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Hi there! We're Ivana & Sam

We are wedding photographers, designers & hiking lovers based in Ireland. On our blog you'll find helpful resources and guides for planning your wedding in Ireland as well as our recent weddings & travels. Whether you're planning your wedding or looking for some travel inspiration, we hope you enjoy your time here.

Covid19 & Your Wedding | Planning Guide and Alternative Ideas

Weddings during covid19

Coronavirus & Wedding Planning | Your Options Discussed + Free Postponement Template

Planning a wedding around the coronavirus? Take a breath.

Our heads are spinning from the constant news updates and this virus has changed just about everything we knew. But with the help of one another, we can adapt!

As wedding photographers, Sam and I want to discuss some important things you can do while dealing with coronavirus and wedding planning. We want you and your partner to enjoy your wedding, in whatever form it may take; so we felt the need to create this article and bring clarity and hope to everyone affected.

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  1. Should you Postpone or Cancel your wedding?
  2. How Postponing benefits you.
  3. How far ahead to plan (updated as of 2 May 2020).
  4. The right steps to Postponing (+ free Announcement Template from us)
  5. One key thing to consider when changing from Summer to an Autumn/Winter wedding
  6. A few alternative options you might like.
  7. How to approach wedding dress shopping in this situation.*Latest update to article: 2nd May 2020*

 

Also, we want to remind you to not dive deep into the spinning whirlpool of news coverage. Stick to what the World Health Organisation recommends, avoid spiralling into negative thinking and, above all, keep your physical and mental health (and those of your loved ones) a priority.

Bella belle bridal flats next to fine art stationary styled at Cliff at Lyons

Let’s dive in!

Should we Postpone or Cancel our Wedding?

In this uncomfortable and unclear time, cancelling might seem like the easier option on the surface. However, cancelling on vendors and your venue will cost you your deposits and deprive you of looking forward to the event itself.

*Updated: For the time being, we strongly advise you to postpone your wedding, but only if your date falls within the March–August time period.

June and July are still uncertain. Things may have improved by then; But right now it’s probably best to take it week by week and adjust plans as needed.

There are more risks in cancelling your wedding outright; although the Coronavirus is unpredictable, cancelling will only add more uncertainty to people’s lives.

Navigating the coronavirus and wedding planning is certainly a handful; and we all need as much security as we can get. Rest assured that your wedding vendors will be there for you during this time and will do their absolute best to plan around your new dates and ideas for the wedding.

 

How does Postponing Benefit Us and our Wedding?

  • You will retain your investments thus far (your deposits),
  • Your suppliers and venue will keep your name in their books.

With many couples now looking to reschedule, as well as the regular influx of new couples, it’s valuable to maintain that link with your vendors. This ensures that you won’t have to look for new ones all over again.

Brand-new inquiries will now be a secondary priority compared to previously-booked and postponed weddings. They asked and paid first, so they take precedence. Cancelling will also cost you that priority.

Groom kissing bride on the forehead under flower arch in Mykonos

How Far in the Future Should our New Date Be?

If your wedding date lies between March and August 2020 (updated in accordance with latest Irish government information and 5-phase plan), then you should probably postpone it. For now, the ‘safest’ time to plan for is probably from September 2020 onwards, bearing in mind that some restrictions on the number of guests may still apply in Ireland.

2020 was a busy year for weddings. Many couples had extended their engagement, specifically waiting for 2020; for that reason, we strongly recommend that you consider a weekday for your new date. Now, many weekends in the second half of 2020 will likely be booked. If your preferred 2020 weekends are full, accepting a weekday wedding date is your best bet. Wednesday will be the new Saturday!

Another option is to postpone for next year – 2021.

If both the coronavirus and planning a wedding is all giving you too much stress and your heart is telling you to delay for another whole year, then that’s an option too.

Just keep in mind that many vendors may not be available during the key dates of 2021 either, so flexibility around weekdays is still recommended.

The good news is that, in this situation, many vendors will likely honour the pricing you paid initially, and won’t apply their updated 2021 prices (*this is very individual for every business and may not be the case for high-demand dates). Our industry is taking a massive hit but we want to be flexible with couples and help them have the day they deserve.

 

What are the Right Steps to Postponing? (+ free announcement template)

We suggest that your priority while rescheduling is to keep regular communication with your most valued vendors–those who you really want at your wedding and would be disappointed losing.

  • The first thing you should do is to contact your venue and solemniser and ask them where they stand for the upcoming months. Also ask what alternative dates they can offer later this year.
  • Before you commit to a new date though, make sure to first contact your photographer. Discuss your plans with them (+ any other vendors who you wouldn’t want to lose) and check that they are available for the new date to avoid disappointment.
  • Next, contact your bridal party and all key individuals who have been given a role in your wedding.
  • After you have the new details, notify all of your guests about the change. This can be a daunting task, so we designed these Free Postponement Templates for you to use digitally or print and send to people.

 

Fine art wedding prints from wedding in Mykonos

What should we Consider when Postponing from a Summer to an Autumn/Winter Wedding?

One key tip for all couples whose wedding will now be in the winter instead of summer:

  • If your summer ceremony was planned around 3PM-4PM, but your wedding is now moving to the winter months, you should adjust your timeline in order to have enough light for photos. For Autumn/Winter weddings, we advise to hold your ceremony no later than 1:30PM. The available light in Ireland during winter months can disappear as early as 3PM and we want to ensure you have enough time to capture all the lovely images you had planned for.
  • The best way to ensure that your timeline accommodates photos is to consult with your photographer and adjust timings based on how they work and how much time they need to capture everything.

