Coronavirus and weddings? Here’s what 2021 could look like?

What will future weddings look like with coronavirus still on the horizon? 

Unfortunately coronavirus will be with us for a while.  It’s been a heartbreaking year for brides and grooms and wedding industry services .  The wedding industry has been one of the hardest hit by the lockdowns.    It was heartbreaking in March/April spending day after day re-sheduling weddings from early to late 2020 and then again to 2021.

What will weddings look like in 2021 and will weddings ever get back to normal?  Well only those who are proficient in crystal ball gazing can answer those questions, but we can look at some of the changes and prepare for the new normal that we are so sick of hearing about.  

The unfortunate reality is that there will be a lot of casualties of Rona.  Many wedding vendors will simply not be around in 2021.  There is never a more important time to be super picky about your vendors and to actually read agreements and contracts from start to finish, paying particular attention to the ‘postponement’ and ‘cancellation’ sections.

Be very wary of vendors who do not have written agreements as it will make it much harder to know where you stand if refunds are required. If vendors are unable to provide an agreement which includes their transparent refund policy, consider drafting one for them so you both know where you stand.

If you do book a wedding for 2021, I would advise that you tentatively book a date with well established, experienced vendors and make sure they have contracts in place for re-scheduling.

With so many 2020 weddings being postponed and prioritised by venues and suppliers for their dates in 2021, it will leave newly-engaged couples struggling for peak weekend dates.

Weekday weddings were already on the rise before all this as couples realised the value for money benefit.  Now with dates already booked in advance and couples having to re-schedule. the weekday wedding may be the only alternative. 

Destination weddings 

Destination weddings will be even more difficult to arrange.  In Australia I doubt that international flights will open up before mid 2021.  Qantas chief Alan Joyce predicted recently that international air travel wouldn’t resume until mid-2021 due to the impact of COVID-19.  The situation with State borders could remain fluid for another 12 months at least.  State borders could open and close depending on the various waves of the virus.  Keep in mind that even if the borders open there may still be a two week quarantine on the books.   This makes it almost impossible to plan interstate weddings or honeymoons.  

Is it better to rebook my wedding for 2022 to be safe?

“It’s a really personal decision since, for many, waiting another two years to tie the knot is just too far off. But for those in no rush, it’s worth considering. Pushing it all back to 2022 will open up more availability for your suppliers, your guests, and you get to spend all of 2021 chilling, because you’ll be the most prepared couple ever.”

My advice to current couples would be to look at booking your wedding in 2022.  Until we have a vaccine and until travel opens up again, the reality is life as we knew it is over.  Let’s face it, we really don’t know how many of these waves of the virus there will be.  I already have several brides who have booked and re booked three times.  

Big weddings might be a thing of the past – and you can forget the dance-floor

How can I cut down my wedding guest list? If ruthlessly cutting the guestlist is a daunting prospect, stick to some cut and dry rules. Parents and siblings only, no plus ones, no kids. It will make it much easier to explain to those who didn’t make the cut. In terms of letting people know, you can relax in knowing that people will be much more forgiving given the circumstances and most guests might assume this might happen anyway and be prepared to receive your un-invite. Just let people know it wasn’t an easy decision but that you 100% plan to celebrate more widely when you can. 

WHAT WEDDINGS WILL LOOK LIKE in 2021

  • We may still have to wear masks
  • Hand-sanitiser is here to stay
  • Dancing will be a long way off with the social distancing restrictions.  

For many couples, this crisis has shifted their priorities and the focus is now more on an intimate gathering with their nearest and dearest, and it will be hard to get over the mental hurdle of being around big groups.

On the positive side, let’s be honest… I am sure there are many couples who quietly relish the opportunity to get married and not feel obliged to invite their entire extended family! While weddings won’t quite be the same without all those drunk uncles on the dance-floor, they will be a lot cheaper!

Smaller weddings were trending in the last few years anyway, as couples started to actively choose to reduce their numbers  way down in order to invest more in each person.

Finances will also play a big role in this. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that in most cases, reducing your numbers reduces your spend. So if couples have been hit particularly hard by this crisis but still just want to get married,  smaller weddings and or zoom weddings will be the option that they choose.

One solution:

ELOPE NOW. CELEBRATE LATER 

My son and daughter in law actually did this in 2019.  We had a group of 16 for the wedding/lunch celebration and they will have a big party further down the track. 

I’ve had a few couples prefer that I marry them in front of friends and family, and then they are opting to have their reception once all of corona is done and dusted. It’s a flexible and fail-proof selection.

WHAT DOES COVID-19 MEAN FOR WEDDINGS IN 2020? (UPDATED AUG 2020)

WHAT DOES COVID-19 MEAN FOR WEDDINGS IN 2020? (UPDATED AUG 2020)

Written by Amy and Mel from Wedspiration

The following article looks at the impact of the virus namely on people planning their weddings for 2020. This article has been updated on 2/08/20. COVID-19 is an ever-changing situation so for up-to-date health alerts and advice related to the virus, visit health.gov.au.

