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What to Know If You're Planning a Wedding During COVID-19

Today's challenges and what to expect in the future.

Right now, whether you’re planning a wedding at home or abroad, there are countless moving parts surrounding COVID-19—and what it means for your event, specifically, really depends on your wedding date, guest count, location, and extent of travel involved.

At this point, it's safe to say that any wedding shortly will look differently, whether it's allowed to happen on a smaller scale now or as you'd dreamed later on. To help you prepare for what you should do—and help if you do, sadly, have to change plans—we spoke with experts across the industry to give you a closer look at how COVID-19 is affecting wedding planning today, and how to prep for the coming months.

Their overall advice? Be prepared, follow the news closely, and maintain an open conversation with your wedding planner, vendors, and guests. If you can, book a wedding planner—if your budget allows—to help navigate everything. And, most importantly: Keep your eye on the end goal!

Your day will come, and trust us when we say it will be the most amazing thing. When we can all come together and celebrate, there will be nothing else like it.

"As always, take care of yourself. Honestly, it’s OK to cry. It’s OK to be angry or to feel a wide range of emotions," says Mr. Sha. "One thing we like to tell our clients is that it’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when. Your day will come, and trust us when we say it will be the most amazing thing. When we can all come together and celebrate, there will be nothing else like it."

How Industry Leaders Feel After a Year of COVID-19

“We’ve definitely noticed a trend where people are excited about getting married again, yet they question whether or not they should be booking anything new,” says CEO Ms. Jannah. “It’s this weird in-between time where things still feel relatively uncertain and yet we all know the end of this pandemic is near. Unfortunately, whereas last year we thought those willing to take the risk were crazy, now we feel like if you’re not willing to lock something in soon, you’re probably not going to have the ‘dream team’ for your wedding in 2022 and will likely have to make some sacrifices (or wait until 2023).”

Singapore-based Mr. Shukor Zahari, the founder of BestMan The Groom Stylist, believes that the “end is in sight.” “It's really the first time in a year that I feel this way, and I just urge everyone to hold fast a little while longer and not loosen the reins prematurely,” he says. “Although we see a coming break in the clouds, there are still some showers today. Everyone's hope level is off the charts now with vaccine supplies and distributions rolling out at a faster pace. That said, there are things to consider.”

The Challenges of Planning a Wedding Mid-Pandemic

According to Mr. Sha, the main things to consider: are health risks and guest safety, and, second, government COVID-19 guidelines. “Unfortunately, we've seen that these two do not always align—sometimes laws being too lax when risks are high and sometimes being too strict when risks are low,” he says. “There has been an unpredictability and capriciousness to when local government officials update COVID-19 rules so couples continue to plan for both hopeful and cautious scenarios until this is truly all behind us.”

Ms. Jannah believes navigating all this uncertainty has been the year’s biggest obstacle. “In 2021, the challenge is the unknown, particularly not knowing how many guests will be allowed at events this summer,” she says. “Every city, county, and the state has different regulations, so anticipating that, while also making it seamless for guests, can be tough. Even if July ends up being okay, for example, the problem stems from the fact that you have to know what you’re dealing with right now—and we don’t know what we’re dealing with yet.”

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