Covid-19 & The Wedding Industry

Gone were the days when rain or a natural calamity were the only unanticipated concerns of the couple while planning their wedding. Now, the wedding stress has taken a new form and it’s called ‘COVID-19!’ The ‘destination’ in Destination Wedding is becoming a cause of concern as the outbreak shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Worldwide, more than 129,000 people have been infected, and more than 4,000 have died. Because of the fast-spreading nature of this illness, quarantines have been issued in several countries in an effort to slow the spread.

The wedding industry is facing disruptions amid the new coronavirus pandemic, as it’s impacting destination and cruise ship weddings, dress and decoration deliveries, and guests are forced to cancel last minute.

A wedding might be a day’s event, but wedding planning is surely not! From catering to hospitality to venues to photography to flights, and hotels, there are a lot of industries relying on having successful wedding seasons for survival. It takes a toll on the couple and their family, both emotionally and financially. In the end, couples turn to their wedding insurance, but it is unlikely that it will cover the canceled or postponed event due to novel coronavirus.

 

Shortage Of Wedding Dress

 

 

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, there could be a shortage of wedding dresses. The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association said 80 percent of the world’s western-style gowns are produced in China, and many factories there had to temporarily shut down because of the virus. Not only could there be a shortage, but the unexpected production delay could slow down the process for customized dresses, leaving some sellers unable to deliver customers’ orders on time. Many bridal retailers in the UK import their dresses from China, where the outbreak is said to have started and where many factories have been forced to close.

 

What Should You Do?

 

Planners & Suppliers: Prioritize your clients’ interests. Approach your clients before they do and inform them about the scenarios of the destination, how critical the location is, what are the risks, etc. Talk about deposits made, and help the clients as much as you can. Offering them local options instead of moving the wedding can be a Plan B. If your client wants to postpone the wedding, guide them by giving safer options and help them to imagine how their day would look like. Technology can come handy in such turbulent times. Many social media apps have a ‘Live’ feature to connect the guests who can’t travel due to travel bans. Create a wedding hashtag and ask guests to upload pictures and videos throughout the day and have absent guests follow the action.

 

 

Couples: Ideally, there are two choices! Continue with the initial plan or postpone the wedding. Do your research and talk to your airline and travel agent. Keep in mind that many countries have enabled quarantine rules for those who have recently traveled. If you have a destination wedding planned in the next 6 months, it’s advisable to talk to your planner about the next steps and check guidance from relevant authorities, including the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO). Look out for places that are more affected. If you are planning to move your wedding, have a look at your contract. Talk about the deposits. In some cases, you will get a refund, but be prepared to not receive anything as most of the planners depend upon small suppliers and have a thin margin.

 

Conclusion

 

 

We know a wedding is the dream day for many of us. Keep in mind, the coronavirus situation is changing, and fast. It’s also unpredictable. Above all, the safety of your to-be spouse, family, guests, and suppliers matters the most. So, do the risk assessment, communicate with your planner and make a rational choice based on the conditions of your wedding. Most importantly, don’t panic, encourage your loved ones to be strong, and remember this Persian quote, “This too shall pass.”

 

 

 

All Images Credit: @twenty20