Here comes the global pandemic. Here comes the heartbreaking postponements of dearly-beloved celebrations.
If your wedding plans are affected by COVID-19, here are 25 pieces of advice from a handful of our #UVBvendors. They will help guide you through these stressful unknowns.
Bottom Line: We love y’all. Utah vendors love y’all. Let’s get through this together with health and heart.
MOURN THE LOSS
1. It’s OK to be sad. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings — even if it means you spend some time screaming into a pillow. Hey now — don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! 🙂
2. “To our clients and families, we are deeply saddened. We can only imagine how these difficult circumstances have weighed on you! Planning a wedding is stressful, even in the most normal of situations. The anxiety you now feel is unprecedented — and we feel it for you as well.” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
3. “We vendors have you all in our hearts. We’re right here in the mud fighting alongside you, and we are so sad you have to deal with such an out-of-your-control situation during what’s supposed to be such a happy time in your lives.” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
4. “To our industry friends, our hearts go out to you as well. We know this is your livelihood, as it is ours. And we know this complete standstill will impact all of us. We are here for you, to reach out, to console, and to share ideas. Together, while apart, we will get through this.” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
5. “To those who have reached out to us, your thoughtfulness and genuine care have meant more than you will ever know. Apart from feeling saddened and somewhat helpless, we are battling between anxiety and calm. Stress and patience. And we are hoping to help you navigate these same feelings.” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
LET’S BE KIND
6. “Nothing about what is going on in the world right now is black and white. Please remember that now, more than ever, is the time to extend grace and patience to yourself and those around you. Please be safe and take care of you!” — Michelle Cousins, owner of Michelle Leo Events
7. “While the situation can feel stressful and disappointing, remember your vendors care about you and want to help. I can’t begin to explain how much we appreciate and love our clients who are kind and understanding.” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
8. Did we mention be kind? Let’s all be kind. We’re all real humans behind our screens.
LET’S TALK CONTRACTS
9. “Before reaching out to your vendors, read up on the terms stated in your wedding contracts! Having this information handy will save you both time and energy! Many vendors are attempting to have more lenient or expanded rescheduling/postponement policies to assist our couples who are navigating this tricky time.” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
POSTPONE … DON’T CANCEL!
10. “We are here to help, to navigate, and to adapt. We care about you and your future. And we are more than happy to make necessary changes. Please reach out to your vendors. See what is possible. In our situation, we are offering to change dates as needed. Keep your vendors. They’ve already worked hard for you and want to be part of your day! Plan on having the beautiful wedding you were always going to have — on a different date. Plan on the same dream team you booked — on a different date. Keep them. They’re invested in you. You’ll want them on your team and by your side through this.” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
11. “Postponing and keeping your vendors can save you lots of money in the long run by not having to pay new retainers on new vendors! Cancellations are the greatest trial being faced by wedding professionals at this time. We absolutely want to help and do what is best for you and your families, while still maintaining our livelihood and taking care of our own families! We need you just as much as you need us!” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
12. “For those of you who are afraid to book for your late summer, fall, or winter weddings: Keep planning. We know you’re fearful. We all are. And none of us know what is going to happen. But having a team you can trust in place now will help lessen your anxiety and stress moving forward. Don’t wait until your dream team is unavailable.” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
LET’S TALK WEDDING GOWNS
13. Limit your shopping team! The vast majority of Utah bridal shops are limiting the number of guests to one or two (plus the bride) — and typically no kiddos. “We are taking extra precautions with our sanitary practices to make sure our store is a safe place for customers and employees alike. We also ask that if you or your guests are feeling sick, you reschedule. We are happy to work with you on this and want the very best for our brides and their families.” — Tiffany Pritchett, owner of Pritchétt Bridal
14. “Have your best gals and guys ready to video in. Why not have fun with it? Set up a group video chat link and get ready to be the star!” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
15. “Give yourself time. Order early. Even waiting an extra week or two to order could greatly affect your timeline.” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
16. Tiffany agrees: “Even if you’re pushing your wedding to August or the fall — don’t postpone buying your dress! Ship dates for gowns are more than 4+ months out — that’s mid-July! We can sell off the rack if you need it sooner, but it’s always best to make your gown a top priority.” — Tiffany Pritchett, owner of Pritchétt Bridal
17. “Many designers worldwide have eliminated rush production options. Most independent designers are running on schedule and still offering rushes. However, due to the international nature of silks and laces, one should expect things to slow. You can always consider purchasing a floor model gown. Not only do you get considerable savings, but you’ll have your gown immediately. A big stress saver!” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
18. “Give your seamstress a little extra wiggle room (pardon the pun) for alterations. As many weddings are being pushed back, moved up, and modified, seamstresses’ workloads are increasing, but they still only have two (skilled) hands.” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
19. “Stay flexible on your bridal first look/photo dates. If your gown is slow to cross a border, or your exact lace isn’t ready due to Italian quarantine, it’s necessary your photo date remains soft.” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
20. “Keep your shop and consultant in the loop. Your bridal shop and consultants are working as hard as they can to track gowns, help them cross borders, and keep everything in queue. (There’s so much local talent and love in Utah!) Pushing your date back? Moving it up? Changing plans altogether? Don’t hesitate to update them often.” — Hilary Anderson, owner of Alta Moda Bridal
LET’S TALK COVID-19 GAMEPLANS
21. “Reach out to your vendors to find out how they will be handling COVID-19. They should have a gameplan of how they will be moving forward with couples facing complications from the pandemic. Learn what their policies are, what precautions they will be taking, and what your options include. Need help navigating your postponement? Talk to us! Not only are we well connected to other wedding professionals, but we care a great deal about you and want to help!” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
LET’S TALK ALTERNATIVES
22. “I highly suggest looking at wedding alternatives such as eloping, micro/intimate weddings, or private ceremonies (with a party to follow after the conclusion of the pandemic)! This will give you a chance to marry the love of your life (and get some rad photos!) while still looking forward to the celebration with all your loved ones to come in the future.” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
If you elect to move forward with an elopement or intimate wedding, Nicole suggests that you:
- Refrain from traveling to elope. Travel — whether by air or car — is furthering the spread of the virus. Furthermore, communities that see a lot of elopements (such as towns surrounding national parks) often do not have the resources, such as hospital space, to combat COVID-19 being introduced to the community.
- If wanting a few friends/family present (while adhering to guidelines set forth by the CDC), ensure none will be traveling to the event or in an at-risk group for the virus (or will come into contact with anyone in an at-risk group for the next two weeks following).
- Reach out to the vendors who would be a part of your elopement to learn of their business plan for staying healthy and safe during the pandemic.
KEEP DREAMING. KEEP PLANNING.
23. “Keep dreaming. Keep hoping. Keep using this time to look toward your future. While it is unknown, you will get married. You will have that day. And we will help you until we all get there!” — Mandy Ogaz, owner of The Potted Pansy
24. “Remember you are not alone. While it’s natural to feel disappointed, know that your day WILL come (literally!) and you have a community in the wedding world who loves and supports you! One day, this will be an incredible story to tell. Until then, we will all work together to help each of us get through it!” — Nicole Aston, owner of Nicole Aston Photography
25. We’ve got this, friends. Utah has the best vendors in the world — and that is not hyperbole. We will make it through. Look for the good. Take care of your hearts. And UVB will be here, telling your incredible stories now and forever.