With everybody stuck at home in their pajamas unable to meet family and friends, businesses shuttered or running at a limited capacity, and the future largely uncertain, it’s easy to feel bogged down even if you were just engaged.
True, the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to help contain the spread of the virus have turned the whole world upside down. If not for it, you would be in the thick of wedding planning — going all over the city to meet vendors, checking venues, shopping for wedding bands, and the list goes on. Instead, a lot of brides-to-be are slumped on the couch, feeling anxious about the piling to-do’s that they have to tackle once cities go back to business.
It’s okay not to want to do anything at all (grief is a tricky thing to deal with). But if you feel that you are ready to commence with the wedding planning but you’re unsure about where to begin, here are some BIG (and small) things you can do right in the comfort of your own home.
Choose the wedding date
While nobody is sure when things will go back to normal or what the new normal actually looks like, it’s still a good time to choose a wedding date. Most vendors and venues allow bookings 12-18 months in advance so it is possible to actually tick this off your list. Also, most of your friends, family, and entourage are available for a little chat these days so that makes it easier to figure out a date that works out with everyone that you want to absolutely make it to your wedding.
Set the budget
With all the extra time you have on your hands now and the lack of distractions, you can sit down (or Zoom) with your fiance and have an earnest discussion about your wedding budget. This conversation will naturally touch upon other important aspects of the wedding planning including the type of venue, the headcount, and other wedding ceremony or reception non-negotiables for both of you.
Look at wedding insurance
What used to be optional will start feeling like it’s essential in the aftermath of the pandemic. Wedding experts recommend that you get one to cushion you from potential financial blows caused by sudden business disruptions. Wedding insurance policies vary from one another so take a close look at all of your options and determine which one makes the most sense for your situation.
Find a venue
This may seem like an impossible task because of the stay-at-home orders but here’s the good news: plenty of event venues are giving virtual tours! To some, it might not feel thorough enough to see the place through a camera but give it a shot. Venue owners are working extra hard to help brides-to-be find the perfect location for their wedding amidst the lockdown. To make the most of the virtual tour, come with an open mind and a list of questions, as you would on an actual tour.
Research wedding vendors
Whether you already have a set of vendors that you dream of working with for your wedding or you’re starting from scratch, now is the time to explore your options more closely. Learn more about the vendors you could work with, what they offer, and if they’re a good fit for what you need. Make a list of caterers, florists, musicians, decorators, and maybe day-of-wedding organizers, then contact them for quotes and availability. To prevent overwhelm, you can choose to focus on browsing one kind of vendor per day.
Create your reception playlist
This one is fun and easy but you’ll be glad you had it done it early! Think about the songs you’d want to hear on your reception — from the cocktail hour to the dance floor later in the evening. Decide which songs you’d like to be played during key moments of the evening like your entrance to the reception venue, the father and daughter dance, mother and son dance, and the cake cutting. You can take a look at wedding entertainment websites to see the different entertainment options available. Having a playlist ready will also make it easier to communicate with musicians or entertainment companies later on in your planning.
Build your wedding website and registry
Feeling creative? Working on your wedding website will be a good outlet for your creative juices while also building a more or less permanent platform for announcements and news pertaining to your upcoming wedding. On the other hand, building your wedding registry is a fun way to keep busy and will (hopefully) scratch that online shopping itch for a bit.
Re-schedule your wedding
If you happen to be one of the many brides whose wedding had to be put off because of the pandemic, we feel your frustration! If you’re still deciding whether to cancel the wedding or to postpone it to a later date, the majority of wedding experts advise on the latter option. Many vendors don’t refund deposits in the event of a cancelation even during pre-COVID 19 times and they are unlikely to change this clause in their contract now.
With everything more or less settled with your vendors, moving your wedding date won’t be easy. So just be prepared to swap a weekend date for a weekday one (or a summer wedding for a winter one) to keep all your original vendors. Your wedding may not look exactly like how you first pictured it, but trust us, after pulling through this very tough time for everyone, it will be more beautiful than ever.