sales office and persons in charge shall also ensure additional stock for any emergency.
The venue sales office shall allow only one customer to enter the venue premise at one time. The customer can be accompanied with only one more person (family member/relative/friend) while visiting the venue sales office to ensure maximum 5 people, including the staff, are present within the sales office at the venue at any time.
All persons entering the venue sales office – employees or customers – shall mandatorily wear face mask/face cover during the entire duration of their presence at the venue sales office.
Persons in charge at the venue sales offices shall ensure social distancing as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
Venue sales office shall define a waiting area for customers and distinctive marking maintaining six feet (2 gaz doori) distance shall be made in this waiting area to ensure adequate social distancing.
Venue sales office shall remain closed between 6:00 PM to 8:00 AM to ensure no movement of individuals between 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM as per the guidelines issued by MoHFW. However, the venue may remain open beyond the prescribed timeline if providing any essential services such as food delivery.
Hand wash/sanitizers shall be made available at all entry/exit points.
Daily sanitisation of common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., shall be ensured.
It is mandatory for all venue staff members to install the Arogya Setu app on their phones.
Weddingz.in shall ensure intensive communication and training on good hygiene practice for its sales team working at the venue sales offices.
Hospitals/clinics in the nearby areas, which are authorised to treat COVID-19 patients, shall be identified and a list should be available at the workplace all the time along with contact details.
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years shall not be allowed to visit the venue.
Venue shall not offer any food or drinks to visiting customers during the lockdown period.
At each venue, the following should be displayed prominently on a notice board at any location near the entrance so that it is clearly visible for all visitors and employees:
National Directives for COVID-19 Management – Annexure 1 from the Govt of India, Ministry of Home Affairs Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dt. 1 May 2020
Any relevant orders or directions by State Government/Local Authorities that should be prominently displayed
Believe us when we say, we know what you are going through! Planning a wedding is a big task and if god forbid, one has to cancel or postpone or reschedule it due to different reasons, it can wreak havoc on many levels – monetary loss, travel and hospitality issues, rescheduling or cancellations, dealing with wedding vendors and of course, the emotional cost of dealing with it all is unparalleled!
As India’s largest wedding company, at WeddingZ, we know exactly how all of this feels. But one thing is certain and that is… we are with you in every step of the way and every decision you make regarding your wedding plans. In uncertain times like these, we have received many distress calls and queries on a variety of wedding-related issues. Through this blog, we hope to answer each and every question to the best of our ability.
Since the Coronavirus situation evolved and escalated quickly, it is important that we all follow the Government’s directive, stay indoors, maintain proper hygiene and practice social distancing. Therefore, hosting any kind of gathering or event, a celebration is out of the question.
However, it is also the time to ponder and think about your way forward where your wedding is concerned. No need to panic 🙂
P.S. Keep the panic aside and concentrate on enjoying your relationship. Here are 7 Tips to Maintain Romance in Quarantine or try these simple steps to pamper your partner!
As soon as the lockdown is lifted and it is safe to step out, things will be back to normal albeit at a slower pace. Celebrations and events will happen again but with smaller gatherings. This is a silver lining but be prepared.
If your wedding was planned for late April 2020, i.e. by 30th April,
What should I do?
Unlike your earlier plan, a wedding with a hundred guests or more is certainly not possible. If that’s how you want your wedding, you’re going to have to postpone or reschedule it for a date after the lockdown ends, preferably in July or August. Or you can plan a winter wedding too.
Check out the auspicious wedding dates in 2020 for future wedding planning.
Don’t be disheartened, this wasn’t in anyone’s control.
But, if you want to get married on the date you originally planned, you can do that too. To do so, you have to have clear communication with your guests and the vendors.
Be polite while conveying your message and tell them that you’re going to proceed to have a small, private wedding with just a handful of family members.
Inform them about a reception or a cocktail party that will be scheduled once life resumes to normalcy.
For those who want to witness your wedding, you can include them on a live video ceremony via Facebook or Instagram live.
Now, even though you’re having just 10-15 guests, ensure you’ve taken all necessary precautions – keep sanitizers handy and ample antibacterial soap available at home.
Do not forget social distancing and keep in mind to maintain distance.
If family members are unwell, it is best they avoid the celebration altogether. A tough but important to make.
