THOUGHTS ON WEDDING PLANNING AND WHY YOU SHOULD STILL BOOK WEDDING VENDORS DURING COVID-19
By: Scott Aleman
We are living in some uncertain times, there is no doubt about that and you may be wondering how to booking wedding vendors during Covid-19. Over the last few months, I have really been trying to put myself in the shoes of current and future engaged couples looking to plan for wedding photography around COVID-19 and finding a wedding photographer in Dallas. Obviously so, this creates unnatural tension and stress that is not welcomed in what is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life in planning your future wedding planning for 2021.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR VENDORS?
Communication with all parties involved is probably one of the most important aspects to remember. If you have to reschedule, I would strongly advise checking with the venue first as nailing down a new date for next year is most important. If this is not an option, I would advise the possibility of an elopement style wedding or destination. Many of your vendors will most likely be available as long as you communicate and coordinate mutually to secure a new date.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER IS IMPORTANT!
When planning your new wedding, please remember to check with and partner with your vendors if you are considering a new date for next year. I have some brides who are asking my availability first for next year so they know which dates to choose from. There is a good chance I am still open to photograph your wedding the sooner you check in and discuss new dates with me.
WHAT ABOUT DEPOSITS?
Most Dallas wedding photographer vendors typically require and work on deposit or retainer type schedule in order for you to be an officially booked client. The deposit is meant to secure your dream wedding vendor and reserve their time and talent for your wedding date. With that being said, you may have a wedding date that you don’t feel comfortable in rescheduling which is totally fine, but I would encourage you to reach out to your various vendors to negotiate and use retainer as a future credit toward a new date. Depending upon your initial wedding contract, the deposits are not always refundable but I can assure you that rescheduling and securing a new mutual date between myself the photographer and venue is a top priority.
TO POSTPONE OR CANCEL?
I would strongly recommend to NOT cancel your wedding for a few important reasons. One, you may run the risk of losing your handsome deposit you put down many months ago to reserve your date depending upon your specific vendor. As far as my contract goes, I am honoring the initial deposit towards a future credit of a new date and genuinely assisting my couples reach out to their other vendors in collaboration efforts to secure a new mutual date for all parties. Secondly, we understand that financial hardships may be impacting some couples. By still booking and securing wedding with the idea that we can all assume that this pandemic will not last forever and as we move forward into 2021. Those venues and dates will begin to fill up quickly due to the current postponements and couples trying to schedule a new date.
WHAT IF THE DATE IS IMPORTANT TO US?
If this is the case, I would consider an “elopement style” wedding. You may be wondering what that is. In short, it is a small gathering of only close friends and family in a more intimate location. I would recommend partnering with your current photographer to keep things consistent and not hassle or stress about finding a new photographer nor dealing with a new contract. What about your other guests and family? Well, please remember you can always have a larger gathering or social event at a later time and celebrate that way!
WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOS CAN WE SHOOT NOW?
I believe in Dallas starting in the month of May, we will be able to begin shooting engagement photos at safe distances. What this means is, when you book me as your photographer, we can go ahead and at least get engagement photographs done which is a very important part of the process in the overall wedding photography experience.
WHAT TO TELL YOUR GUESTS?
I would suggest contacting all of your guests now and future vendors if your wedding date is being immediately impacted. The sooner you let them know what your thoughts and concerns are, the sooner we can work with you in assisting and offering our guidance as experienced wedding vendors. When reaching out to guests, let them know you are working on a new date and will be communicating future possible date options. Not only will this keep the lines of communication open, but your guests will understand and be excited about your future date!
ARE 2021 WEDDINGS SAFE?
As things are uncertain and changing daily, the best option is to continue to closely monitor your local and state conditions and focus as much as you can on planning your future wedding or a new wedding. We do know that the CDC is stating we are still in a 8 week window of opportunity and opening will begin in the summer with phases. I recommend to continue to plan as much as you can and consider still looking for vendors. Why? – Because I predict a large number of rescheduled and postponed weddings from 2020 shifting to 2021 instead. Many venues and wedding photographers will begin to book up and fill their calendars from new couples.
THINGS TO DO NOW
I understand that many brides and couples are facing difficult decisions and want to just offer some advice and a bit of inspiration. Continue to stay safe and really focus on planning your new wedding. Use this time to maybe revisit your existing wedding plans, focus on any improvements or time line refinements. In the wedding industry, we are all impacted by this crisis but also want to offer as much help as we possibly can and want you to know that we are here for you every step of the way. We know that through this, your new wedding will be amazing and exactly what you dreamed of and I cannot wait to be there!