Dear Couples,

First up, let us begin by sharing our deepest, heartfelt sympathies if you’re currently experiencing stress and wedding disruption due to the Coronavirus outbreak. No-one could have foreseen this coming: a pandemic that’s affecting the entire world. It’s a *touch wood* once-in-a-lifetime experience. And yes, the irony of how in sync that is with the nature of weddings isn’t lost on us. We wish we could give each of you a big hug right now.

And just as we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have predicted an event like this, sadly too the non-existent timeframe for getting this virus under control leaves us hankering for an equally non-existent crystal ball.

If you’re Australian, you’re probably still scratching your head like us, confused and bewildered by the hand we’ve been dealt in the last four months. As if the bushfires of last summer weren’t challenging enough, now we find ourselves facing a life-threatening virus too? We recently saw a meme that said “Who pissed off 2020?”. Exactly.

Over the last few months, we’ve been responding to a large number of queries from concerned couples desperately seeking guidance on what to do right now. We don’t have all the answers. But we’ll do our very best to help provide whatever insights and advice we can. This is the basis of this article.

Before we go any further though, we just want you know that we’ve been inspired by you guys – the positivity that so many of you are sharing right now is amazing. And we’re proud of the way that our industry peers are approaching the situation: largely with compassion, flexibility, and understanding. Many small businesses are struggling right now. But we’re all in this together and working toward a common goal – to get you guys hitched and having the best damn day ever, even if that day takes place a little later than originally planned.

>> COVID-19 And Weddings – The Latest Update As Of 2/08/20:

There are new changes and updates from the Australian Government for each state. Please note these rules and regulations are subject to change at any time with the uncertainty of COVID-19.

In general for all states, it’s worthwhile considering and breaching the topic of the following with your venue/vendors:

  • Canapé service may not be permitted in all states, and it’s best practice to serve each guest separately, meaning no shared plates or family-style catering. Your state might only allow sit-down service only too.
  • Consider how many people you sit at each table and check in with your rules and regulations for your state as well as your venue. You may be restricted to a maximum of ten per table.
  • Aim to seat people with their household, partners or family where possible.
  • Check in with your venue regarding styling changes. We’re aware of some venues not permitting cutlery and glassware on tables to minimise risk. 
  • Singing (including group singing), and wind instruments can spread COVID-19 if a performer is infected. If either of these are involved in the ceremony or reception, ensure that there is protection in place for guests including at least 3 metres distance from the performers.
  • Dancing has been restricted in some states. Please make sure you choose a venue that has a dancefloor with enough space. Consider what strategies you can put in place to avoid crowding on the dancefloor and other areas such as foregoing or modifying rituals like throwing the bouquet, and ensure people don’t take alcoholic drinks on the dancefloor. 
  • Record all of the names and contact numbers of all of your guests and vendorsattending your wedding, regardless of if it is a residential or commercial property wedding and retain these records to provide to the government if required.

STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN OF THE LATEST WEDDING RESTRICTIONS

NEW SOUTH WALES

  • The number of people who may attend a wedding is limited to 150 or the maximum number of people allowed on premises in accordance with the one person per 4 square metres rule
  • Weddings held on residential premises must not have more than 20 visitors, unless the size of the premises is sufficient to ensure there is at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises
  • Singing (including group singing), and wind instruments can spread COVID-19 if a performer is infected. If either of these are involved in the ceremony or reception, ensure that there is protection in place for guests including at least 3 metres distance from the performers
  • Dancing has been restricted, with premier Gladys Berejiklian stating in a recent press conference that the current directive is “no dancing, singing or mingling”
  • Check with your state and venue about how many people you can have seated at each table, you may be restricted to a maximum of ten per table
  • Aim to seat people with their household, partners or family where possible
  • Check in with your venue regarding styling changes. We’re aware of some venues not permitting cutlery and glassware on tables to minimise risk
  • The couple must record the names and contact details (including contact phone numbers) of all people attending, conducting and contributing to the wedding, regardless of if it is a residential or commercial property. The records must be kept for at least 4 weeks and provided to the Chief Health Office if required

For more information for NSW weddings, please click here.

VICTORIA

  • As of Thursday 6th August 2020, weddings will be banned in Melbourne until at least September 13th 2020 in accordance with new ‘Stage 4’ lockdown laws. This includes small, elopement-style ceremonies that were previously allowed.
  • If there is a compassionate reason (e.g. limited life span, making a wedding urgent), authorities may be open to granting an exemption for a Melbourne wedding during the lockdown period.  
  • Outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, weddings can have a maximum of five people (the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant). See more here
  • Ensure no guests that are unwell attend the wedding, and practice social distancing and good hygiene practices

Fore more information for VIC weddings, please click here.

