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While the majority of us are currently at home practicing social distancing, plenty of couples are currently in the midst or were just starting to plan their weddings before stay-at-home orders were put in place. But just because you’re doing your part to flatten the curve by staying home, doesn’t mean wedding planning has to stop! We asked expert wedding planners what couples can and should be doing to continue wedding planning while quarantined—find out, below.
Just starting the planning process? Focus on the overall design, without signing contracts.
“If you’re just getting started, this is the time to think about the big picture parts of wedding planning,” says Emily Gaikowski of Heartthrob Weddings and Events. This is a great time to pull inspiration from Instagram, television, Pinterest, and publications to capture the feeling of the wedding without signing contracts or putting down deposits. “Take the time to let yourself think big about the overall design for your wedding, and find inspiration for florals and stationery that really clicks with you & your partner,” says Emily.
Learn more about the ins and outs of vendors.
Take this time to get to know vendors you’re interested in, especially if you haven’t signed with anyone yet, says Andrea Eppolito of Andrea Eppolito Events. “Move beyond the pretty and learn about the process. Understanding the businesses of your wedding pros will help you have a better experience on the day of the wedding,” she explains. Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions—this is the perfect time! “We as pros love talking about the industry and the work we do,” says Andrea. So go ahead and ask away!
Place soft holds on vendors you love, if possible.
Once you’ve found a few vendors you’re really interested in, see if they would be open to placing flexible holds to secure them for the future, without signing a contract or putting down a deposit.”With guest counts and dates changing, it isn’t a great time to schedule a ton of meetings or try and adhere to too many deadlines when everything seems to change daily,” says Emily Gaikowski. With that, many vendors are “being incredibly flexible at this time,” she says. Take this opportunity to reach out and explore options with each vendor in the time being.
2021 couples, continue as planned.
Next year feels like an eternity away—and it is! If you are getting married in 2021, continue to book your high priority vendors like your venue, planner, photographer, DJ, catering, and florals, suggests Emily. “The 2020 postponements mean that fewer 2021 weekends are going to be available—waiting to book may leave you to find that a vendor on your ‘must-have’ list is no longer available,” she says.
Work on wedding-related lists.
“There are a lot of things that clients can do and focus on now that they have a little more time on their hands,” says Eyal Tessler of Tessler Events. Depending on where you are in the wedding planning process, he suggests working on your guest list, photo shot list (tip: scour Instagram for inspiration!), ceremony flow and the readings you’d like included. Our favorite aspect he suggested—your music selection of course! Not only will it feel good to get up and dancing when you’re cooped up at home, but dancing to some first dance songs is also a great bonding moment for you and your soon-to-be spouse.
Video calling will be your new best friend.
“Most vendors are doing Zoom meetings so you can still get a lot done,” says Eyal. Grab your spouse-to-be, pop a squat on the couch and set up video calls with all the vendors you have in place. “Work with your printer on the paper items, like place cards, menus, and programs,” says Eyal. These aspects need visualization, so video calling is a great way to accomplish that.
At the end of the day, do what feels right.
Everyone is feeling the effects of this pandemic, whether they’re working on the front lines or practicing social distancing at home. “I know it’s hard to stay positive and excited about wedding planning knowing that your original date, vendors, or possibly venue might be different than you envisioned,” says Emily Gaikowski. “So I’m also encouraging couples to focus on doing what feels right now,” Whether that’s signing contracts and putting down deposits, or just reading bridal magazines and taking a break, “there’s no ‘right way’ to plan a wedding, especially when so many things feel out of control,” Emily says.