On Monday 23 March, our Prime Minister announced a ban on all social gatherings in the UK — including weddings.
This left many devastated couples across the country, who had spent the past year or more planning the perfect wedding and giving deep consideration to each and every aspect of their big day.
Some couples, determined to wed whatever the circumstances, cleverly got around the lockdown situation. One couple in the West Midlands moved their April wedding forward to the Saturday before lockdown and streamed it live on Facebook so everyone could attend as planned.
In Spain, a country also on lockdown, a couple got married while leaning out of the windows of their apartment. Their neighbour led the ceremony and the whole street was a witness! They even managed to include a bouquet toss.
Most couples, however, will have had to postpone their nuptials, if possible, and others will have had to cancel them altogether.
If you recently got engaged, you might be thinking that there’s no point in planning a wedding at the moment, but there’s plenty you can be doing to work towards your special day.
Planning for a wedding will also serve as a wonderful distraction from the pandemic for you both; making plans for the future is a great way to stay positive throughout this unprecedented situation.
So, how do you plan a wedding during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us explain.
Set a date for yourselves
It is nice to set a date, as then you know what you’re working towards, but don’t be tempted to send out any ‘save the date’ cards at this stage; wait until we’re through the worst of the pandemic.
Choose a date far in the future, so it’s more likely to be the date you can eventually tie the knot.
Keep the date to yourselves for now, but feel free to let loved ones know that you’re thinking about your wedding and that they’ll be receiving a ‘save the date’ card once things have settled down. They’ll no doubt be delighted at the prospect of something to look forward to.
Decide on a budget
Take a look at your finances, taking the current situation into account, and set a realistic budget for your wedding. This is an essential step as it places a limit on your spending and makes you reprioritise.
For example, do you really need that dove release or the ridiculously expensive videographer?
Decide on the size of your wedding
Consider if you’d like an intimate wedding, a medium-sized gathering, or the event of the century that is to include everyone you know.
Your budget can help you with this decision, as a quick look at prices online will give you an idea of how much everything will cost. How much are you willing to spend per guest?
If you know the type of venue you’d like to book then that may limit your options regarding numbers.
Also, consider if you want children at your wedding and if you’re going to send plus-one invites or only invite people you know and have met — all of these things can make a big difference to a guest list.
You don’t need to create the final guest list just yet, but it may help to sit down with your fiancé/fiancée and draw up a list of potential guests and discuss the inclusion of each.
Browse venues online
Usually, when planning a wedding, you’d do things in a particular order, and one of the first tasks would be to choose and book your venue.
Don’t be tempted to book anything yet — however, that doesn’t mean you can’t peruse your options online.
There’s often a lot of information online about wedding venues, alongside video tours, and reviews from those who have booked the venue in the past. These are highly valuable as the service you receive is as important, if not more so, than the venue’s aesthetics.
Choose your venue based on a combination of its location, the number of guests it can cater to, the cost, and online reviews.
Narrow your options down to five and leave it there for now. However, keep the cost of the most expensive venue in mind when researching the rest of your wedding so you can stay within budget.
Choose your wedding rings
There may not be much you can book for your wedding at the moment, but something you can be proactive about is buying your wedding rings.
The bride-to-be will probably already know her ring size due to her engagement ring, and if the groom-to-be does too, then that’s perfect!
If you don’t yet know your ring sizes, you’ll be best exploring your options online for now and narrowing it down to a few rings you can try on in-store when lockdown has ended. Our store locations can be found here.
Think about the details
While booking suppliers is currently tricky, you can decide on all of the following while in lockdown and beyond:
- The colour scheme
- The theme, if there is one
- The bridesmaids
- The bridesmaids’ dresses — will they all wear the same colour, different colours, different styles, etc.
- The best man
- The groomsmen
- The suits
- The flowers
- The bridal gown
- The cake
- The photographer and videographer
- The catering
- Make-up, hair and nails
- ‘Save the date’ and invite designs
- Music — DJ, band, or Spotify playlist?
As you can see, there is plenty to be getting on with! So, despite what’s happening around you, take a moment to enjoy your engagement and spend some time planning for a happy future together.
For further on in your planning journey, you might find our guide to mastering the seating plan helpful.