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        Updated 29 June 2020

        So I’m a bride myself, in the middle of this crazy weird world of panic and worry. We all have no clue what’s going on and we’re trying to plan the biggest day of our lives. I had to reschedule my wedding which was due to be on the 18th of April. It was not fun, but I promise you it was much easier than I thought it would be.

        As I’ve mentioned on my instagram, I deal with anxiety and stressful situations by researching. And I want to share with you what I’ve found so that you can put this whole situation into perspective and make the right decision for you and your wedding.

        Let me start by saying that currently there is no reason why your wedding can’t go ahead as of now! I shot my first wedding since Covid last week and it was AMAZING!! So unbelievably special and beautiful as you can see below.

        Some things will look different, but the fact you want to marry the love of your life won’t so you could still be getting married. In the mean time though here are the answers to some of the questions I’ve had myself.

        black and white image of a bride holding her veil and it blowing in the wind

        Will My Wedding Suppliers Turn Up?

        I can’t speak for everyone, but as a photographer, I can assure you I will be there now that restrictions are lifted – like any other wedding. In the event I was to get sick I have backups in place, like I do at any other time because there are other bugs in the world. That’s a pretty standard policy for anyone working in the wedding industry.

        Over the course of this pandemic, and I’d imagine even after this, I will be taking extra precautions at weddings. I have a vulnerable son at home so I want to minimise all risks. I will be asking all my clients to ensure they notify their guests that they would prefer them to stay home if they are showing any symptoms at all, in line with guidelines. I won’t be able to gather you for family portraits or ask you to break social distancing. But it’s not my job to enforce social distancing, it’s my job to capture your day. So if you’re beside each other, I’ll be capturing it. Apart from that it’s full steam ahead from my end now that restrictions have lifted, and I imagine 90% of suppliers are the same.

        Touch base with them though if you want to make sure.

        black and white image of a couple standing on a wall

        What Are My Options?

        As this situation progresses and restrictions are lifted by governments, you have a few options. Which one you choose will depend on you as a couple, your priorities and your suppliers.

        Firstly, you can reduce your numbers. Even if your wedding goes ahead later this year, it is likely that there will be some element of social distancing in place. What the numbers are we still don’t know, but most of us in the industry are guessing that any weddings with numbers over 100 guests are unlikely to happen this year, but none of us can be sure. The sooner your wedding is, the smaller the numbers will likely be. As of now it is 10 in Northern Ireland outdoors, but this is expected to increase soon. And things are progressing super fast, so there’s a lot to be hopeful for.

        You will probably find numbers will reduce naturally themselves with those that are travelling or vulnerable preferring to stay at home, but if you’d been planning a large wedding, then it is likely to look VERY different to what you had planned.

        That doesn’t mean you have to postpone though, and what I would say is that holding out for a super large wedding (200+) could mean waiting quite a while. None of us know when a vaccine is coming or how this is going to play out, so it’s one thing to keep in mind if holding out for a big gathering.

        Intimate weddings are amazing, and so special. And again, you’re marrying the love of your life, which is the most important thing. It’s not what you’d planned and that’s really hard to let go of, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful and incredibly meaningful.

        If the vulnerable people who can’t make it are key people like your parents or siblings though this may not be an option for you. You should also speak to your church and venue to ensure that they are happy to go ahead even with these reduced numbers or what their plans are for reopening. Some venues have set numbers in their contracts, but I’d imagine this will be flexible right now.

        Secondly, you can reschedule. Under normal circumstances this may be pretty tricky. And it’s still not the preferred option for most of us. But if you have special guests that you think will have to miss your wedding due to travel restrictions or because they are vulnerable and you’d rather reschedule, that is totally understandable. I know you have spent ages organising to get you to this point, and it can be pretty overwhelming trying to figure out where to start, but MOST suppliers are being really flexible with regards to rescheduling right now. Myself included.

        For my clients getting married this summer, I am happy to reschedule to any date I’m available until the end of 2021 with no increase in prices or fees. I will carry over your booking fee. I will work with you to find a date that I’m available.

        Of course you must then get in contact with all of your other vendors to check what policies they are applying. The most important one is your venue. Please remember we are all small, one person businesses who are trying to get through this situation as you are. We want to work with you and support you, whilst also keeping a roof over our heads.

        Before you make any big decision it is totally ok to drop everyone an email and check their policies. For my clients, I do not expect anyone to make a decision until they need to. Whether that is this week or the week before their wedding. Find out all the information possible, think about how you’re feeling and do what is right for you both. What I would say is that this situation has now progressed much further than any of us expected it to, with the number of postponements being much higher than we could have ever prepared for. Dates are going fast, so if you are pretty certain about postponing, I would advise not hesitating too long. Check out my tips for postponing your wedding, here and all you need to know about planning an outdoor wedding in Northern Ireland here.

        People got married in the middle of wars, through famines and all sorts through history. You can get married right now, but obviously it’s going to be much more different to how you’d imagined and it’s up to you whether that’s right for you or not. That is a completely personal choice and one that no one has a right to judge you on.

        No matter what you choose, especially if you are one of my clients, I’m here for you and we’ll get through this together. The run up to a wedding is a stressful time at the best of times, and this obviously takes that to a whole new level. Please make sure to take care of your mental health by doing things like:

        • Move your body. Whether that is exercise or going for a walk.
        • Drink lots of water and eat as well as you can.
        • Turn off notifications on your phone, especially from News Apps.
        • Have a conversation with a family or friend about the last book you read/meal you had or podcast you listened to. Keep it light.
        • Think about what your future self will say about this time. Because you will get through this, it will be part of your story and you get to write how you will remember it.
        • Write down 3 things that you are grateful for in your life today or 3 things that made you smile. Focus on the good.
        • Give your partner a cuddle (but no one else 😉 )

        Sending each of you so much love and good thoughts for these coming weeks. And remember, you will marry the love of your life. Lx

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