Don’t let quarantine stop you from preparing for your big day day in style
The outbreak and almost universal quarantine of the planet (bar Sweden, how are they still cracking on!) has meant that not only our lives have been put on hold, but our weddings too… Couples across the globe have had to cancel or postpone their big day with huge financial and emotional costs being felt. But life goes on and you know what we’ll all get through this together as long as we listen to the advice, respond to the requests and look forward positively – that wedding will bloody happen and it will be the best damn wedding ever! So lets plan your wedding at home!
Whether your wedding was postponed and you’re faced with the challenge of pivoting in some areas, or whether you are in the beginning stages of your engagement, today I’m sharing some ideas for things engaged couples can do to Plan Your Wedding at Home in the Age of the Coronavirus. Because even in isolation, friend, the party don’t stop.
Use these precious hours in the coziness of your abode in whatever way you need. If that means only changing out of your pyjamas in order to maintain some dignity while you run to the petrol station for more biscuits during your Tiger King binge, so be it! Put it this way, we will never be able to be this lazy again and it be recommended by the government! But if you’re anything like me, after awhile you might find yourself going stir crazy, restless and just plain ready to get your wedding planning productivity on. This time can feel like a burden, or it can feel like a gift. We hope you think of it in terms of the latter. Because boy, do you have a lot of time to really get your big day checklist in order, decide exactly what it is you would like your nuptials to look and feel like while all of those wedding services you previously booked are going to be very happy to hear from you!
Build your wedding website
First things first. If you don’t have a wedding website, you’ve gotta get a wedding website specially during the COVID-19 times. If you want to plan your wedding at home your guests will need to have a central hub that they can get all of the latest info on how your big day is progressing and it will also allow you to register all of your RSVP’s with ease and confidence.
The unfortunate circumstances that we’re faced with in this current climate is the perfect example of how a good wedding website can see the day. Not only can you share quick updates about any challenges that might arise on the website itself (and any date changes, venue changes, destination changes/travel alerts that may follow), you can alert your guests in one fell swoop with an email blast so they don’t miss it. It’s also a great place in general to collect RSVPs digitally with a better response rate than traditional cards, and a wedding website can serve as a filter for the 800+ general questions your guests might contact you with otherwise, about timings and addresses and meal options down the road.
One free wedding website platforms we recommend is WithJoy It has loads of modern website templates, an easy to use app and all of the contact facility features you’d expect. For absolutely no investment on your part (yeah its free!) they provide a really premium service, with a fully customisable template.
- Beautiful design, with a choice of using your own colours, fonts and photos
- Digital RSVPs, so you can track your guest list online
- Wedding party introductions, so you can highlight who is who
- An app for all of your guests to access
- An area for your guests to upload pictures, so you can keep everyone’s phone snaps
Find out more & get started for free here.
Sometimes you need some snail mail to remember that the small details count. And we’re all for the warm fuzzy feeling of getting something signed, sealed and delivered (at a safe distance)! One thing couples can do is order invitation samples online if they’re working with a stationer or get on the phone and have a chat with your local wedding stationery expert. Order some samples so you can feel the paper options, see the special features (i.e. metallic foil, letterpress, etc) and even note the colour hues in person as some elements just don’t come across realistically on-screen.
If you’re working directly with a wedding stationer, depending on where you’re at in the design process with them, ask about options for a tangible sample once the design is finalized! And remember that they are currently being inundated (hopefully) with requests as small business owners themselves, so be patient and remember that compassion goes a long way. They’re itching to get design proposals to you too! Personally I can recommend Designed by Brownings for their stunning designs and impeccable service, their bespoke service is second to none!
These weeks are an excellent time to start thinking about your bridal party fashion. Are you having a uniform look? Taking the mismatched bridesmaid dress route? What colors do you have in mind? What about prints? What colours are the flowers, and what tones exist naturally at your venue? How will it all blend together in the most cohesive way? These are the questions to start asking as you determine the bridesmaid fashion approach. Once you have a good idea of your direction, see if you can order some swatches or simply browse designs to make your bridesmaids moodboard. If you’re based down south in the UK Nabbd of Wimbledon have an amazing boutique, the Narnia of bridesmaids shops! Hundreds of beautiful modern dresses that you just won’t see anywhere else.
Check venues’ availability (the early bird gets the best date)
Between couples who had to postpone their weddings and couples currently planning their weddings, the overlap of availability will be inevitable… when weddings and events eventually resume. Add the holiday season into the mix and we might see an overloaded calendar from your favourite venues and wedding services. So don’t cry over spilt milk & plan your wedding at home now in order to not miss out.