(Diffuse the tension by watching some romantic films!)
How and what should be the communication to the guests already invited?
Safety is a priority right now for anyone and everyone.
In case you are postponing your wedding, inform your loved ones about the same. A simple message like “We have decided to postpone our wedding. You’ll be the first one to know when we plan our wedding at a later date,” works well.
But if you’ve finalized on going ahead with the wedding, tell them “We’re going ahead with the wedding without any guests.” It’s better, to be honest during such times.
What about the bookings made and the wedding vendors?
If you’ve planned to postpone your wedding, you must immediately inform your vendors about it. Since this is a pandemic, most vendors will understand the situation and be flexible with the bookings. It is best to speak to them in detail and mutually decide a tentative or fixed future date.
Don’t cancel but reschedule at a later date. Keep in mind that it may not be possible for your vendors to refund your advance payment at the last moment considering this difficult time. Therefore, it’s important for both of you to be flexible.
Please understand that the vendors aren’t obligated to refund your advance payment at the last moment. A mutual understanding of the circumstances will be helpful for both parties.
In case you have booked your vendors from Weddingz, please let your point of contact know about the same and we’ll take it forward.
What if the wedding is scheduled for May 2020?
Summer weddings are supposed to be fun but who knew you were opting to be a summer bride in the middle of the largest global pandemic ever! Oops 🙁
Certainly not the guests or your vendors. In such extreme uncertain conditions, patience is paramount. Usually, the run-up to your wedding day calls for a zillion last-minute checkups, frenzied calls and limitless rehearsals. However, this time around the situation is different and tense. It calls for wise decisions. Hence, the approach to ‘wait and watch’ will help you immensely. Don’t cancel the wedding entirely!
Considering the proactive steps taken by the government to control the outbreak; chances of the situation easing out over the next 3-6 weeks is quite possible. This, fortunately, means the imposition on public gatherings may ease out a bit. In that case, you can have a small ceremony with only a handful of your closest folks. It is also imperative you practice hygiene and sanitization at a personal and social level.
In any case, you’ve got to be open to the idea of postponing or rescheduling your wedding at a later date. At least the big fat exorbitant functions and parties for now. Remember the two key elements are Patience & Planning throughout this process.
Coming to the aspect of your bookings with various vendors, as we mentioned above, have proper, clear communication with them throughout and loop them in on your decisions. It is best to not cancel any booking as yet. Surely the quantities of various things will vary. In any case, your final resort would be to postpone depending on the situation. Communicate with empathy and tell them you’re aware of the losses they are suffering too just like your cherished life event had to be altered. But working in coordination and with support is the best policy right now.
Now that you have time on your hands, bookmark wedding inspiration and ideas on our blog.
Or see how other couples have planned their beautiful weddings in our real weddings section.
What do I tell my guests?
Tell them that a married life calls for added responsibility and the reason you’re prepared and want to start by ensuring absolutely each and everyone’s safety and well-being! 🙂
Reach out to them and make it known that under no circumstance are you willing to compromise anyone’s health and hence would be abiding by the government’s guidelines on gatherings for this.
What about my bookings and the advance I’ve paid?
Since this is a global crisis, a lot of vendors are flexible and helping couples out. It is advisable you also have a humane approach to dealing with things in such scenarios. Start by constantly keeping in touch with your vendors over phone/video call/ WhatsApp, to maintain each other’s confidence and trust.
Stay updated with the latest government guidelines and share it with your vendors so that both of you are on the same page in terms of taking decisions. If the situation permits you to go ahead and host your celebration, devote time and effort and money too in ensuring safety standards. Educate yourself, your vendor and ideate accordingly in this regard.
In the event of a postponement, try to convince them calmly for tentative future dates.
Understand that vendors aren’t necessarily obligated or required to refund your advance at the last moment. So be gracious enough and try to come to a mutually agreeable consensus.
If you’ve booked your vendors from Weddingz.in, let your Relationship Manager know about your concerns at the earliest!
What about other vendors? Should I go ahead and book?
