As the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine last March 16, many couples who were set to get married this month had to make the decision to move their big day to a later date—or at least opt for a more intimate nuptial.
These times are uncertain, and if your big day is happening in a few months, knowing how you should proceed with your wedding plans can be confusing. Should you push through with it? What should you do after you've decided to push back your nuptial?
1. Stay updated.
"Everything is uncertain at the moment," wedding planner Amanda Tirol tells Female Network. As we're halfway through the enhanced community quarantine, we have yet to know what the government's next steps are in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. It's best to stay informed each day, but remember to also limit your media consumption to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by all the negative news.
If your wedding is happening three months from now, Amanda suggests to "wait for a few weeks [before postponing your wedding], and let's see how these will progress. Our prayers will be, of course, for everything to be back to normal for the sake of everyone."
However, the wedding planner "highly recommends for June brides to start planning ahead and postpone that date just to be on the safer side."
2. Pick a new wedding date (or month) and inform your suppliers ASAP.
If you've already decided to postpone your nuptial, the first thing you should do (aside from informing your guests, of course) "is to think of a date that will be suitable for all your chosen suppliers so as not to waste the deposits and initial payments that you have given already," shares Amanda. "Usually, when a wedding couple gives us a new date, we check on all the suppliers right away just to be sure we get the priority bookings given the amount of movement that everyone is having."
Doing so, however, is often challenging. "Finding a date that suits everyone, from the suppliers to the wedding guests, [is one of the common problems couples tend to have when moving their wedding day.] Of course, with everything that is happening and with all the uncertainties around, it is quite challenging to find a common ground when it comes to the new date."
A pro tip from the event planner: Consider moving your wedding to a weekday! Try to keep an open mind. "Weekdays will for sure be more available than the weekends to be able to get dates from the suppliers as well. I know it can be quite frustrating if we do not find a date wherein all the suppliers and the resorts are available, but we just have to keep on looking for that common date until we finalize."
3. Review your supplier contracts—and understand the policies affecting postponements and cancellations.
This will make the process of setting a new arrangement with your supplier a lot smoother. While it may be stated in most contracts that deposits are non-refundable, local wedding suppliers have been vocal about making necessary adjustments given the circumstances. In an interview with Preview.ph, photographer JM Benitez of Team Benitez Photo said: "On our end, we didn't charge any rebooking fees since sa current situation natin, wala namang may gusto mag-move talaga ng weddings. But if they move it to 2021 we need to give the 2021 rate na."
FN Tip: As the suppliers' rates increase annually, be prepared for additional costs if you're moving your wedding to a later year.
Additionally, many vendors also have "act of God" clauses (or force majeure) in their contracts. Hotels and restaurants, for instance, are required by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to offer a refund to couples who have postponed their wedding due to COVID-19.
"Dapat ho may refund kasi force majeure po yun so wag silang matakot na 'naku paano 'to nagdown na kami tapos ayaw irefund?'" Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a media briefing on the COVID-19 as reported by CNN Philippines. The government official also added that those who are having trouble with the refund should file a complaint with the DTI hotline 1384.
4. Revisit your wedding requirements...
...because most of them are only valid for a few months (a marriage license, for example, is valid for 120 days) so if you're planning to get married on a much later date, you and your S.O. might need to reapply for these requirements again.
5. Last but not the least, celebrate the day.
With the way things have turned out, it's okay to feel upset or disappointed, especially on the day when you're supposed to say "I do." It's important to understand that your feelings are valid. However, know that this day can still be a meaningful one. Spend this time with your life partner, even if it's as simple as video calling. Years from now, you'll look back at this moment and only remember how solid your relationship is.