Questions to Ask Vendors during COVID-19
Let’s be honest, planning a wedding is already stressful enough before the pandemic struck. Now that a whole new level of complication has cropped up, our brides are feeling more anxious and uncertain about their upcoming wedding plans.
If you’re an engaged couple feeling overwhelmed or lost, you aren’t alone and we are here to help. The most common questions we are getting are – How do I postpone a wedding? Will my deposits get refunded? Are my vendors willing and able to reschedule? What do I tell my guests? It’s a well known fact that this is uncharted territory for everyone, vendors included. In this unprecedented time of moving dates and not knowing if businesses can withstand the financial blow to the wedding industry, we all are doing our best to stand together and serve our wedding community. We hope the coronavirus won’t affect your wedding and vendors, but if it does, we want you to know how it will affect your hired vendors.
Speaking for all vendors, we are so invested in your wedding day and want nothing more than for you to celebrate safely and to stick to as close to your original wedding vision as possible. We are all in this thing together.
Use email or Doodle when scheduling with your vendors. Email is a great way to have things in writing so you can keep things straight. Doodle is a powerful tool to help to know what vendors are available for your new dates.
WHAT TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PLANNER
The best thing we can do is approach this in digestible chunks. Most wedding vendors are happy to work with you in order to postpone your wedding in light of COVID-19. If the vendors are available, they will most likely apply your deposit or retainer with some fees to cover pre-purchased costs or materials to a future date. Some vendors are adding on a service fee for weekend dates.
The top questions to ask your wedding planner are:
What are our options if we decide to postpone?
Will you coordinate with our other vendors on finding a postponing date and following through?
What is your availability in the upcoming months if we do need to reschedule?
What are the financial implications of postponing our event?
The wedding is more than eight weeks away, should we make a Plan B?
WHAT TO ASK YOUR WEDDING VENUE
With spring weddings being pushed to fall, the entire design and decor of the wedding could change with your new season. Embrace the new season even if it wasn’t your first choice. It goes without saying that most venues are opening their doors to additional dates to accommodate more wedding bookings.
The top questions to ask your wedding venue are:
What fees are associated with postponing our wedding?
What available dates do you have for rescheduling?
Do you offer discounts for mid-week weddings?
What seasonal considerations should we make? Do you have covered ceremony and reception locations for rainy or snowy wedding days?
In the event that the venue is temporarily closed down, how is it best to contact you?
In response to COVID-19, what are your new sanitary or social distancing policies?
WHAT TO ASK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Most of your vendors have cancellation policies for the “off chance” cancellation like a wildfire or a one-off occurrence. What no one was prepared for was something that would affect an entire season of weddings. Couples should try to be flexible with their new dates and considering Thursdays or Fridays and in the off-season. This way, you have a higher chance of keeping your same vendors and deposits for your new date.
Something to also consider is that your photographer can only be in one place at one time and therefore, losing a peak weekend in the summer may incur more fees to off set their loses in 2020.
The top questions to ask your wedding photographer are:
What is your reschedule policy and fees associated?
What is your availability if we do reschedule our wedding?
Can we apply our deposit and fees paid to our new wedding date?
We are planning a destination wedding. Will you still feel comfortable traveling? If not, how do you work with us to find another photographer?
WHAT TO ASK YOUR CATERER
Flexibility in your menu choices is important when you are shifting your wedding to a different season. Some caterers are farm to table and thus the growing season impacts their menu. You are supporting the local farms by being flexible with meal choices and your guests will likely embrace the seasonal specialties.
Are there fees associated with postponing the wedding?
What are your availabilities for rescheduling?
Will you be changing the way you present and serve food?
If our original guest count lowers due to COVID-19, can we pay based on the new count or will you charge us the original amount? Are our food and beverage minimums affected?
If we reschedule, how will our wedding menu be affected?
WHAT TO ASK YOUR FLORIST
Nothing on your wedding day is more seasonally dependent than your wedding flowers. Flexibility is again very important when working with your florist. Florists import flowers from all over the world and the availability of certain flowers will change depending on the season. You will also want to consult your florist if you are changing your color palette or theme based on the new wedding season.
The top questions to ask your wedding florist are:
What happens if we decide to postpone our event?
Will our original flowers be in season if we reschedule for our new date?
Do you foresee an issue sourcing our chosen flowers?
If so, will you work with us to pick different flowers that are available?
Can you redesign our flowers to mirror the seasonal decor?
Can we apply our deposit to a new wedding date?
The bottom line is that we are here to support each other and get through this. In the end, you WILL wake up the next day after your wedding married to your husband. THAT is what we are here for. Even if you decide to downsize your wedding, getting married is what it’s all about.