We understand it is a very challenging time at the moment and we are here to help in any way we can!
Firstly, Remember ‘Wherever there is a problem, there is always a solution’. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has certainly prompted huge changes in our lives, and for anyone who has or is planning a wedding the concerns are just as big and stressful. In light of this, we have put together a couple of tips to hopefully reassure you!
1. Be decisive
Like everybody we are listening intently to the government advice and instruction on a daily basis. So far restrictions have been put on businesses and industries in every sector. Currently the government have retained social distancing measures and rules. In Boris Johnson’s announcement on 10th May they have outlined the ‘road map’ to returning to some form of normality. For the hospitality industry as a whole including ourselves, we are aware that some hospitality establishments may plan for re-opening at the beginning of July (all being well) but there are no specific details as yet.
What does this mean for you? We have been in touch with many brides and grooms so far who had upcoming wedding dates. Unfortunately, many have had to cancel and postpone. While this is an ever changing climate we encourage any couples who are concerned or have any questions to contact us and be decisive on rearranging or postponing their wedding.
So far the government has not made direct reference to the impact on weddings, however due to large gatherings being banned for the foreseeable this presents another dilemma for guest numbers. While nothing is set in stone, it is always good to consider options and plan accordingly.
Perhaps you can have a ‘Plan B’ and narrow down your guest list to make it a more intimate affair with close friends and family? With the idea that you could hold a bigger celebration when government restrictions are lifted and have been approved.
Big celebrations are most likely out of the picture this year, so if you are still set on getting married in 2020 then intimate gatherings in the Autumn may be a possibility (Our intimate Bay View Package fits this idea perfectly).
At the moment it is important to remember that nothing is definite, and the situation is constantly changing. The way we move forward is based on the infection rates continuing to drop and the advice from key medical and government advisors.
With this in mind, it is a good idea to set a future date to review the situation with your wedding team, and hopefully more clear information from the government will be available by then?
Under instruction from the local registry we are not proceeding with weddings until at least August. As a result we have already seen an increase in weddings reservations towards the end of the year and especially in 2021. Our advice…Do not delay, contact your preferred venue ASAP.
It may be an idea to send a message out to your guests with a ‘new date pending’ subject, that way you are keeping everybody in the loop and allowing them to change/alter travel and accommodation plans accordingly.
3. Get insurance
Now more than ever, getting insurance is SO important. Many couples have already lost deposits with vendors such as venue dressers or entertainers, and they may struggle to use the credit for their losses if future dates are already booked up by such suppliers.
Not only will insurance give you the piece of mind and security, but it can also give you the flexibility during an uncertain time.
4. Book Accommodation Direct
When it comes to booking accommodation, inform your guests to book directly with your venue and not through booking agents such as booking.com. If a guest books a non-refundable rate (which a lot of rates can be), then it will be non-refundable no matter what.
By booking direct with the venue, they can enjoy favourable cancellation benefits and often receive a discounted event rate which is more flexible.
5. Consider your guests
At the moment we are aware that travel is incredibly limited and travel abroad this year according to Matt Hancock is unlikely. With this in mind, you will need to consider guests who may be travelling from abroad for you big day as this may affect their attendance.
Another point to consider is if you will have elderly or vulnerable relatives coming to your wedding. Restrictions are likely to be lifted slowly, especially until a vaccine has been created and becomes widely available, so the vulnerable groups will need greater consideration to ensure the environment is safe for them.
6. Keep in touch with suppliers
It is important for your own reassurance, to keep the conversation going with your supplies as well as your venue for your own piece of mind. We understand that the coronavirus has affected international deliveries for many suppliers, so it is always worth double checking with your supplier e.g. wedding dress/bridal gown supplier, florist, room décor etc…
As a wedding venue we are always on hand to help and answer any questions you may have regarding postponing your wedding date, or if you just want to have a chat and discuss arrangements.
Even if you haven’t booked your wedding yet but you were planning on doing so, we are here to offer advice and we are happy to arrange a virtual video link or telephone meeting to answer any questions you may have for your future wedding date. We have already seen an increase in bookings and enquiries for 2021, so we recommend securing a date as soon as possible. Weekend days in particular will become far and few between.
7. Stay positive
Above all stay positive. It’s ok to be upset and disappointed especially when you listen to the news and read articles online. But try and keep your spirits up and remember that the current changes are out of your control. What doesn’t change is the reason why you are getting married in the first place, you and your partner will prevail the storm and emerge even stronger with an amazing wedding day to look forward to in the future. You will probably be even more grateful for when your day does come!
There are always options and alternatives, and many people who can give you help and advice from family and friends to wedding suppliers and coordinators.
In line with government advice it is recommended that elderly and vulnerable individuals do not attend large events e.g. weddings until the situation is more stable which is a little way off yet anyway. However, they could still be included in your day virtually. Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Ask your venue if they have video equipment you could use and invite absent guests to join you via video call for the speeches and ceremony. (At the Lothersdale we have this equipment available)
- Set aside an order of service/ wedding favour for absent guests that you can present to them before or after the wedding.
- Create a hashtag on social media so absent guests can view all your photos.
- If you are having a videographer – create copies of your wedding video (or a video link) so they can watch your day back.
- You could event create a special screening of your wedding and chat to your videographer – perhaps on zoom so absent guests can tune in and watch your video with your ‘virtually’.
With over 70 years of experience in the hospitality trade we have coped with many trials and tribulations, and thankfully during the most recent covid-19 pandemic we have been able to remain open to serve key workers. Hopefully, this gives you piece of mind that our committed team have the passion and experience to help you. Whether you have booked your wedding date already or are thinking about it, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling 01524 416404 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com .
We are now able to offer online zoom meetings. Just ask!
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