CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR 2020 WEDDING
As if the run-up to your wedding wasn’t stressful enough, now you have Coronavirus sticking its ugly, infectious head into the mix. It’s worrying enough if you’re getting married in the UK, but if you’ve planned a wedding abroad, your stress levels are probably off the scale. So what should you do – cancel, postpone or cross your fingers and hope for the best?
The fact of the matter is that the number of cases worldwide is mounting and things are likely to get (much) worse before they get better. In the UK, cases are currently doubling every four days, people with the slightest symptoms are being advised to self-isolate ‘just in case’, companies are encouraging those who can to work from home and Government advice to the vulnerable elderly is to avoid contact with others wherever possible.
You may have guests travelling hundreds of miles to attend your wedding, you may have grandparents who have underlying health issues, you may be planning your honeymoon in what looked like an idyllic foreign spot a few weeks ago, but which now looks like a health hazard.
Trying to predict what’s going to happen is tricky enough for the experts, so if you’re having a late Spring or early summer wedding, it might be a little premature to cancel it now, but there are multiple factors to consider, and you must keep an eagle eye on developments. Ultimately the call is yours and your alone.
Chances are the virus is going to be everywhere soon and the more widespread the infection is, the more exposed everybody is, so it may make no particular sense to cancel. On the other hand, there’s a chance that a good proportion of people travelling a distance to your wedding may decide not to risk it and just stay at home.
If the wedding is in next couple of months, however, if you’re heading abroad to an infected area for the ceremony or important guests are coming here from an infected area, it may just make sense to bite the bullet and try to rearrange. Hopefully you have wedding insurance, but check whether this covers you in this instance – most policies will only cover you if your venue is unable to hold your wedding due to the outbreak of infectious or contagious disease, the venue is closed by the relevant authority, or the death, injury or sickness of a close relative. Should the Government decide to lock down a particular area or ban any public gatherings, you’d also be covered provided you bought the policy before the announcement was made.
This may well mean you will have to undertake a serious round of negotiations with your wedding suppliers. You’re unlikely to get money back at this late stage but, given the circumstances, you may well be able to agree on a postponment. If you do make that call, do let your guests know as soon as possible. If you have a wedding website, you’ll update that as a matter of course, but it’s better to send a personal note or call them indiviually.
If you decide to go ahead, you might want to consider having hand-sanitisers at every entrance, sitting guests a little further apart than usual – and avoiding situations where they have to serve themselves, so many hands aren’t using the same cutlery, offering opportunities for cross-contamination.
And, as for your honeymoon plans, check your destination is operating as normal. If you’ve booked a cruise you may find it cancelled or, possibly avoiding the destinations you hoped to visit. As for plane fares, many airlines are now waiving ticket change and cancellation fees for certain flights.
Whatever happens, whatever you decide, keep calm, keep an eye on developments, adapt and overcome!