QUEENSLAND

  • From 3rd July 2020, a maximum of 100 guests can attend a wedding. See more here
  • Social distancing must continue to be practiced and guests who are unwell should not attend
  • A record of contact details including name, phone number, email address and date and time of patronage of each guest must be made to assist in contact tracing, if required. This record must be kept for 56 days, provided to public health officers if requested where it will be securely stored and deleted after 56 days
  • The couple getting married is allowed to dance with each other and/or their parents
  • There is to be no buffet self-service. Guests are encouraged to do a sit-down reception, with individual plates served

For more information for QLD weddings, please click here.
For further details regarding cancellations, postponements and insurance for weddings in QLD, please click here.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • The total number of people present must not exceed one person per 2 square metres
  • Physical distancing principles still apply. Every person should attempt to stay at least 1.5 metres from other people
  • Some businesses are required to make and retain records of patrons attending public activities. This must include the name of each patron in attendance, as well as their phone number or email address, along with the time and date of their attendance. Contact tracing records must be presented at the request of an authorised officer. These records must only be used in the event that tracing of contacts needs to occur. For example, the records can’t be used for marketing or similar purposes
  • No shared utensils may be provided in the course of providing the service of any food or beverages
  • No communal food or beverage service areas may operate, this includes buffets, salad bars or communal water/beverage dispensers

For more information for SA weddings, please click here.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Gathering limits are only determined by the one person per 2 square metres rule, which only includes staff if the venue holds more than 500 people
  • Removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises
  • No requirement to maintain patron register at food businesses and licensed premises 
  • Alcohol can be served as part of unseated service arrangements 

For more information on WA weddings, please click here.

TASMANIA

  • There is to be no more than one person per 2 square metres at a wedding
  • Where the number of people permitted according to the density limit (one person per 2 square metres) is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies for capacity
  • For mixed use venues with multiple indoor or outdoor spaces, the gathering cap (250 people for indoor, or 500 people for outdoor) applies separately to each single undivided space. For example, a large hotel with multiple, separate indoor spaces (e.g. conference room, bar, restaurant, foyer, beer garden), is permitted to have up to 250 people for each of these spaces (the density limit applies)
  • Ensure that staff and guests are 1.5 metres away from each other. For groups of people seated at the same table, and for staff at times, this will not be practical
  • Arrange the wedding in such a way so that the 1.5 metre can be adhered to between patrons from different tables
  • Coordinate arrivals and seating of guests so that crowding doesn’t occur in arrival/waiting areas
  • Ensure there’s appropriate space between seated guests

For more information on TAS weddings, please click here.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  • From Friday the 19th of June 2020, wedding ceremonies can have up to 100 people (excluding those conducting the service or assisting in the conduct of the wedding) or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser
  • Wedding celebrations should be held in accordance with rules for the hospitality sector
  • Wedding organisers must keep a record of the names and contact numbers of individuals attending and details can be safely destroyed after 28 days
  • You must develop a COVID Safety plan
  • Any indoor or outdoor reception must adhere to the ACT’s restrictions on public gatherings and/or hospitality venues and function spaces

For more information on ACT weddings, please click here.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

  • There is currently no limit on the number of attendees
  • Weddings with less than 100 people do not require a completion of a checklist or safety plan, however physical distancing and hygiene practices should be implemented
  • For weddings from 100 to 500 people, you must complete a COVId-19 safety checklist

For more information on NT weddings, please click here.

_______________

Here’s a topline summary of the things we’ll get into below:

Insurance

  • It’s unlikely existing wedding insurance policies will cover wedding changes/cancellations due to COVID-19.
  • If you’re thinking about purchasing wedding insurance now to protect yourself from wedding changes/cancellation due to COVID-19, you won’t be covered as the pandemic is a known event.

Postponements and cancellations

  • If your wedding date is in 2020, we’d urge you to contact your venue and vendors via email ASAP to ask them what their postponement policy is and to gather their available dates for later this year, or preferably beyond to safeguard yourself against a second postponement.
  • We would strongly urge you to postpone your wedding rather than cancelling the entire occasion – you can find a step-by-step guide to postponing here and some further tips and templates to share with your wedding team and guests here.
  • When postponing your wedding, we know that the vast majority of wedding venues and vendors are be incredibly understanding in helping you facilitate this.
  • If you decide to cancel your wedding, however, it’s likely you’ll forfeit any deposits you’ve put down. Also, depending on the proximity of the cancellation to your wedding day and the T&C’s and position of the venue/vendor, you may incur additional costs.

Restrictions

  • See state-by-state breakdowns above

Proceeding as planned

  • For those progressing with their 2020 wedding, just be sure to adjust your celebration to fit into the new restrictions.

Honeymoons and travel

  • All overseas travel has been restricted for the foreseeable future. Postpone/cancel all overseas travel for the time being, and also consider a local-moon after your wedding does take place. You’ll be providing much needed support to local businesses and let’s face it, our own backyard is bloody beautiful.

