The Coronavirus from a Wedding Planner's Perspective

Updated: Mar 18




We are in the middle of some crazy days. None of us have ever lived through anything like this and to say that it’s stressful is putting it lightly. It seems like every day brings something new and unforeseen. If you’re engaged and planning your wedding, then you’re dealing with even more stress and emotions and it can be hard to figure out what is best to do for your big day.

I felt compelled to share some thoughts from my perspective as a wedding planner as well as some ideas for how to approach the coming weeks when it comes to your wedding.

First let me say (and I think I speak for many of us in the wedding industry) that we are here for YOU! We know that our current state of affairs is only making an already emotional time even tougher. With social distancing, restrictions on how many people can gather, travel restrictions and some family members being in the high risk demographic, it’s enough to keep any bride or groom up at night.

You have likely dreamt and planned for your wedding for a very long time now. Know that your vendors are committed to making sure that your special day feels just as special as it would have before the coronavirus became a household name. Whether you get to keep your wedding date or are looking at having to move it to the future, please trust me that the team you picked to orchestrate your big day wants to do everything in our power to make your wedding amazing! This is still your time! No one or nothing should be able to take that away from you!

There are a lot of unknowns out there and still a lot of moving pieces that each of us are trying to navigate on a daily basis.

However there are some things you can address now or think ahead about to file under the “just in case” back up plan.

  • Keep in contact with your wedding vendors, especially your planner and venues. It's ok to check in with us for advice, to vent, and to check on the latest in terms of policy changes and adjustments to plans.

  • Choosing to move your wedding date is a decision that should be made by you, your fiancé, current state and federal recommendations and potentially with the advice of your venue and wedding planner. I know that many family members and friends are asking a lot of questions right now. It’s difficult to field so many inquiries without having a concrete answer. At the end of the day, you might not make everyone happy. But this is an example where you need to make the best decision for you two as a couple. These are the kinds of hard decisions you will face over and over during marriage. Come together as a couple, talk it through, sleep on it, talk it through some more and finally take on a unified front of “we have decided” with whatever you find is best for your wedding.

  • If you have anything to order that requires a long lead time, make sure these orders have been placed. This applies mainly to wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, anything handmade or anything being ordered from abroad. Wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses are often made to order and made overseas. Because of reduced workforces and potentially longer shipping times, even if it seems early to be ordering these, if you have the styles selected, I would recommend completing the process. If you hear from your preferred designer or label that they are not able to complete your bridesmaid dresses in time, consider a back up plan. Opt for a company that keeps stock of their styles like BHLDN or allow your maids to pick a dress of their choice in one color story. This often works best in black.

  • If you’re in the middle of finalizing your invitations, I would not add anything about “check for corona virus updates” on your invitation itself. Keep them classic as you would have previously. Adding in one line on the invitation or even an insert directing guests to your wedding website for all additional wedding details is a great alternative (something many couples already do for information on travel, logistics, and additional events already) On your wedding website you can post updates or even dedicate an extra page to address any corona virus related concerns or changes.

  • If you’re already in a place that you know you’ll be rescheduling your wedding and your venue has a pretty booked calendar, you may consider a change of scenery. While I realize this isn’t ideal, some couples may find themselves in this situation. There are some venues who are proactively communicating that they have open dates later this summer and early fall.

  • Even if your wedding date is safely outside of the social distancing precautions, you may find that your overall budget is going to be affected. Many of us are dealing with decreased working hours, layoffs, dipping into savings and loss of finances in stocks and this could translate into a smaller wedding budget than what you had originally created. There are many ways to stretch a budget. Some ideas include a simpler cake decorated with fresh florals, foregoing hard liquor for beer and wine, more usage of greenery in lieu of flowers, simplifying appetizers, different choice in linens, borrowing items that friends or neighbors used in their weddings (or even searching for things on craigslist and facebook marketplace), or tackling some details DIY style instead of purchasing them.

There may even be a silver lining to our new circumstances. (with the last recession we saw an entirely new style of floral arrangements emerge that is still the staple to many weddings today!)

With more time at home, you can research design ideas, how to’s, assemble wedding favors, tackle some wedding fitness goals, get a head start on thank you notes by pre-addressing envelopes. If there is a project you had in mind for your wedding but thought that time was going to prevent its completion, now is the time to do it! (handmade bridesmaids or mother’s gifts anyone?)


Most importantly, if you're feeling overwhelmed (and especially if you're finding you don't know where to start in dealing with this or don't have a wedding planner)

Please feel free to reach out. My email is hello@carinavanson.com. I am happy to help you navigate any specific challenges you're currently facing and provide some thoughts, feedback or direction as much as I am able.


Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay happy!



Photos courtesy of Matthew Land Studios, Sara and Corey Allen's engagement shoot

Weddings on the West Coast 
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