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Virtual Wedding Planning 101 | Coronavirus Continues

Advice for How to Plan a Wedding and Find Your Venue from Home During Coronavirus

Today, we are sharing tips on how to plan a wedding from home, during the coronavirus shutdown. If you are newly-engaged, you might feel like this is a weird time to be booking a wedding venue, caterer and planner. We get it. You want to tour your wedding venue in person. You want to go to the bridal boutique and experience that dream moment when you see yourself in the grand mirror. Today, our reality is different, because we are all on a stay at home order. Although we might feel like wedding venues and bridal shops are essential businesses, for right now, we are on lock down.

At the same time, wedding plans have not stopped for fall of 2020, and into 2021. So, if you are aiming to get married in the coming year, you have no choice but to get started – virtually. Fortunately, that’s not all bad news. Vendors are already adapting to this new normal. They’re able to safely service you and guide you through this planning process. Here are some tips for how to plan a wedding, and how to find a wedding venue, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6 Tips for How to Plan a Wedding in the New Reality

1 – Get Comfortable with Virtual Wedding Planning – This is the most important concept to wrap your mind around right now. You might already be planning a wedding from out-of-state. So, maybe you’ve already interviewed a wedding planner via Zoom or FaceTime. Luckily, we have these tools available for free. Wedding vendors across the board using them, and adapting to the times quickly. Even the bridal gown and bridesmaids shops are doing virtual appointments. Depending on how long this goes on, perhaps drop-off tastings will be come a thing for local clients! And, virtual venue tours are now beautifully produced. Your potential wedding venue hosts will still want to talk you through the flow of the event, so be sure to reach out for an appointment rather than just watching YouTube videos and making a quick decision.

2- When planning in the coronavirus era, book your wedding venue early. As NC wedding planner Courtney Hopper of C & D Events said, “Fall 2020 is essentially two wedding seasons combined into one.” That’s because all of the spring weddings have already rescheduled – mostly into this fall season. Some are even re-booking into the first quarter of 2021. That means, fewer dates are on the table for these two seasons, and you need to act fast. If you’re nervous about committing when we don’t know how soon this will end, just communicate that fear. The good news is, these venues have solid policies for re-scheduling and can share those details with you.

3- Be bold with your Spring 2021 wedding goals. You have one big advantage right now. Some newly-engaged couples might be gun shy about pulling the trigger for their wedding next spring or summer. Don’t be! This could be your chance to snag one of the most coveted wedding weekends. Ask about that Memorial Day weekend wedding, or your dream October date!

4 – If you want to know how to plan an affordable wedding, now could be the time. This situation does not mean that there are special discounts being offered. In fact, I’d be wary of a deal that seems too good to be true – it probably is. In fact, it might mean the business is in danger. However, you can still find ways to save. For example, your wedding vendors will be more than eager to offer lower rates on non-weekend dates! If your income has been affected by the COVID-19 stay at home orders, this is a really logical option.

5- Start thinking about how you might plan a wedding for fewer guests. As we shut down society in increments, we can expect to open back up in increments, too. Beyond that, we might have a second wave of the coronavirus, resulting in future temporary restrictions. With this in mind, we might see a trend toward more intimate weddings. This is not unlike what we saw during and following the recession of 2008. Having an intimate wedding does NOT mean that you can’t have a luxury wedding. However, a small guest count does indeed result in a lower price. That’s because food and drink is the highest per person cost. So, you might even be pleased to discover you have room leftover in your budget to make that intimate wedding even nicer. For example, for fewer guests, you might be able to afford a multi-course dinner, with wine pairings. Or perhaps now you can swing hiring that small jazz band for a memorable dinner serenade. You could consider including more intricate welcome baskets, or splurge on a keepsake invitation artwork.

6- Enlist a Wedding Planning A Team. Y’all, if I can encourage you to do one thing and one thing only, it is this. Hire seasoned professionals to plan your wedding during the pandemic. This is uncharted territory for everyone, but established wedding pros have certainly been through lots of unpredictable situations, and have survived for a reason. They know what vendors to refer, how to pivot in natural disasters like hurricanes. They’ve even rescheduled weddings before! A brand new business, or one that charges rates far lower than industry standard… well, they might not even be in business by the time your wedding day arrives.

If you are local to North Carolina, we highly recommend perusing our vendors. We know each of them personally, and they are experienced, trustworthy professionals. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, if you are planning an NC wedding and want more tips or referrals! 

Best wishes to everyone, and may your love get you through this time!

Jenna Parks

A Quick Guide To Wedding Planning During COVID-19

And for some inspiration, here’s a real wedding from a North Carolina couple who postponed their wedding reception, but had an intimate, backyard Chapel Hill elopement. And here’s another who did a live stream wedding last month.

Merrimon-Wynne-House-Raleigh-NCWashington Duke InnGreat-Room-at-Top-of-The-HillSanderling Resort Southern Destination wedding venue in Outer Banks NC
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