Coronavirus - How it will affect your Italy wedding this year and beyond
So we’ve all been glued to the news over the past few weeks learning more about Coronavirus and how it’s spreading. There’s so much to think about when planning your destination wedding at the best of times, so if you throw in a mass epidemic, it’s likely you’re confused and pretty stressed out about the planning of your Italy wedding amidst Coronavirus. Here’s some tips and helpful points to consider and prepare for if you have an upcoming Italy wedding (or in fact anywhere!) OR you’re planning a future destination wedding...
BRIDES WHO HAVE ALREADY BOOKED A 2020 DESTINATION WEDDING
Weddings are full of eventualities without Coronavirus in the mix so make sure you have the following regardless; wedding insurance (always check what is and isn’t covered), buy refundable tickets if travelling, book a wedding planner if you don’t have one already, stay calm and remain informed. Our Italian Fine Art Curation members are handling the unfolding events like pros but that doesn’t mean they’re not taking things seriously. In order to stem the speed at which this virus is spreading, it’s vital that people are sensible and don’t take unnecessary risks (like traveling to places they don’t need to, not following basic hygiene and washing hands, socialising when they have a cough/cold etc).
On the no-travel list so far include: China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. If your wedding is booked in one of these places in the coming weeks you may have only 2 choices; postponing the date or moving the location entirely.
Communication is key with your guests so start with an easy way to send information about any changes. Wedding websites like Minted, Appy Couple, and Zank You, are a great way to maintain easy and quick contact with your guests. Update them on travel changes and restrictions online.
Exactly how this virus and pandemic will impact the wedding industry is going to vary due to the amount of information out there and also depends on your location but if you’re asking people to travel, it’s safe to say you’re going to need to make firm decisions and stick to them. Be prepared that not all of your guests will be willing to fly or will be able to fly due to pre-existing conditions. Make sure your guests are purchasing refundable tickets even if your wedding is later in the year. Make sure you recommend they invest in travel insurance too. In general, be prepared to lower your guest counts due to people not travelling.
If people can’t travel with you, consider live streaming for those that stay at home. With today’s technology, it should be straight forward for most to view on social media or video calling.
IT’S NOT JUST THE LOCATION
Even if you’re not hosting your wedding event in Italy itself, it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected. Whether you’re having your wedding at home or abroad, consider all the shipments that need to arrive with you from other countries. Is your wedding dress being made in another country? Does it need additional time to get to you? If you can, order ahead. Add an additional 6 weeks onto any bespoke order. You can also consider off-the-rack purchases if you ordered something a while ago that you fear you may not receive in time.
Any part of your wedding day that involves shipping may be affected by delays. Reach out to your provider / vendor and ask them what to expect so you can make alternative plans if necessary. Shop locally to avoid disappointments in shipping (especially from countries like China). Discuss back-up plans with vendors like florists in case the florals they are shipping in do not arrive.
Not something any bride or groom wants to do, but if this becomes a reality, it’s not as bad as you think. It might give you more time to swap out some smaller details if you want, save money for larger floral installations or take advantage of another season in the year! Postponing events is extremely common right now and if this is the safest way to have a happy wedding day, we recommend you follow the advice of your planner!
FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES
If you have your date and venue set, follow the guidelines set by CDC and pay close attention to what you can and can’t do. Your and your guests safety is paramount. It might be your wedding but the last thing you want to do in make a lot of people sick.
BRIDES WHO ARE CONSIDERING A 2020 DESTINATION WEDDING
You might have a thousand questions right now about your wedding planning journey and while the immediate future is uncertain, you should not be put off completely about enjoying a destination wedding in Italy or anywhere else currently affected by Coronavirus. Consider the following as you plan for the rest of the year…
Book your vendors with PLENTY of notice. Many wedding industry vendors have been affected by the virus meaning their current weddings are being postponed and scheduled into later this year or 2021 leaving their calendars very full.
Ask about cancellation policies. You should invest in wedding insurance regardless but in case some people are no longer able to travel and your head count reduces drastically, you need to know what your venue will do if they need to cancel a wedding due to your guests not be able to travel OR their own staff being quarantined. This is a new situation to navigate for many newer companies so they may introduce new rules in the coming months. Be aware before you sign.
If you’re planning for 2021, hold off on any major decisions like venue booking etc. It might seem like a great idea to book now if prices have plummeted but you might not know what the future holds for these small businesses. There’s no real rush so revisit your planning in a month or so when we all know more about the industry.