Are There Any Other Options for our Wedding?

Actually – YES!

If your wedding sits in an uncomfortable time on the calendar this year or if you just don’t want to wait another whole year, all is not lost. In spite of the coronavirus, your wedding plan can stay on course!

What is most important to you and your partner? Is it the loving bond that ties you together, or is it the huge party that comes with an endless list of organisational tasks?

If you want to hold on to your wedding date but aren’t afraid to change things up a bit, then we have a few suggestions ahead!

 

Host a Downsized, Intimate Wedding

This would mean thinking outside the box and only inviting the most essential guests: be they family or close friends.

Some countries are banning gatherings above a certain number of people. Others forbid social meetings entirely. Depending on what you have to work with at the time, you should invite the absolute minimum number of guests.

This would be a delightfully intimate wedding experience, shared with only your closest loved ones. If you feel bad about having to uninvite so many guests, then you could host a party later just for them. This could end up being a cheaper (and safer) alternative celebration in the end.

Have you seen any last-minute, emergency weddings on TV? Phoebe and Mike’s wedding from Friends and Jake and Amy’s wedding from Brooklyn Nine-Nine spring to mind!

Ultimately, I’m sure your guests would rather you and your partner fulfill your wedding vows above all. 

 

Another Alternative is to Elope!

Having an Elopement Wedding brings the luxury of flexibility and spontaneity! Just grab your partner and your photographer and head for the great outdoors!

Elopement weddings are growing ever more popular for adventurous couples who want a more distinctive and personal experience. In fact, 91% of Millennials now consider eloping to get married! Having an elopement wedding could be the most unique and memorable way to celebrate your loving bond. And it would certainly be shared and remembered for generations with the help of your photographer!

Fine art photography of couple in Mykonos

Why Elopements Are A Great Alternative

The biggest reason most couples decide to elope is that it’s a completely intimate, unique and flexible experience!

Many times, couples can feel like the authenticity of their reason to marry is swallowed up by the whole pageantry of a ‘traditional’ wedding. As more guests are invited, and more vendors involved, the authenticity of your wedding can be diluted; it may end up feeling like a cookie-cutter experience, or more of a parade, in the end.

While traditional, ‘big party’ weddings are perfectly fine, couples who treasure intimacy in their bond may be left feeling wanting. For these couples, an Elopement may be the perfect, personal wedding alternative.

An elopement means writing your own rules for your wedding.

There is no playbook to follow. Having an elopement wedding allows you to represent who you both are as a couple in any way you wish. You can go on a mini-road trip, return to a favourite old spot; go for a lovely hike, and even take your pet with you. It’s all about having a spontaneous and intimate experience that will mark the moment you got married!

We highly recommend both of these options. If you feel ready for a new experience, or a shake-up of old traditions, perhaps 2020 is your year!

Bride getting ready at Gloster House and looking at her dress.

How to Approach Wedding Dress Shopping in 2020

As many wedding dresses are manufactured in China or elsewhere abroad, it’s normal to feel anxious about whether you’ll get your dress on time. Since the current situation changes by the day, the best piece of advice we can give you is this:

If you are yet to start wedding dress shopping, consider turning to local suppliers and independent tailors. Couture bridalwear designer Niamh Lynch from the Irish-based Bespoke Bridal says all her garments are made here in Ireland and orders have a shorter lead time for those girls who have not been able to go shopping the normal 8 months in advance due to the pandemic.

By working with local suppliers, you are getting custom attention, faster turnaround and you are also supporting local families and self-employed people who will be struggling greatly during the crisis.

 

You don’t have to walk this alone

Remember, everyone is adapting to great change. The wedding industry, in particular, is in constant flux now and everyone wants security more than ever.

Be reassured that you are surrounded by professionals who want to help you. Despite the situation, your wedding can still come to fruition one way or another, sooner or later. We all desire to provide the best service we can, so good communication and re-planning together is important.

In these scary times, you can expect vendors to be accommodating. Remain calm and kindly request alternative dates from your favourite suppliers. We’re all in this together.

If re-planning your wedding seems too much right now, that’s ok. If you just want to chat about it all, feel free to get in touch with us as well. We’ll try to help in any way we can.

TIP: Consider hiring a wedding planner to share the weight of this unexpected change and help you navigate. After all, wedding planners are most vital when things go wrong and they can help tremendously.

Candles with florals styled for wedding at Tankardstown House in Ireland

Looking After Yourself

Having your wedding coincide with this global crisis is undoubtedly upsetting. However, we all need to step back sometimes and remind ourselves that our health is priority number one right now. The most crucial advice we can probably give during these hard months is:

  • Stay at home as much as possible;
  • Wash your hands a lot and don’t touch your face; (the second one is harder than we ever thought, huh?)
  • If you need help, ask for it. We’re with you in this mess; get in touch with us about anything you’re not sure about.

 

We wish you and your families health and peace during this hard time. Don’t stop dreaming and planning.

xoxo,
Ivana and Sam
Fine Art Wedding Photographers based in Ireland

PLANNING, WEDDING

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Covid19 & Your Wedding | Planning Guide and Alternative Ideas

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