Covid: What should you do about your wedding?
Save money on your wedding with help from Loans 2 Go…
Well 2020 is not turning out the way we planned! Back in January, with the beginning of not just a new year but a new decade, it felt like a very positive time and that great things would be happening this year. Little did we know that a global pandemic was just around the corner!
One of the many areas where lockdown has had a huge impact is on weddings. Many weddings planned for this year have had to be postponed, and many others are currently hanging in the balance. So if this applies to you, what should you do about your wedding?
Wedding postponed because of lockdown? What happens next?
We are so sorry if you have had to postpone your wedding because it was due to take place during lockdown. It is so disappointing for you and everyone else involved. However, because of the circumstances, most venues should let you rearrange your date without losing money.
Bear in mind that the venue will already have bookings for future dates, so in that respect you will be competing with other brides and grooms who were already in the frame before the pandemic took hold. So you will need to be flexible about your new date, but with a bit of compromise it should be possible to rearrange your dream wedding.
You should not have to pay any cancellation charges as you are not cancelling but rescheduling, due to circumstances beyond your control.
If the venue itself cancels the wedding and will not reschedule, then they are in breach of contract and you should receive a full refund. If this does not happen immediately, you need to put your complaint in writing to the venue and ask for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015.
If you have any problems related to the above you can also try reporting your venue to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) through their Coronavirus business complaint form.
If you have already had to pay expenses towards the wedding, and have wedding insurance then you should contact your insurer to see what you may be able to claim back. Unfortunately you may find that your insurer won’t now pay out, claiming that their terms and conditions do not cover pandemics.
Wedding planned for later this year? What should you do?
If you have a wedding planned for later this year you will face the dilemma of whether to postpone it or hope that it can still go ahead.
The problem is that everything is so uncertain at the moment, it is hard to know what is the best thing to do. The hospitality industry will hopefully be able to start opening from July, but there is no way of knowing whether there will be further outbreaks of Covid-19 leading to more lockdowns, either on a local or national basis.
In light of this – and depending when your wedding is scheduled for – you may want to consider postponing your wedding to a later date, perhaps into 2021.
The best thing to do is to talk to your wedding venue about possible options. Be open with them about your concerns and see if there are other dates that could work for you, and whether the venue will put any payments already made towards a new date.
Bear in mind that you won’t be the only ones with concerns at this time, and that the sooner you start to address them, the more possible options you are likely to have.
If your wedding or honeymoon is in a different country then you also need to keep up to date with travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Be careful not to act too hastily, but base your decision on government advice at the time. You are likely to lose money unless the country is either banning entry, refusing visas or closing venues.
Want to plan your wedding? What is safe to do?
But what if you had no wedding plans before lockdown started, but have now decided to get married and don’t really know how to go about organising your wedding? What can you actually do now to get things moving?
At the moment there is no clear guidance about when weddings will be able to restart. Whilst places of worship are going to reopen for private prayer, weddings are not currently taking place. It is feasible that small-scale church weddings (up to 6 people) may be able to go ahead by later in the summer. Registrars across the country have also said that only 3-5 people will be allowed at ceremonies until at least the end of August.
Even looking ahead to autumn, it still seems likely that some element of social distancing will be in place. So if you want any kind of larger wedding, the best thing to do is to plan for 2021 or beyond.
Also be prepared to be flexible about dates. There will most likely be a backlog of weddings in 2021 due to the number of weddings being postponed from this year. So if you are prepared to have your wedding out of peak time – for example on a weekday or during winter months – you are likely to have more choice.
So you can start thinking about dates now, and start browsing venues – many of which are offering virtual tours. And once you have found what you want, remember to issue Save the Date cards to the friends and family that you definitely want to be there, as many people may already be thinking about holiday plans for next year.
If you are worried about the prospect of your date having to be changed due to another potential outbreak of Covid-19, you may want to look into wedding insurance. But be aware that several companies (including John Lewis Finance, Debenhams and Wedding Plan Insurance) are currently not accepting any new applications for wedding insurance due to the outbreak.
It’s also a good time to start thinking about the different aspects of your wedding and how you can save money. Why not take the time to read our series of four “Wedding Hacks” articles that will give you ideas about how to save money on several key elements of your wedding day?
We hope that the above information is helpful when considering what to do about your wedding.
Remember to check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.