Emotional burden

  • We 100% get where your head might be right now. You may be feeling hopeless, sad – even guilty for feeling these things, given the threat to people’s health right now. Please know that this is all completely normal and that you’re in no way alone.
  • Your wedding – when it happens – is going to be made all the more special for getting through this period.

The future 

  • Don’t stop planning your wedding. Life will go on post-Coronavirus and there are so many people in this industry more excited than ever to help you celebrate your love.

We know it’s a nerve-wracking time for both couples and industry alike but we will get through it together. This is a situation where we all need to work collectively to be as compassionate and supportive of each other’s positions as possible.

If you were scheduled to get hitched in the next several months or even weeks, our hearts are right there with you as you adjust to the rapidly changing requirements surrounding gatherings in Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully this article provides you with some confidence to move in the direction that feels right to you.

The big thing we want to say is that when your wedding does happen, there will be new meaning to it. And we’d bet our bottom dollar that the dancefloor moves your guests will pull will be even more impressive.

If you’re wanting to connect with other couples who are also going through the same thing right now, please join our couples-only Facebook Group ‘Wedchat by WedShed‘. There is a huge number of supportive discussions happening, with wonderful advice shared.

So, let’s get into things in more detail.

INSURANCE

++ Does wedding insurance cover COVID-19?  

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear so. We’ve reached out to multiple Australian wedding insurers and have heard back from one – the message was:

“Few policies covering weddings (or usual commercial activities) will cover a pandemic or infectious diseases so sadly few brides will have insurance protection if their wedding is cancelled due to the virus but the policy will cover loss through the all the other areas such as fire, death or injury to the bride and groom.

… we are fielding many calls from couples wanting insurance for Coronavirus – this simply isn’t available.”

We’ll update this section with more information as we receive it from other wedding insurance policy providers. We did hear second-hand (not confirmed) that one policy does cover cancellations related to Coronavirus. Though if true, this policy would’ve needed to have been purchased prior to Coronavirus being identified as an epidemic, and it’s not clear what the circumstances need to be in order to make a successful claim now. An alert was issued for the Coronavirus outbreak on 23rd January 2020, and we know that many travel insurers will not cover any claims made on policies taken out after that date, so in the absence of more solid info, we’d suggest it’s probably a similar scenario for weddings.

++ What about travel insurance? Does this cover for COVID-19 related changes? 

Choice.com.au has provided this information regarding travel insurance and COVID-19:

  • A bit over half of insurers cover medical expenses resulting from a pandemic, but less than half cover cancellation expenses
  • If you buy travel insurance after a pandemic or epidemic such as the COVID-19 coronavirus becomes a known event, you may not be covered regardless

Here’s further clarity on this, direct from Choice:

“People who bought travel insurance before the disease became a “known event” may be covered for medical expenses that arise from contracting the disease overseas, and may even be covered for cancellation expenses. But people who bought travel insurance after COVID-19 was a known event may not be covered for medical or cancellation expenses relating to contracting the disease, or from changes to travel plans that result from quarantine measures, for example.”

We understand this is a bit ambiguous. If you’ve purchased travel insurance to cover you for a honeymoon or even for an overseas wedding, you’re best to contact your insurer directly for the most relevant information according to your policy.

WEDDING POSTPONEMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS

++ Should I postpone my wedding?

As each day passes, we’re hearing of more and more couples making the voluntary choice to postpone their weddings. There are several reasons why:

  • Their guest count is more than the maximum number allowed for their state/there is a ban on weddings at their location
  • Their guest count is more than the allowed number in order to abide with the 4-square-metre rule at their venue
  • They had overseas family and friends attending their wedding that can no longer make it
  • They don’t want to bring together a large group of people and put their loved ones at risk
  • They’re conscious that it’s a decision that may be taken out of their hands soon anyway and want to get the jump on it
  • They’ve spoken to their venue and vendors who have been accommodating and happy to facilitate a postponement, making the decision easier
  • They don’t want a day that they’ve invested a lot of time, energy and resources into to be anything different to what they imagined
  • They don’t believe the social distancing that’s currently recommended is conducive to weddings (no hugs, kisses, close dancing, shared food or normal seating, which tends to be within 1.5 metres)
  • They don’t want to put guests in the awkward position of deciding whether or not they’re comfortable to attend in the first place

The decision to proceed or postpone is largely personal and will depend on the restrictions in place for your state/venue and how that impacts the vision you have for the day.

We’d strongly advise starting the conversation if you haven’t already with your venue and vendors about how they’d feel if you were to postpone your big day, as well as gathering alternative dates that are available. We can guarantee it’s a conversation they’re expecting.

Here’s a sample email that you could send:

Hi {VENUE/VENDOR NAME},

I hope this email finds you well, and that you and your loved ones are safe during this difficult time. Due to the current situation surrounding the Coronavirus, we’re concerned about proceeding with our wedding and putting our guests and wedding A-team (you guys) at risk. We’re sure this situation has put you under a lot of stress as we know it’s impacting many people right now and our thoughts are with you.

