As the wedding industry goes through uncharted waters during the global pandemic, many brides have been forced to postpone and cancel their “I do’s” until further notice – just look at Princess Beatrice, who had to call off her royal wedding because of COVID-19. So how do you plan a wedding in the age of coronavirus? It’s a once-in-a-century dilemma that has hit both brides-to-be and experts in the wedding industry. “Bridal fashion is one of the few industries which still requires our clients to physically come in and try on the gowns. Our biggest challenge has been how to pivot and provide these services remotely,” says bridal expert Giselle Dubois, CEO of Spina Bride.
VIRTUAL FITTINGS AND LIVE-CHAT WEDDING PLANNING
The catastrophic effect that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on both our personal lives and the economy has put how to plan major life celebrations from birthdays to graduations in the spotlight. And when it comes to weddings, there are so many events involved – bachelorette and bachelor parties, receptions and honeymoons – that brides have had to reconsider their alternatives while navigating the virtual environment of wedding planning. And then there’s the cast of characters involved: photographers, videographers, dress boutiques, wedding planners and caterers are all dealing with isolation as we flatten the curve.
But when the going gets tough, the tough get planning anyway! Virtual fittings are the solution until brick-and-mortar stores are allowed to reopen. Spina Bride is taking it week by week, and delaying appointments for about a month until its safe to reopen their doors. In the meantime, though, Gisele notes: “Our stylists are available via email, phone or live chats to provide support and help our brides navigate while dress shopping/planning their weddings.”
There are many bridal companies who have opened their showrooms virtually. Bridal giant Pronovias recently launched a virtual showroom to accommodate customers during this crisis, and brides-to-be are starting to set up virtual consultations while venues and retailers remain closed.
CANCEL OR RESCHEDULE?
Don’t rush to completely cancel your wedding. It’s often a better idea to postpone your wedding instead of scrapping it altogether. “Before canceling, get creative if you don’t want to change your wedding date,” advises Giselle. “Love always triumphs over difficult times. I had a bride narrow down her party to her immediate loved ones and still wore the dress of her dreams and had amazing pictures that will last a lifetime.”
In addition, canceling a wedding can impact your finances and future plans of getting married at your dream venue. “If they are going to reschedule, they should get on that boat right away,” comments Kathy Romero, a luxury wedding planner with over 20 years of experience. Kathy recommends looking into different options before making the decision to call off your nuptials. “Some venues are going to be hit so hard that the reality is that there might not even be a venue next year. The longer we wait, the harder will be for people to keep their money to be able to salvage enough of the events to recreate it how originally they want it,” Kathy adds.
‘IT WAS A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT’: THREE BRIDES WHO HAD TO POSTPONE THEIR WEDDINGS
As some brides modify their guest lists, venues and wedding gowns in today’s virtual zeitgeist, others have pulled the plug and taken a break from the planning process. And unfortunately, there are brides that have been thwarted with their wedding expectations. “We were supposed to get married on a property that got burned down in the Napa Valley fire. That was a huge disappointment,” shared bride-to-be Sheena Gordon, who opted to postpone, not cancel. Her wedding was originally scheduled on July 11, 2020 but she has delayed it for a year until July 10, 2021.
On the day that future bride Alex Jay was going for her second fitting, all of her plans collapsed. Alex, who was hoping to get married on April 18, 2020, moved her plans to this summer although “being unsure that my wedding can even happen in August” is one of her most daunting thoughts. Though Alex was unable to get her wedding dress due to the global virus, she is still maintaining a positive outlook toward her big day.
Nicole Harrison is another of the many brides that had to postpone her wedding date. She’s now expecting to walk down the aisle on December 30, 2020. But these stressed-out brides just want to reconnect with their friends and family after this. Wedding planning can definitely pull a mental stroke and makes you want to forget about it altogether. Even if celebrations are postponed until 2021, these brides will continue loving in times of Coronavirus. As Nicole said, “One of the things I want to do once this is over is to see my friends and catch up with them and go out for a drink.” Cheers!