The most important planning decision you’ll make is choosing your wedding venue. You need to determine which venue works for you based on style, budget, your guests and a number of other considerations. Not only will your venue set the entire tone for your wedding, it can determine everything from which suppliers you work with, what the aesthetic or formality level might need to be, what your colour palette might be, what restrictions you have, etc. What we’re trying to get at is that it’s not one of those decisions to make on a whim or one you feel like you’re settling on. And it takes some time to do the research! Time that you now have an abundance of!
Not only does it take time on your end, you’ll be working with a sales director to determine availabilities, schedule venue visits down the road etc. The sooner you can make this decision in the planning process, the better. And with spring + summer 2020 weddings now being postponed 6-12 months, venue availability is slimming down more quickly than usual. I’m not saying you need to put a deposit down tomorrow! But laying the foundation of research so you can be ready to visit in person and sign on the dotted line once the timing is right will be a game changer!
Show your bridal party some love
Okay here’s a fun one. When in doubt, spread the love! There’s nothing like focusing on kindness in the midst of dark and uncertain times, and one easy way you can spread joy is by treating your bridal party… the friends who have stood by you, supported you and who have loved you most in the world! Not only are there tons of curated gift box companies out there that will deliver the most delightful boxes of treats like chocolates and bath salts and candles to name a few, there are all sorts of DIY projects you can embrace while you’re rocking the quarantine life. I’m talking DIY face masks, cute tote bags, handmade cards, hair clips and the like. You can order supplies online and craft gifts for them to give on your wedding day or bridal shower.
Netflix is offering watch parties, so grab all your girls, schedule a night and watch all your favourite rom-coms together (virtually)! At least we still have wine…!
Tackle all things fashion + beauty
Now is also a good time to be thinking about both bridal fashion + groomswear for the wedding. If you haven’t started shopping yet, that means falling down the wonderful rabbit hole of wedding dresses and bookmarking your favourite designers (maybe even scheduling some appointments with stockists near you once all of this is over!) You might even keep an eye out for trunk shows that might be hitting town this summer, again, dates pending!
For those of you that have already purchased a gown, check in with your boutique on the estimated delivery date as it stands now. Anticipate delays due to the pandemic, and to keep things positive, start thinking about your ideal wedding hair styles based on your dress design.
It’s never too early to be thinking about the hair + makeup component, and if you haven’t scheduled a trial yet, we’d highly recommend that you do! It will allow both you and the stylist to have the right understanding of what you actually want before the big day itself – because when push comes to shove, there won’t be any time for re-do’s on the wedding day.
As for groom’s fashion, now might be the time to think about renting vs. buying or how you’ll coordinate with your groomsmen. Think about how you can make your accessories count – i.e. cuffs links, tie or bow-tie, pocket square if you’re skipping the boutonniere. It’s an art, and there are hundreds of resources available on the topic for free!
Send Change-The-Dates or Craft Your Guestlist
If you had to postpone your wedding due to the Coronavirus then now is the time to let your guests know of your new date as soon as you get confirmation from your supliers and wedding venue. Update your wedding website (see above) with the Change-the-Date announcement and send cards in the mail. You don’t have to get fancy here, just a photo postcard of the two of you will suffice with the message about changing the date! You can get free postcard templates on sites like vistaprint.com.
If you aren’t getting married in the next 8-12 weeks and haven’t started building your guest list, there’s no better time to do it than now. Not just because you’re home, but the latest events might shed new light on traditional guestlists with large headcounts.
Write your wedding vows
Struggling with the mental burnout that’s sure to come with staring at a screen hour after hour, especially from the same sofa? Switch it up and try writing instead! Writing, whether it’s daily journaling, gratitude listing or a morning routine of spelling out your big focuses for the day, is a surefire way to boost your energy. And hey, make you feel crazy productive and more enthused to plan your wedding at home!
Why not take this time to do something super special for your partner that they’ll remember forever? Writing your own wedding vows can seem like a daunting task, I get it! But there are all sorts of resources out there that don’t cost a penny that will guide you with all the right prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
If the idea of sharing these personal thoughts in front of all your guests paralyzes you, why not opt for a sweet love letter to give them on the wedding morning instead? Words matter. And thoughtful sentiments like this will be cherished forever.
Build your wedding playlist – a fun way to plan your wedding at home!
Another fun thing is to start curating your wedding playlist and/or no-play list! Your band or DJ should be asking you to share some details about your musical taste, including your favourite artists, must-play songs, preferred genres and also those songs to avoid at all costs. Not interested in the idea of a line dance at your wedding? Does something come on Heart Radio while you’re lounging at home that you absolutely loathe? Add it to the no-play list! You don’t have to have all these thoughts together in one sitting. The best way to do it is to start a running list that builds over time. You’ll discover new songs, remember old ones and without fail, find yourself being serenaded by one you never realized you hated so much. This is certainly a fun way to plan your wedding at home!