So what do we do now? Planning a wedding with restrictions.

Wedding planning advice

Another spanner in the works it seems for up and coming weddings in 2020 and possibly in 2021. Bigger picture of why restrictions have been made aside, what does this mean for your big day that you have been planning, invested in and been dreaming about? You may be in the position where you have moved the wedding countless times already. You may be in the position where you thought you had time yet and it’d be ‘all good’ by the time your day rolled round. And it may well be. But it may not. So, you may be feeling lost and unable to work out what to do next.

First and foremost, as I shared all over my social media yesterday, with the new guidelines that were announced, my advice: Don’t panic.
Things change a hella lot. The past couple of months show that alone:
No weddings
Ceremony only
Garden party receptions
No garden party receptions
Receptions at covid secure venues only
No masks
30 guests only (including the couple, photographer etc)
6 months may have been mentioned but it wasn’t set in stone. All targets need a measure – time is one of them.

Do you know what hasn’t changed?
People getting married. They still did it.


But to not panic is easier said than done and may not help you make any decisions. So here goes me delving a little deeper into the decision making process.

When it comes to decisions that are attached to money, it feels a lot more stressful. So for a moment, take out the financial factor. We can come to that in a mo.

How to make tough decisions.

Get your information

In order to make a good decision, you need to have the relevant information. Right now, if your wedding is in the next month or so, you probably have enough information from the government to start making decisions. But get more information from your suppliers too, do this together. If you are a 2021 wedding, I have to say, you don’t have all the information yet! Things will change, as they have done. Even overnight since the latest guideline of guests fo 15 was announced yesterday on the 22nd of September 2020, the government have made it clear that wedding suppliers do not count. I, as a photographer, counted in your numbers before. I won’t now. This also illustrates my point of how things keep changing.

Embrace the unknown

Next step: embrace the ambiguity. You need to make peace with this. In fact you already know how to do this. Since when has anything ever been certain? Just because you planned a wedding day (without COVID as a factor) doesn’t mean everything would have been hunky dory. That’s real talk. And the reason wedding insurance came into play. Your venue could have suffered a fire, your photographer broken a pinky or you could have ended up pregnant with your due date on the day you were meant to walk down the aisle. And let’s not forget GOOD OL’ RAIN on your wedding day.

So embrace it. How? Well, thinking of the most realistic worst case scenario is probably your best bet.
With your wedding what would be your worst case scenario? For some, having under 50 guests is their worst case! What would you be happy to compromise on? What would you not be happy to compromise on? Sit down together and thrash out why you are getting married. What is important to you and your values. Once you have both established this, then things will start to become clearer. You can also go back to being a lot more positive about the situation. You can have more hope.
As Michelle Obama says: Hope is necessary!

You can be positive without feeling like you are buying your head in the sand. Once you have your worst outlined, you’ll be able to deal with the ever changing guidelines more proactively.

Accept risk

Linked to the above point of ‘embracing the unknown’ is accepting risk. Making decisions involves taking risks and, of course, suffering loss. Read your terms and conditions, this will form part of your information gathering. Understand that you agreed to a supplier/something for your day and work with your supplier to do what is best all round. EVERYONE will suffer a loss, some more than others. Right now, we have to come together and work to compromise if the situation needs it. You chose your supplier for a reason and they chose you. Work something out, communicate and take time over this.

Take your time

Big decisions need time. Definitely react to what you hear, let yourselves process it, but, avoid being rash. Proactivity wins over reactivity every time. Something I learnt a very long time ago. You have time to be proactive and not react, your wedding is not tomorrow.

There is no right or wrong decision however it has to be a collective decision from the both of you. Married life is about compromise….you may as well start now folks! Please do not leave it up to one person in the couple to deal with this.

Making happy memories is so what we need right now so if you can have a wedding with 15 then FAB! If you want to postpone, then you (both) do you (both).
There are couples who have been getting married during these times, who have had to adapt, almost daily, on how they will marry. I have photographed 8 wedding over the past 8 weeks with couples who have been creative with the restrictions and made their intimate wedding work for them. My next blog will share some of these tips for you to pinch, so stay tuned folks!

I hope that helped! Stay positive but also informed. Feeling stressed is no good for anyone and right now, health is vitally important. And I can’t believe I totally forget to mention about listening to your gut. My gut is saying cake right now, but every so often it tells me something different. And by jove, my cake loving gut is rarely wrong. Neither will yours be.

Here if ya need me and if you haven’t got your photographer sorted yet then take a look round my website and get in touch. Your wedding photos will never be more important that right now. Wedding slideshow, Pimms and a wedding ‘after party’ in 2021 or 2022 sounds like a banging idea!


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