Should I cancel or postpone my 2020 Wedding? Bridal Pandemic Survival Guide

Updated: Apr 10

Are you one of those brides-to-be who started 2020 with feelings of excitement for your up and coming wedding, but now find yourself drowning in uncharted waters trying desperately to hold on to your dream wedding plans? Know you are not alone!


We know from our own experience that planning a wedding can be such a fun time but can also be a stressful time - guests lists, table plans etc. the list goes on! Throw in a global pandemic, countries on lockdown and flights all over the world being cancelled - this is next level! We're sure you have already thought or are thinking "Should I cancel or postpone my wedding because of Coronavirus?".


With things changing by the day, new laws and rules being implemented across the globe, it's difficult to know what to do moving forward to ensure your plans don't crumble around you. Whether your wedding was set for the start of the season or falls towards the end of the year, we can all agree that it's uncertain times ahead.


One things for sure, we are all in this together!


We are talking with our couples to try and make it as stress free as possible; working out suitable dates and shuffling things around to try an accommodate as much as we possibly can. We have no doubt other suppliers are doing the same!


We know from talking to wedding planners that during this time, they've never been busier. Couples have questions they simply don't have answers to. Venues are refusing to postpone until last minute and cancelled flights are causing havoc on travel plans. Guests unsure if they should cancel or postpone and who knows if this will all be over by summer?!


But what we do know is...the show must go on!


We miss photographing weddings A LOT! and we're trying to keep a positive outlook for the season ahead. If you still have hope that your dream day can be become a reality but you just need some help with which direction to take then hopefully our tips below will guide you. If you're feeling stuck or need some clarity, we hope these 10 tips will help make your future wedding planning a little easier...


1. Breathe

In this current situation, we totally get it, it's stressful and very easy to get overwhelmed but our first tip is very simple, just breathe, in and out. Take some time to yourself, maybe try some meditation each morning. Switch off the news, unplug from technology and try not to worry about Wedding Plans for a while. All of this is out of your control.!


2. Chat things over with your Other Half


We know there are some exceptions out there, but a lot of brides we speak with tell us that they do most of the wedding planning! But you're both probably at home a lot more together these days (unless one or both of you are key workers and for that we applaud you) so why not take the time to chat things over with your other half. Together you can get some perspective on what's important to you both. You might have different opinions about what you should do, compromise and support each other. It's good to talk!


3. Make a list and prioritise



Sometimes it can be useful to write down your list of priorities for the wedding. Seeing things on paper can help add a little more clarity. Write out the Pros and Cons of postponing or having a smaller intimate wedding or elopement. Postponing your wedding is probably the last ting you want to do after all the planning and effort that has already gone into it.


But we personally believe that there are positives in everything. Try to keep a positive attitude and things will work out for the best. A pro for postponing could be having more time to save for the wedding or a bigger budget for your honeymoon. You could now plan and pay for that trip of a lifetime!


4. Reach out to all your Wedding Vendors


Opening the channel of communication with your wedding vendors is the best thing to do. They will be super accommodating and willing to help in any way possible, as they are feeling the effects of this too. The majority of Wedding Vendors are all small businesses and can't wait to get back doing what they love.


We are here and ready to support you. Hopefully they have already reached out, but if not, it's definitely a great idea to send them a quick email. Tell them what you're thinking, whether or not you have a contingency plan and ask for their support. Your wedding vendors are flexible and on your side.


5. Communicate with your Wedding Guests


As Wedding Photographers in Portugal, the majority of our couples are from Ireland and the UK. Meaning all our couples are planning a destination weddings. The current COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted flights and travel plans, meaning wedding guests find themselves in a different situation.


Keep your guests up to date with any decisions you make or are planning. This allows them to be proactive with their travel plans and ensure they will still attend your wedding when it a new dates is decided. Better still, if you have a wedding website - direct them to that and update it as much as possible when things change.


6. Be as Flexible as possible


Sometimes its difficult, but when possible try to be as flexible as you can with your future wedding plans. Realise that things are changing rapidly and in most cases are out of your control. Being flexible will reduce your stress levels. You might need to reconsider your original wedding date or month, choose different wedding vendors or even think about the amount of guests attending your wedding. Your dream day might start to look a little different from what you pictured, but that doesn't mean it won't still be AMAZING!


7. Consider an Elopement



Following on from the last point, being flexible could mean reducing wedding guest numbers or in some cases planning an elopement instead. We get it, elopements are not for everyone but if you've never considered it before, maybe this is the time to start. Elopements can offer flexibility, are super romantic, and are usually in the most stunning locations or landscapes across the globe. It's worth looking into if you find yourself in the position of having to cancel your wedding completely.


Obviously you would need to wait until this is over to have your elopement but you can start the planning now. We love capturing elopements! They are truly intimate and are focused on the most important thing - marrying your best friend.


8. Remember why you planned to get married in the first place


Things may change, wedding plans may be put on hold, the 2020 wedding season has shifted, but most important reason for getting married will not. When all this has passed ( and it will pass) you will still have your dream day and marry your "amour". Remember, flowers, venues, dates and details are all insignificant details. A marriage is about marrying and making a lifelong commitment to your soulmate. Try to hold on to that thought!


10. Stay Positive


Stay positive, stay healthy and stay safe. Remember that your health should be top priority at this time. This too will pass and we will soon be back to celebrating and partying at weddings up and down countries and around the globe. Staying positive will help to keep your wedding planning moving in the right direction and having a good outlook can only ensure everything works out for the best!


9. Postpone vs Cancel



Should I postpone or cancel my 2020 wedding?

Considering no one knows when we will see the end of this current pandemic, I'm sure this question has crossed your mind.


If you are lucky enough to have your wedding planned for the later half of the year - that being September onwards, time is on your side. However if your date does fall within the first half of the season - that being May - August. It's best to have a contingency plan.


If you are planning a destination wedding, we understand how difficult it can be to reorganise your wedding for another date. You have a lot to think about, rearrange, plan and organise. It's tempting to want to cancel because of the stress of it all.

But we urge you, if and when you can, choose to postpone your wedding. Don't cancel!


Here are a few things to think about:

  • Try and book the same date or as close to it as possible for 2021.

  • Choose 2-3 alternative dates / speak to your vendors & agreement on a new date.

  • Postponing is cheaper than cancelling & planning from scratch.

  • Booking fee's are non refundable but vendors might allow you to transfer it to an alternative date.

  • Postponing for 2020 allows you to change your date free of charge without any further payments.

  • If your guests or parents cannot attend your new date, consider an Elopement.

  • Stay focused on what's important.

  • Ask your vendors to support you in any way they can.

  • Trust your wedding planner but give them time to figure things out.

  • Don't get bogged down by the insignificant details

  • Have faith that when this all blows over - You WILL have the WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS!!!!


Wedding Vendors and small business' absolutely love what they do and they also need your help at this critical time. We for one are devastated that couples are having to postpone their dream days. We are using this time to develop our skillset and continue to develop our portfolio so that we will be ready, more than ever, to deliver our best work for you.


We hope this has helped shed some clarity on this crazy situation we all find ourselves in, and if it helps one person, then it was worth it.

If you think this could help other couples like & share!

If are a bride-to-be going through this and have some quality tips for other couples, please share them in the comments


If you are one of our couples and need some advice, or even if you're not one of our couples, get in touch via email @ info@jjmtphotography.com.


"If you can't see the sunshine, be the sunshine."


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