The saving grace in such global crises that affect economies rapidly is to take precautionary measures before. This is true in your case as well. You should keep looking for vendors you haven’t booked yet, because if it becomes possible to have the wedding on the same date – you may be left with very little time to search & book at the last minute! Thus, have a plan in place, reach out to the vendors, communicate constantly and gain their confidence. This will also help you to ensure quality than a botched up last-minute blunder!
What to do if my wedding is scheduled for June 2020 and later?
There are not many reasons for you to worry right now. Our best suggestion is that don’t think of postponing the wedding. Given the situation and the steps being taken, it may be possible that public gatherings are allowed after 3-6 weeks. There is a high probability that you will be able to have your wedding on the same date with a smaller number of guests.
You need to have clear and active communication with both sides – Your Guests & Your Vendors. Tell your guests that most probably public gatherings will be allowed by then, and you’ll have the wedding on the same date. So wait for further communication until then.
For vendors, the ones you’ve already booked, ensure that they don’t cancel/postpone your booking. Tell them most probably public gatherings will be allowed by then, and we’ll have the wedding on the same date. If that’s not possible later, we may have to postpone the wedding date. Please understand the situation and mutually discuss the “postponing/rescheduling/cancellation policy.” We are sure that the vendors will also be accommodative during such a global crisis.
What should I tell my guests?
Tell them that given the situation, it is most probably going to be possible to have the wedding on the same date. However, take a stand – “The wedding will take place if it is allowed and is safe to carry on.” or “We will keep you updated on how the situation works out as we want safety to be our first priority.”
What about my bookings and the advance I’ve already paid?
You must talk to your booked vendors immediately and keep in constant touch over WhatsApp, phone/video call/email to maintain each other’s confidence and understanding.
Tell them “Please understand the situation. Most probably it will be safe and allowed, and we will have the wedding on the same date.
“If the date has to be postponed or rescheduled at a later date, then let’s discuss the best possible outcomes.”
You should not cancel any bookings. Try to gain the vendor’s trust and convince them calmly for tentative future dates.
You must understand that vendors aren’t necessarily obligated or required to refund your advance at the last moment. So be gracious with them and try to come to a mutually agreeable consensus.
If you’ve booked your venue and vendors from Weddingz.in, let your Venue Manager know as soon as possible.
What to do if the wedding is scheduled mid-June or July 2020?
Please Do Not Panic!
Considering you still have three whole months until your big day, you are partially in the green zone. But definitely, when it comes to making decisions for your wedding, you can’t be sitting on the fence and hoping for things to fall into place. Hence, we are here to give you a helping hand and make sure the glow on your face is still intact!
First things first – Give yourself a Deadline.
We suggest, give yourself time until mid-May and see how situations look by then before you make your final decision. If there’s a marginal curve in comparison to the current scenario, the chances of your wedding happening on the desired date are higher.
Tip – Do not trust any unverified source for information as this may cause obstacles in your decisions.
But what do we do until then? Just wait?
We’re sure this is the next question running through your mind. The answer is, No! While you carefully analyze the situation (by trusting only genuine/verified sources) you can simultaneously start working on the following.
Restructuring your Guestlist
Considering things do move in the direction you want them to and your wedding is happening on the scheduled date, you will still have to consider a smaller affair compared to what you initially planned. Simply because things won’t go back to square one overnight. So your next step is to go through your guest list and alter the same. You can probably consider keeping those family and friends on hold who will be travelling overseas. Another simple way to do the same is to contact all your guests, keep them updated about your plans and ask them to RSVP as this will definitely ease your process.
Your Next Step – Vendor Communication
Another vital step is communication. Make sure you are constantly communicating with all your pre-booked vendors and keeping them posted about your plans too. While we agree that this situation is super stressful for all you couples out there and your families as well but also remember this is a difficult situation for your vendors too! So please try and come to an amicable situation that benefits both parties. For example, if in any case you decide on postponing your wedding, instead of asking for a full refund, speak to your vendor about the process of postponing the same to another date as desired by you and request him to give you the same services at the prevailing cost. Considering the global pandemic vendors are also being cooperative and as helpful as they can. We at Weddingz.in to are constantly striving to ease the burden for our customers when it comes to our venues and non-venue services.
To Sum it Up
We suggest to stay put until May and see how things look by then. In the meanwhile stay on our toes and keep the preparations going to avoid any last-minute delays and to also keep your mind off the rumours.