how does coronvirus (COVID-19) affect you and your wedding?
Moving through the unknown
Right now, Coronavirus, aka Covid-19 is an unknown quantity, and we have no idea how badly it will affect people in the UK, but already people are getting ill, and older and vulnerable people are particularly at risk.
So how does this affect you, and more specifically, your wedding arrangements including your wedding video?
What the government have said
At this moment the government has said they have closed cafes, pubs and restaurants, gyms. In their words they say, “These are places where people come together and the whole purpose of these businesses is to bring people together. But the sad thing is, today, for now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.”
The Church of England has already put a limit of 5 people in total that can be present at ceremonies, which effectively allows for the couple, two witnesses and the couple.
It’s clear from those words that weddings should not be going ahead right now, as they are the epitome of bringing large groups of people together, and therefore very high risk events. So, I’m going to put it out there how I’m approaching my weddings and events.
Your health and your friends and families’ health is the priority
If your venue insists it goes ahead, I would be very concerned. Right now I feel pretty sure their insurance would be invalid and that emergency services could potentially not be available in an emergency, for example, a fire.
The first thing is your health, and the health of your guests, comes first. It goes without saying that if you show any symptoms of Coronavirus that you should self-isolate and concentrate on getting better. In Venezuela, 44 cases were all traced back to a single guest at a wedding. It’s clear this virus is very easy to catch, and it can be spread unknowingly, and very dangerous for older relatives or those who have underlying health conditions.
Boris Johnson has already said that it will take a minimum of twelve weeks to ‘turn the tide’, but in my opinion, it’s likely to be longer than that. China put their cities in strict lockdown and it’s taken around 4 or 5 months for them to get the disease under control, and they are currently at risk of it spreading again from imported cases. In Britain it will take everyone self-isolating for some time to get clear of this.
Should you go ahead with your wedding or postpone?
It’s a really difficult time for everyone, and as a full-time videographer, I’m totally reliant on income from freelance work from weddings, events and promotions. I want nothing more than to be at your wedding. But I know if you go ahead, and you’ve planned for relatives from all over to attend, your older relatives won’t be able to be there, friends may be too scared to attend, you won’t be able to kiss or hug anyone on what is one of the most emotional days of your lives.
Can you reschedule your wedding?
I urge you to rethink, talk to your venues and reschedule. I will reschedule along with you, for no extra cost, later in 2020 or 2021. All I ask is that you let me know as soon as possible of new dates as early as you can, so I can reserve the dates for you.
If it turns out I’m already booked on that date, I am part of a great network of videographers who help each other out, and I’m happy to recommend someone I know and trust with a similar style to me who can film your wedding instead.
This doesn’t just apply to existing bookings but also any new bookings this year and next, as long as I’m available.
Help! My venue is being unreasonable!
Unfortunately a few venues are being particularly inflexible, chances are they’re still in denial over the pandemic being serious and have their heads in the sand. If this is the case, it may help to suggest to them by hosting a large gathering, possibly with food and drink, that they are risking the lives of their families, staff as well as yours and your guests, that they are unlikely to be covered by their insurance policies if something does go wrong, and that if something does go wrong, then the emergency services may be unavailable. Do they really want risk someone reporting them to the police for breaching their alcohol and food licence?
Hopefully your venue and other suppliers will agree to a postponement free of charge. You may need to go back and forth a bit, and be flexible on dates. Venues are more likely to agree to move to a weekday when they’re less likely to have a booking then anyway. Make sure when you agree the postponement that there is the option to postpone again just in case.
If you have insurance, it’s worth checking with them if you are covered, but be prepared that you may not be. Any new policies are likely to exclude cover for Covid-19 as it’s classed as a ‘notifiable disease’.
Live streaming options
If you decide to have fewer people at your wedding, or vulnerable relatives stay away, then having a video will become even more important, and if broadband and other circumstances allow, I can also arrange a live stream of the ceremony if this is something you’re interested in.
If you’re still not sure what to do, or worried and need to vent, or just want to ask me for advice, even if I’m not your videographer, please feel free to contact me either by email or via my contact form
A large number of couples are moving their weddings to later in the year, or to 2021, so if you’re thinking of getting married in 2021, I would recommend reserving your date as soon as possible, especially for the busier Spring and Summer months from May to August.
I’d love to be your wedding videographer as soon as we get through this tough time – so if you’re getting married later on in 2020, 2021 or beyond, I’d love to hear from you.
Art of Life Films.
Wedding filming specialist, covering the South-East of England, including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, London, as well as weddings further afield within the UK, and destination weddings abroad.