Due to the uncertainty of the coming months and new restrictions placed on weddings, we wanted to touch base to see what our options were on rescheduling our wedding with your team. Is it possible to postpone the date and reschedule once this has all calmed down? We appreciate you are no doubt managing multiple couples in the same position as us – please let us know if it’s easier to have a conversation over the phone. 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kindest,
{NAME + NAME}

++ What if I postpone my wedding but can’t find a date that all of my suppliers can service? 

This is unfortunately a hard reality – it might be difficult or not possible to make your wedding work with all of the original businesses you chose to partner with, due to the volume of future weddings and postponements. We’ve got all our fingers crossed that these tips will assist you in finding a date that works for everyone:

  • Be open to getting married on a weekday when there’s likely to be more availability for your wedding team. Weekday weddings are a total vibe!
  • Start with your wedding venue – get their available dates for the preferred months that you’re happy to reschedule your wedding to
  • Share these dates in an open and edit-able spreadsheet with your vendors so that they can tick which dates they can and can’t do. This will make it much simpler for you to find the date that the vast majority can make happen

For any of your A-Team that sadly can’t service your new wedding date due to pre-commitments, it’s unlikely due to the nature of cancellations that you’ll be able to expect your deposit back (see our next question) but many vendors will be eager to work with you to provide some sort of “credit-service” to the value of your deposit. For example, if your photographer can’t make your new wedding date, they might be able to instead do a family photoshoot with you, or an engagement shoot as a good-will measure.

++ I’m thinking of cancelling my wedding – what should I expect? 

This will largely depend on the T&C’s set in the contract you’ve entered into with your venue and vendors. Most contracts require a deposit to be paid to secure the services of the business and often these are non-refundable at a certain time-frame (for example, within six months of the original wedding date).

Chat to your venue and vendors if this is something you’re looking to do. Of course, if you make this decision it’s absolutely fine – your wedding, your call, always.

We do know that the vast majority of venues and vendors would much rather you postpone your wedding date over cancelling altogether. And as much as we’re sure they would love to be able to hand back any deposits, the financial implications of this is just too much to expect of a small business (it’s why they have T&Cs in the first place to protect themselves), particularly given the fact that they’re already likely to be losing future business that will be taken up by postponed weddings.

RESTRICTIONS

Scroll back to the top of this post for a state-by-state breakdown of the latest restrictions in relation to weddings.

You can find the Prime Minister’s official statements outlining restrictions here.

++ Are marquees considered an indoor space or outdoor? What if the sides are up? 

From what we understand, marquees constitute an indoor space, according to the government’s online statement.

“An indoor gathering refers to a gathering within a single enclosed area (i.e. an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent, temporary, open or closed).”

Despite the fact that marquees can be erected outdoors, they still fall under the category of a single enclosed area, substantially enclosed by a roof (even if the walls are removed of left up). It doesn’t make a difference if the marquee is permanent or temporary either.

We know that prior to the recent announcement of wedding restrictions, many couples still hoped to proceed with their wedding by setting up outdoors. Given the expense of marquees and the limitations on weddings, it’s understandable that this will no longer be a viable option for many.

PROCEEDING AS PLANNED

Each state has different rules about how a wedding may look right now, and they’re constantly evolving. Many couples are forging ahead with their wedding and if there is a change in restrictions that means their wedding cannot continue in the way that they had hoped, then they are reassessing as and when needed.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t make things paper-official on your original wedding day, even if a postponement needs to happen. There are plenty of couples that are getting officially married on their original date with an intimate ceremony, with a big reception-style party planned down the track when they and their loved ones can let down their hair restriction-free.

Another suggestion for couples proceeding with their wedding is to live stream your ceremony via video for those close family members and friends who are not able to attend due to the restrictions.

++ What if the guests I invite to my wedding don’t want to attend?

We really feel for you here – of course you want to get married surrounded by all the leading people in your life, let alone a select couple. But given the covert nature of COVID-19 and the fact that it’s impossible to know who has the virus until they’re symptomatic, it’s reasonable to expect that guests may not feel comfortable to attend your wedding. They may have contact with kids, the elderly or immunocompromised people, or they may just be conscious of wanting to distance themselves from people until authorities say it’s safe to do otherwise.

While it can be heartbreaking to hear, our advice is to be completely understanding of your guest’s choice and to not let it influence your relationship with them. This is a time where we all need to respect each other’s autonomy.

HONEYMOONS AND TRAVEL

++ Should I book a honeymoon?

If you haven’t already booked your honeymoon, the most obvious suggestion here is to postpone it or travel within Australia once travel restrictions and warnings are lifted. Right now, Australian state borders are in a state of lock-down, and overseas travel is prohibited.

If you had already booked travel,  some airlines are giving credits to flights, so touch base with both your travel partners and accommodation provider to see if this is an option for you.

EMOTIONAL BURDEN

OK, this is a biggie. And we want to spend some time here, because we have a lot. Of. Feelings.

