Rethinking your wedding plans because of Covid-19?
Perhaps you read my last blog about what sort of wedding you can have, or have seen a multitude of articles about what kind of wedding you can expect right now in news and social media, and feel really disheartened because it’s so far from what you imagined your wedding to be.
First, remember things are changing all the time—it’s a totally nail biting time, but the reality is that the situation is extremely fluid at the moment. Depending on where you live and where your venue is, you could find either you or the venue back in lockdown, or rules could be very quickly relaxed.
The most important thing to do first is to check your drop-dead dates for paying and confirming with your venue and other suppliers and also check if they are willing and able to postpone for you if you feel you want or need to.
I would be heartbroken and shedding tears if my wedding was being affected by Covid-19. But this might actually give you a chance to rethink your wedding and have something that in the long-run could be even more special and meaningful to you. Here are some of the options open to you:
A straight postponement
If you know what you have planned is your dream wedding, and anything less would be a disappointment, and can’t bear to not hug your relatives, or to see evidence of Covid-19 at your wedding, then you know you’ll need to postpone. But what about if you really do want to get married? Or perhaps you need to for religious or social reasons, but are so scared that you, your family or guests will get sick or worse, as a result of going to your wedding?
A very modern elopement
I know when I was planning to get married, a part of me just wanted to elope and tie the knot somewhere beautiful, the Scottish Highlands, on a beach, a castle—just somewhere out of this world, but I didn’t feel I could as it would upset my family too much. But Covid-19 makes this option much more attractive and acceptable.
An elopement would allow you to keep Covid-19 restrictions to a minimum, as you could just take a photographer and videographer, they can even be your witnesses, and you could make it special by combining it with a holiday in your dream location. Flights and relaxed rules on self-isolating for various countries should hopefully take effect from 4th July, so it may actually be easier to get married in Spain, France or Germany than in the UK.
If you take an English-speaking videographer with you then you can have an amazing film made of your elopement which you could then show at any larger party or blessing you have later on. And there’s nothing to stop you having this later on. The only thing to bear in mind is that the speeches that people make are likely to be different at a blessing than at the wedding, but you could turn that to your advantage.
You would need to decide if you just take off and get married in secret, or if you have a ‘faux’ elopement, and tell everyone in advance, so it’s not a surprise.
JUST A SMALL WEDDING AWAY… WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
From 4th July, small weddings will be able to take place, and hopefully within a couple of months, restrictions will be relaxed so food and drink will be allowed, and more people together inside and outside.
You might decide that you don’t want a large wedding after all, and have a total rethink. Hiring a small group of cottages just for close family and friends could be an option, so you have a ‘safe’ extended family holiday, with separate accommodation, but they’re at least there with you and the risk is low. Websites like https://www.groupaccommodation.com/ specialise in group accommodation.
You then have the option of a pub or restaurant lunch or dinner, subject to restrictions, or having a picnic out together if you have nice grounds where you are staying.
Small wedding now, big party later
Maybe you booked a big wedding, and your venue won’t let you cancel it but you can postpone it, but don’t want to hold off getting married? You could have an elopement or a small family wedding, and keep the original venue, but convert it to a ‘blessing’ with a big party.
A ‘proper’ wedding has to follow very strict rules to be valid – you have to give notice, you have to get married in buildings that are licensed, you have to say specific words for the marriage to be legal, you have no choice apart from a civil or religious ceremony.
But take those legal restrictions out the mix, and you can choose to have a celebrant or even choose friends, who will help you really personalise your vows, and you can get married wherever you want, subject to permission; maybe on the beach, in the woods, or on a mountain – the place is only limited by your imagination! For me this would be a very exciting prospect as it allows you to have a wedding that is more meaningful and reflects you rather than forcing you into wedding ‘rules’.
If you do this I offer a special package so you can have films of both events, one to show at the bigger party, and also to edit in the original wedding with the party.
Making Covid-19 a ‘feature’ of your wedding
Maybe you don’t want to (or can’t) delay your wedding. If this is the case, you’re better off not trying to hide the Covid-19 restrictions, but make a feature of them – the masks, the social distancing markers on the ground, the one-way system, the 1m+ or 2m distances, the washing of the ring and the hands.
If you have people attending who are hard of hearing, or deaf, I do recommend you source clear face masks at least for key relatives and the vicar or registrar. Your elderly relatives and deaf friends will thank you for this.
The creative possibilities are endless, and any wedding film with this will be a historic heirloom to pass down to your children and grand-children.
Covid-19 doesn’t have to be the ‘kiss of death’ for your wedding…
Hopefully this has given you some ideas for how you could adapt and change your weddings and still feel that it’s the wedding you want, or perhaps have an even better wedding than you originally planned.
I’d love to hear if you have other ideas, or thoughts, or hear from you how your wedding plans have been affected or changed as a result of Covid-19.
Please please, don’t skimp on having a videographer for your wedding though, it’s such a historic time, and if you are postponing or changing your wedding, you may find your budget now stretches to having a film.
Films have come a long way from the terrible ‘camcorder’ films from the seventies, and they can be tailored to suit you, and what kind of couple you are – whether you’re a total romantic, or the opposite, or a party animal. I can offer you special packages if you’re planning a split wedding/blessing along with payment plans, so please do get in touch via my contact form.
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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.