Destination wedding and coronavirus. This is the most popular theme of the 2020 season (with great reflections on the 2021 one).
Couples are reading so many articles, and posts, and see Instagram stories, looking for an answer to their main question “To keep, postpone, or cancel our date?“
In the previous article, dedicated to managing unexpected events weddings, I dedicated the last paragraph to talking about the current situation but since then (only 3 weeks ago) many things have changed, not only in general but also for my couples.
Destination wedding in Italy and coronavirus: my vision
It’s now quite clear that the wedding and event industry in Italy will be the last one that will be able to resume at full speed (rightly). It’s impossible to imagine, in the near future, gatherings of people without restrictions or without constraints (numerical or the other type).
I’m very practical and realistic. Not optimistic, not pessimistic, but realistic. So I want to tell you how I’m managing the situation for my couples and then give you some tips on how to proceed for your destination wedding. I want to clarify that this is my method, it’s not the Bible and I don’t have the crystal ball to predict the future (but I’m working on it!). I try to interpret what comes from the Institutions, study what happens in the rest of the World, and then draw the best conclusions for each couple.
Each couple has specific needs and we can’t manage every wedding in the same way. There are couples who can afford to wait, couples that try to postpone the wedding in autumn or winter, and couples that must necessarily postpone until the next year. But for all of them, I am trying to keep a common guideline.
Practical tips for managing your destination wedding in Italy at the time of Coronavirus
1- Analyze your situation: try, in the clearest and most rational way, to understand what critical issues your wedding may have. Will you reach Italy by plane or in another way? Do you need to come also before the wedding day? Are you guests at “risk categories”? Could your guests and family, maybe from another Country, move? Will it be an intimate wedding or with 150 guests?
2- Deadline: give yourself a deadline to decide how to proceed. In the meantime, in order to be more relaxed, contact all your vendors to “freeze” a backup date. It will happen that you will be taken by despair and you will want to cancel everything. We are in a dark situation and, at the moment, it’s difficult to think of the wedding’s joy. That joy only needs to be found again. Think that you’ll have even more time to plan what you were missing, to study all the details, to find the right vendor you were missing.
3- Make a call: now you have decided to postpone your destination wedding and change the date, and you must confirm it to all the vendors (from the first to the last, including even those that you may not have yet paid with a deposit but which had been confirmed. Don’t forget about hotels, transfer services, audio and light services, brides and grooms’ dresses atelier, MUA, etc.). Don’t just send an email but spend time calling them, talk about this change together, and understand together how to proceed contractually (if you have to sign a new contract or document, if the deposits remain valid, or if the quotation will increase), but also stylistically (if and how to review the floral projects, set-up, etc.).
4- Ask for help: this would obviously be the first point, but it may seem too self-referential. It’s a difficult moment, we are all experiencing a situation never experienced before and I think that today, more than ever, it’s clear how much a professional figure like the Wedding Planner is no longer just an “extra”, but it’s a point of reference. If you are planning a destination wedding in Italy maybe you’ve already had a wedding planner. But if you don’t, it’s now essential to ask for help. Not only for the management of all vendors but also for having someone to deal with who has a total vision of the event, of what you are experiencing, and of your needs.
We are mediators, and project managers, and we support our couples, and sometimes we also read in thought. We are professionals and we are here also for all those couples who didn’t think they needed us and now find themselves overwhelmed by events. I assure you that we are too, but managing in the best way possible what should NOT happen, is part of our job. We (I and also my colleagues) are available for a chat or a video call with you: contact me, and let’s talk about what is happening, the difficulties you are facing, and how I can help you.