We know it’s likely that you’ve been looking forward to this day for ages. Putting time, emotions, money and more into bringing an epic celebration together, only to have the rug potentially pulled out from beneath you. If you’re getting married in the coming months, the confusion about whether to proceed or postpone (or otherwise) can feel overwhelming and just downright devastating. We 100% empathise with you here – we know this is not how you wanted to be moving into married life.

On top of this, you might be feeling guilty or indulgent for even allowing yourself to feel upset about your wedding, given we’re talking about people’s lives and health being on the line.

What we need to say here is don’t. Know this: your disappointment is valid. We would feel exactly the same.

But also know this: no matter what happens to your wedding day in the short-term, it’s more important than ever to reflect on the things that are important to us as people, and that’s our relationships. The beautiful thing here is the very fact that you’re planning a wedding means you’ve found a life partner that you can depend on during the toughest times. It’s like you guys get to start your marriage early – just without the official piece of paper.

Focus on loving each other, keep communicating and know that when your wedding day does happen, it’s going to be so much more special having gone through this challenge to get there. If there’s anything we can take away from this pandemic, it’s the importance of taking stock of our loved ones and looking out for our community. This means when you’re smashing cake in your face at some point in the future and raising a glass of sparkling with those special people around you guys, there will be no better feeling.

THE FUTURE

++ Should I keep planning my wedding or wait until COVID-19 is over? 

We know that Coronavirus is all-encompassing right now. But eventually, this will be something we can collectively put behind us. If you’re hoping to get married in the future, don’t stop planning your wedding – allow yourself to get excited, get inspired, speak to venues and vendors and get the ball rolling. Now more than ever, the entire industry is so excited to help you celebrate your love! And it’s not just for financial reasons; we all need some positivity right now and looking to the future and all the happy days ahead is as feel-good as it gets.

– – –

If you have any further questions, suggestions or comments, send us a DM on Instagram or ask our lovely couples in our couples-only Facebook Group. Our hearts and thoughts are with you and we hope you can remain positive knowing that you’ll have an incredible day regardless of when it takes place. We hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy as Australia navigates COVID-19.

With love,
Amy, Mel + The WS Team.

COVID19 July update

What do changes to restrictions mean in your state?

As most of Australia is opening up at a rapid pace right now, it’s important to be mindful of what the current status of weddings is in your state. We anticipate that wedding activity will return to relatively normal levels once each state gets to 100 or more guests allowed.

At this stage, all but two states have returned to semi-normal levels of guest numbers. So, wedding planning and ceremonies should begin to happen quickly, and without health concerns, in most of Australia.

  • NSW: Uncapped numbers able to attend weddings at venues or outdoors as long as social distancing of 1 person per 4 sqm is taken into account. Church weddings are currently limited to a maximum of 20.
  • Victoria: Weddings at home, 5 guests max on top of the members of the household. If at a venue, up to 20 may attend (plus the celebrant and the couple). 
  • South Australia: Uncapped number of guests as long as social distancing of 1 person per 4 sqm is taken into account.
  • Queensland: A max of 20 guests as well as the couple and celebrant are currently allowed.
  • Northern Territory: Uncapped number of guests as long as social distancing of 1 person per 4 sqm is taken into account.
  • Western Australia: Uncapped number of guests as long as social distancing of 1 person per 2 sqm is taken into account.
  • Tasmania: Max of 500 people outdoors and 250 indoors with social distancing of 1 person per 2 sqm is taken into account.

Latest News Update on COVID 19 for Weddings

Earlier this month, the Federal Government announced a 3-step plan to bring Australia’s economy out of coronavirus. The plan shows the gradual lifting of safety measures and allows for larger gatherings when it comes to weddings. 

The three different stages are as follows:

  • Stage 1: Weddings can go ahead with up to 10 people, in addition to the couple and their celebrant
  • Stage 2: Weddings can go ahead with up to 20 people, in addition to the couple and their celebrant
  • Stage 3: Weddings can go ahead with up to 100 people, including the couple and their celebrant

These first two steps don’t mean too much to weddings going back to normal, as they still heavily restrict the number of people who can gather. It’s the third step that is really our first look at weddings going back to ‘normal’. Each of these steps still has safety measures in place, including collecting the contact information for all attendees and allowing an average four square metres per person. We know that this physical distancing rule means that some venues won’t be able to host the full 100 people allowed in the third step. But we also know that these won’t be the last steps in lifting the restrictions put in place by COVID-19. 

I wish I could tell you when weddings as we once knew them will be going back to normal. But unfortunately, it’s too early to tell what this 3-step plan will mean. We won’t know for a few weeks what the initial lifting of restrictions means for cases of COVID in Australia and what restrictions will continue to be lifted, or what will be put back in place. 

What I do know is that people continue to get married and are using creative and innovative ways to do so.

We are creating our own normal.

