Wow – what a wild little time it’s been! As the world grapples to manage the spread of COVID-19, we’re all left facing challenges we have no easy solutions to.

The whole team here at HOORAY! are thinking of every couple who needs to reconsider their wedding plans, as well as the numerous sole-traders, businesses and wedding vendors throughout the industry, who are now facing uncertain times ahead.

If you are currently planning a wedding, you’ve probably found yourself in a position where some rearranging of plans is necessary. We want to make sure you are preparing for, but not panicking over these changes. Remember, keep cool, talk it out with those around you, and don’t make any rushed decisions without thinking them through. Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is, let alone within the context of a pandemic—so don’t forget to be kind to yourself and others.

In the meantime, we’re here to help you through this crazy new context we’ve found ourselves in. Here are a few things you may like to consider:

Know the facts

Before making any snap decisions, take time to read the advice from the government and learn all the facts. Also, keep in mind that the situation is changing by the hour, so be sure to stay up to date with the advice issued by the government and reputable news outlets. We’ll do our best to keep this post as up-to-date as possible for Australian couples (but to give an insight into what we’re dealing with, the Australian restrictions changed within an hour of us hitting publish!).

On 24 March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all weddings are to be restricted to five people: the couple (x2), the celebrant (x1) and two witnesses (x2), effective from midnight Wednesday 25 March 2020.

The length of the restrictions is not known, however, keep in mind that Scott Morrison and Premiers continue to refer to up to six months, which would be up to September 2020. It could be shorter or longer—we simply don’t know at this stage.

If your wedding is within the next three months—so March, April, May or June, we’d recommend changing your plans now and have outlined two options to consider.

If your wedding is planned for July 2020 onwards, you could consider the options we have outlined or hold off from making changes until closer to your date, once the government has provided further advice. In the meantime, you could begin to scope out a back-up plan if the restrictions are extended. Either way, be sure to keep on top of restrictions as they are announced by the government.

Option 1: Consider Postponing

So, if you have a wedding date set for March, April, May or June, your best option may be to postpone.

Postponing instead of cancelling is the best thing you can do for you and your vendors, if possible. Many of your vendors will be unable to refund your deposit, so this is also your best bet to avoid losing money. This will be a case-by-case situation with each of your vendors. Most wedding vendors are small businesses who are reliant on income from weddings. They are navigating a very difficult time in their business, so please remember to be extra kind while communicating with them – this is a hard time for everyone!

The first step is to ask your venue to provide you with new date options. If weekend dates are not an option, why not consider a weekday wedding? Usually, your wedding dream team will have more availability to assist on a weekday, so it may be worth giving that a shot. Due to the changes, dates in 2021 are likely to book up quickly, so if you are considering a wedding for 2021 and haven’t yet secured a date, we’d recommend you contact your venue and preferred vendors as soon as possible to confirm a new date.

Communicate any changes as quickly as possible to your vendors to see if you able still have the wedding you’d planned, simply at a later date.

If you’ve decided to postpone, inform your guests as soon as you can, so everyone is aware of what this means for them. Your guests will understand that in the midst of such uncertainty these changes are unavoidable!

Option 2: Consider a (very) small wedding

If you would like to keep your wedding date as planned, this means your wedding will need to fit within the five-person limit: you, your partner, your celebrant and two witnesses.

If you are hosting your wedding indoors, consider the square meterage rule, where four square metres of space must be provided for each person. People at your wedding will also need to practice social distancing.

Option 3: Consider eloping and holding a celebration later

Though it may not have been something they had ever considered before, we’ve seen many couples choosing to elope now and plan a reception-style celebration with their friends and family for a later date.

This is a great option for those couples who don’t want to wait to tie the knot. Elopements can be a beautifully intimate experience for many brides and grooms as it makes the moment truly all about them and the love they share.

We’ve got some gorgeous elopement inspiration here, here and here if you think that eloping might be the best option for you.

Join our wedding support group

Our wedding support group on Facebook is the perfect place to talk through options, work out a game plan, and hear from couples in a similar situation.

Simply request to join via Facebook:

Most importantly, be kind to yourself

Give yourself time to grieve. It’s okay if you’re feeling disappointed or upset. Your pain is valid and understandable and it’s important that you allow yourself to acknowledge how you are feeling so that you can move forward.

Talking to your partner, your friends or your family can help you work through your feelings during this difficult time.

Stay safe and be kind to one another!

Lots of love and good vibes,

HOORAY! xxWiluna_Bride_Hooray-Mag_21

Image: Wiluna Bride, photographed by Jenny Wu