COVID-19 and Your Wedding
Yes, the feature photo for this blog are two glasses of wine because we probably need a glass or two right now. I know it is all on our brains with wedding planning and COVID-19 on the rise here in Washington State and so I wanted to address a few concerns.
What is Rebecca Anne Photography doing to protect themselves against COVID-19?
We are carrying hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes with us at weddings to use frequently throughout the wedding day to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus. We are moving as many meetings as possible to virtual meetings and avoiding large gatherings of people outside of mandatory weddings. And we quarantining as much as possible and are taking all the vitamins and supplements.
What happens if Rebecca or one of her associates gets sick?
Rebecca herself started a group for Washington Wedding Photographers in case of an emergency to help support photographers who come down sick and still have events to photograph. We also currently have a team of 3 associate photographers who work under our brand that are here to support each other and are bringing on another 2 photographers in the upcoming months. Our first priority if one of our photographers gets sick is to keep you within the Rebecca Anne Photography team and assign another associate (or myself) to photograph your day. If that is not possible, then we would reach out to the photographers we know well who have similar shooting styles and ask them to shoot the day while we still finish the editing and delivery process.
What is the protocol for if we have to postpone our wedding?
Rebecca Anne Photography contract states that your retainer is non-refundable but transferable to another date through the following calendar year if rescheduled 30 days or more before your wedding date. If it is less than 30 days before your wedding date then your final balance will still be due but still transferrable to a new date through the following calendar year if we are available. If the new date does not fall within the following calendar year, then a new retainer of 50% the packaged price will be due to secure the new date.
So what does COVID-19 mean for weddings and what are your options?
Just keep planning and wait and don’t panic yet. But if you are concerned, start reaching out to your vendors as to what their protocol will be in regards to COVID-19 and rescheduling of weddings. Read your contracts and understand your rights and protocols for payments.
Start by talking to your venue. Venues have different protocols they have to abide by and will most likely be the ones to make the call. Ask what their plan is and at what point do they have to shut down events. Start talking to your close family, especially ones who have to travel from out of state. You need to make a backup plan for the worst case scenario and then we hope and pray you are able to still have the wedding of your dreams like planned. But once you have a backup plan in place it will ease the worry as you know your next steps.
The biggest thing in all of this is to keep yourself and your family and friends safe. If that means asking the elderly or those with compromised immune systems to stay home, then you need to do that. Consider live streaming your event. Or maybe if you don’t have a videographer, add one on so you have another way to share your day with those who cannot attend.
Also prepare yourself for a lower guest count if you are still able to have your wedding from those who might be sick, or are concerned about getting sick. Institute precautions on your wedding day with extra hand sanitizers, propping doors between rooms open, seating fewer people per table and checking in with your venue, coordinator and catering in the ways they can help keep your guests safe.
How to protect yourself:
One big way to protect yourself is wedding insurance. This can help ensure you don’t lose out on potential thousands of dollars if you have to reschedule your day.
Read your contracts. By reading your contracts that gives you all the information you need to know on when your next payments are due, if deposits or retainers are refundable or not and what that vendors protocol is for changing your wedding date. Rebecca Anne Photography contract states that your retainer is non-refundable but transferable to another date through the following calendar year if rescheduled 30 days or more before your wedding date.
I think a lot of your vendors are going to be sensitive to the issue, or at least I hope they would be and will be willing to work with you if you need to reschedule your event because of something completely outside of your control.
What happens if all large gatherings like weddings have to be postponed and you don’t want to wait to get married?
Why not consider a small intimate elopement with your closest friends and family and reschedule your reception for sometime next year? We can still get you the wedding photos of your dreams and the intimate moments with your close family members and wait to have the big celebration with your friends until later.
Most importantly, I’m here for you and we got this!
My hope and prayer is no one ever needs to read this or institute anything I said in this blog and you get to have a wedding even better than you dreamed. But I am here for you and I want to help, however that might be. And know that either way, we are going to capture the most amazing photos for you, and guest what, COVID-19 won’t be documented in those photos but just your love and memories. Please do not hesitate to give me a call, send an email or text with questions, concerns or if you just need to bounce some ideas off of someone else who might understand.