Photo Cred: Rick Liston

A Magical Modern Wedding In Australia

It was such a great delight to be the celebrant at this amazing wedding.  Natasha and Simon were a delight to work with from start to finish.  This article was posted in UK Brides Magazine Brides Magazine the no.1 wedding mag in the UK.  Very exciting.

Profile Photo by RICK LISTON

A Magical Modern Wedding In Australia

This couple’s wedding venue, Projekt 3488 in the Yarra Valley, Australia, was rustic yet modern, industrial-looking yet elegant and even included a seriously zen garden that would take anyone’s breath away.

 

Natasha Edward-Johnson, 27, married Simon Cox, 27, at Projekt 3488 in the Yarra Valley, Australia, on 21st April, 2018. She says:

When we walked through the doors of Projekt 3488, we looked at each other like: this is our wedding venue. We weren’t actually doing a site visit, but were there for another event. By that stage, we’d seen over 15 other venues, none of which felt right. The tranquil gardens, complete with water pools and an abundance of plants, took our breath away. The building itself, a recently restored Masonic Hall built in the 1920s, is exquisitely designed. Its décor allows the building to shine with all of its original charm. We were looking for something a little different and wanted both indoor and outdoor space, and this was it.

Mark Fenech, the designer-owner behind Projekt, has such an eye for style and detail that we really didn’t have to do much in the way of decorating. It was already there! However, our amazing florist, Holly from Anouk Flowers, created gorgeous arrangements using our colour palette of dark blue, deep red and dusty green. Thistle-like seaholly, eucalyptus, touches of tea tree and Casa Blanca David Austin roses were just some of the magical species she included. The romantic floral arbor she made, beneath which we married, blended seamlessly with the rest of the garden.

I found my wedding dress on a spontaneous shopping trip with my maid of honour, Vanessa. My previous attempt to find one had left me deflated, with the feeling that I’d never find something that was both my style and affordable. But Fairytales Bridal in Nunawading was having a sale, so we thought it couldn’t hurt to have a look! I initially saw my dress’ bold boho-style lace and was intrigued, but it was hidden on the rail behind another gown. I asked the shop assistant to pull it out and tried it on. It was by Jessica Couturesand fit me like a glove. Everything I had been looking for.

Though I loved the dress, my favourite detail on the day was my veil. It is just so meaningful to me. My friend and colleague Lauren helped choose the materials and then spent hours sewing it all together using invisible thread. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined and also added a longer train to my outfit – something my dress didn’t have on its own.

Photography by Rick Liston

Top 10 Female Celebrant

Hooray,  tonight I attended the Brides Choice Industry awards.

Two months ago I was notified that I was a finalist.  Tonight I found out that I was one of 10 top female celebrants chosen by bridal couples who have been married in the last 12 months.  Brides Choice Awards is dedicated to recognising, supporting and rewarding Wedding Businesses that operate in  Australia. They can be Nano Businesses, Micro Businesses, Small Businesses or even Major Corporate.

Brides Choice Awards is a supportive industry network platform, facilitating connectivity, support and importantly, recognising Excellence in Business practice through Brides Choice Awards for Excellence’ Annual Awards.

So excited to think that my couples are happy enough to go to the trouble to vote.  Thank you to all my couples.  I fall in love with all of them and absolutely love my job.

 

DSCF3581

 

 

The Greater the Love the Deeper the Grief

As a celebrant I also have the profound privilege to conducting funerals and memorial ceremonies.  This is a beautiful piece on grief by Julie Yarbrough.

 

The most fundamental truth of grief is this: we grieve because we love. Love and grief are inextricably linked. If we did not love, our hearts would not be broken by death. The greater our love, the deeper and more profound our grief.

Grief is the most equal-opportunity experience in all of life. It is the great leveler of emotions, place, and time. For at some age, at some time, everyone will know the sorrow and pain of grief. Grief is indifferent to our race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. We’re not emotionally insulated from grief because of where we live, how educated we are, or how much money we have or don’t have. Grief doesn’t care whether we’re dressed in a business suit, a blue uniform, a hoodie, a tee shirt or a clergy robe.

The love of grief is passionate — we cherish and memorialize the one lost to us in death. We remember, and will never forget. The love of grief is compassionate — it reaches out, reconciles, restores and builds up. This love is why we endure the suffering of loss and persevere in hope. Despite every evidence to the contrary, love never fails.

When the reality of senseless violence and tragedy overwhelm our individual and collective hearts, grief leaves us reeling, especially as we struggle with the “why?” We want to make sense of it all, yet there are no real answers. What we experience instead is grief, the intuitive response of our mind, our body and our spirit to the death of one we love. And often we find within the love of our grief the best response to life’s worst tragedies. Without fully understanding the “why,” we seek some redemptive value, so that death will not have been in vain. We harness our grief-born love first to change our own heart, then slowly the world. And if not the whole world all at once, we start where we are to influence for good, trusting that our small ripple of love shared with others will one day become an exponential sea change.

