At Arora Events we exist to connect people and celebrate love in a memorable way. As the Coronavirus directly impacts how people gather around the world, this isn’t business as usual. We wanted to curate some wedding communication tips during COVID-19.
We’ve received many questions from couples and wedding guests wondering how to move forward with, cancel, or postpone upcoming events. Whether you are a couple contemplating the impact of a scheduled event, or a guest making the tough decision to attend or decline an invitation, we want to help handle this situation with grace and decisiveness. We hope that these wedding communication tips during COVID-19 will be useful to you!
1) Stay Informed
Advisories vary between cities, provinces and countries, and the options around travel and gathering may change and are moving rapidly. It’s important to stay informed on up-to-date and accurate information on recommendations to keep you, your guests and those working on your wedding safe. It is essential to base decisions and analyze information from trusted sources like local officials, Public Health Canada, and WHO. It is important to consider not only the location of your event, but also where your guests may be traveling from.
2) Assess Your Situation
If you’re unsure whether or not to move forward with you’re wedding you’re not alone. While all circumstances are different, here are few things to keep in mind:
Event date: If your event isn’t until later this summer or fall, you may feel comfortable waiting to decide if it makes sense to cancel or change your plans. Consider whether you can postpone it. You may want to wait 6-8 weeks before your wedding to make a final decision.
Location & activity: Gatherings are currently banned and considered unsafe in many places. Even intimate events with healthy people should use social distancing practices.
Your guests: The elderly, those pregnant, and guests who are immunocompromised or that have pre-exisitng health conditions are at a higher risk of becoming ill. They may feel uncomfortable declining an invitation but you can make it easier for them to make decisions that can avoid putting their health at risk.
3) Clear Communication
The earlier you can relay information to your guests, the easier it is for them to create a plan that makes sense for them. The same courtesy extends to any vendors you may be working with—event professionals like caterers, venues, and decorators are especially hard hit, so keeping your interactions with them empathetic will go a long way.
When you reach out to guests, match your communication tone and language to your event. We’ve provided some starting suggestions for you to adapt on.
If you’re postponing:
Let guests know you’ve made the difficult decision to hold your wedding at a later date as soon as you have secured a revised date and location, especially if they need to change travel arrangements. Assure them that you understand if they’re unable to attend for any reason and give an updated date for them to RSVP by.
“We wanted to reach out to you to let you know we’ve made a difficult decision to postpone our wedding to (new date). This was a heartbreaking decision, but not nearly as heartbreaking as the idea of putting our loved ones at risk. When it comes right down to it, a marriage is a commitment of two people, and a wedding is a party that can be rescheduled, so that is the route we have decided to take. At this time, things are changing rapidly, and we are working with our vendors, as there are some unknowns at this point. We will be reaching out as soon as we know more”
If you’re canceling:
Let guests know your decision, but don’t feel that you need to go into detail or explain your reasoning. Your guests will understand.
“We have made the difficult decision to cancel [the event]. While we wish we could celebrate together, your safety is our priority.”
If you’re moving forward as planned:
Assure guests that you’ve thoughtfully considered whether it makes sense to hold your wedding. Let them know that you’re taking precautions and take the pressure off them if they choose not to attend.
“In these uncertain times, we hope that you are all staying happy and keeping yourselves healthy. We wanted to update you with some information about our upcoming wedding on (insert date). As of right now, the wedding is going on as planned. We are working with our vendors to make sure the day is safe and beautiful. We also want you to know that if for any reason you cannot attend our wedding we understand. You were invited to our wedding because you are important to us, and our top priority is making sure people feel safe at our celebration.
Here are some safety precautions we are putting into place: (Bullet point these items and make them short and to the point. People will likely skim them).
- The number of guests you are expecting
- The precautions the venue(s) is taking
- Hand wipes or sanitizers you will have on hand
- If you are still allowing elderly or children to attend
If you’re undecided:
Even if you’re still deciding how to proceed, it’s helpful to give guests a timeframe of when to expect more information.
“We wanted to check in with you, given the current circumstances. We are evaluating whether or not to move forward with [event], and will update you by [date].“
While social distancing is key, we always believe that connecting with people and celebrating life milestones can still be fun and meaningful. These wedding communication tips during COVID-19 are meant to act as a starting point. As the situation unfolds, we’ll share alternative ways to connect virtually. We’ve already started to see innovative ways that friends, family, and businesses are staying in touch. While this is a challenging time, we can all work together to stay connected and safe. In the mean time we urge you to remain inspired by browsing some of our real weddings.