If we scrutinize the faces of survivors, friends, colleagues, and loved ones photographed at their moment of most intense grief, we see clearly the inestimable shock and sorrow of personal, individual grief. When we read beyond the headlines, we’re reminded that each life has its own unique story and that the lives of hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people — neighbors, school friends, church communities — are unalterably affected by the untimely death of one they know and love.

We are forever changed by death. Our experience of grief may leave us disillusioned, fearful, and hate-filled. Or grief may leave us convinced of the goodness of life with a greater capacity for love despite the certainty that evil is present in the world.

In the face of intentional violence and death, those of us who are helpless bystanders are forced to stretch, to think and feel beyond ourselves. And so we join hands and hearts with reverence for life and spiritual respect for the mystery of death to grieve in unison each individual soul — the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands and all other relationships of spirit and bond that connect us to one another as divinely created human beings.

Julie Yarbrough is the author of Beyond the Broken Heart, a grief ministry program, Grief Light, and other grief resources. Website: www.beyondthebrokenheart.com 

“We ourselves shall be loved for awhile and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses
of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Have Your Special Bouquet Painted

A big Shout Out to Liz Currie who specialises in painting bouquets.

Hi I am Liz from Elizabeth Currie Art
I have a passion for painting large floral acrylic on canvas paintings, especially gorgeous bridal bouquets and awesome floral arrangements.
I have teamed up with the amazingly talented florists from Yarra Street Blooms in Warrandyte, to create an opportunity for you to have your precious bouquet or arrangement created by them, and painted by me.
Various sizes and price points available.
Usual Website prices are:
Square
Large 40” x 40” (101.6cm) – $500.00
Medium 30’“ x 30” (76.2cm) – $380.00
Small 20”x 20” (50.8cm) – $250.00
Rectangular
600cm x 900cm -$425.00
As a Yarra Street Blooms customers you will receive a 15% discount across the range
Custom sizes are also available and will be quoted according to size.
I use a photo reference to paint from, this can be taken for you by Yarra St Blooms, or, ask your event photographer.  Please email me the photo you would like me to use as a guide.
I ask for a 30% deposit and will endeavour to have the painting completed in 2-4 weeks.
Free Hand Delivery in Melbourne Metro and outer suburbs included.
Below is an example of a Yarra Street Blooms – Elizabeth Currie Art collaboration
Yarra Street Blooms:  98440066  Yarrastreetblooms.com
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards
Liz
M: 0413106077
40158542_695144610884353_2537496786197544960_n
41787108_706494289749385_4612160573658890240_o

Spring Wedding Trends 2018

Spring wedding trends for 2018 by Easy Weddings

  • ★  Greenery may soon be dethroned as the most popular wedding trend with personalised signsbecoming more and more popular. Greenery will be featured in 59% of Spring weddings while personalised signs will be featured in 56.5% of weddings
  • ★  Despite boho chic weddings gaining popularitymacrame seems to have done its dash, with only 2.5% of couples including it in their wedding decor
  • ★  41% of Spring brides will do a speech compared with 37% of Winter brides as more couples choose to buck the groom-only speech on the big day
  • ★  Hoops and circular designs have remained a popular feature of decor throughout the year
Most popular wedding flowers

 

Flowers that are in bloom all year round, such as roses and baby’s breath, make up many of the most popular wedding flowers during the springtime. However, we are seeing a few exceptions when it comes to the rule.

Peonies have a small seasonal window closer to November and December, but are still the second most popular flower throughout the entire Spring season. This is despite the fact that florists will have to order them in from overseas for couples to be able to have them.

page8image2088653408

page5image2045995520

Most popular wedding themes

Rustic weddings are still the most popular theme for weddings across the year and have performed strongly throughout all of 2018. Not surprisingly, garden and outdoor weddings become more popular during springtime.

Overall, boho chic weddings have risen in popularity throughout 2018 and are the sixth most popular theme during spring. In comparison, we’re seeing vintage and vineyard weddings become less popular as more vintage elements are adopted by other themes, and vineyard weddings are beaten out by the casual vibe of DIY and boho chic weddings.

page5image2108750096

page8image2088663504page8image2088663712page8image2088663920page8image2088664128page8image2088664336page8image2088664544page8image2088664816

Spring is the most popular time of year for couples choosing to get married, and 2018 is no exception. For the first time, our Spring Wedding Outlook takes a specific look at Spring weddings, including costs, trends and the most popular dates, colours and themes of 2018.

The Spring Wedding Outlook is our second quarterly report for 2018 and includes responses from 430+ couples getting married in September, October and November this year to see how they are planning their day and what spring weddings really look like in Australia.

This outlook also uses data from the Easy Weddings 2018 Winter Wedding Outlook, as well as our 2018 Annual Wedding Industry Report which surveyed more than 3,000 couples. Easy Weddings is Australia’s number one wedding marketplace trusted by more than 80% of couples to help plan their wedding day.

 

16836265_10154059425751601_9118632061486943710_o
Petal Storm

page8image2088665360page8image2088670352