Managing your destination wedding in France during the coronavirus, by French Wedding Planner
With a bit of love, help and support, we'll get there!
If your wedding is scheduled to take place this summer, you must be worried about having to change your plans. This can be overwhelming if you are planning your own wedding, so here are a few tips you can do to put a plan B in place. It’s good to be prepared but until you really have to, you don’t have to make rushed decisions. The situation will get better and hopefully most of the season will go back to normal.
Postpone, don’t cancel!
This global lock-down is going to last a few weeks or months, it’s not forever, so even though you’ve planned the wedding for so long and want it to happen when planned, it’s not all lost. You can just find a new date that will work for all your suppliers. You shouldn’t loose the money you have invested so far.
How to postpone your wedding?
Here is a quick guide on how to postpone your wedding
Contact your venue to find out when they could host your wedding again and define a date that works for you and them.
Email all your suppliers to offer the new potential date. Everyone is struggling with time right now, so leave them a few days to all come back to you. You will need to ask them whether they will apply any charges for postponing the date.
If you don’t have to decide now, keep things on hold. In France, we are moving two weeks at a time and the lock-down is currently until 15th April but likely to last until 4th May. You should ask your suppliers to keep things on hold until mid-April.
In the event that some suppliers can’t do it, see if you can try and find a date they can, in order to see if there is another obvious date you could do. This could become a struggle having to juggle 10 or so different suppliers’ schedules so you may have to make some hard choices. If the supplier is key, it’s worth trying to find a new date, but if it is one you can easily replace, then you’ll need to start again.
When decision time comes, hopefully you won’t need to postpone, but if you do, send a clear email to all your suppliers confirming you are postponing the date. Ask them all for updated contracts with the new date.
Which weddings are at risk?
Writing this article end of March, we are currently rescheduling April and May weddings. June weddings are still on track for now. The added issue with destination weddings is that you may have guests coming from various countries evolving at different times. So even though we’re fine in June in France, some of your guests may be stuck in their own country. Talk to your suppliers individually.
I have been talking to a lot of suppliers and the general sense is to help. Although some suppliers have set strict guidelines, they are open to review on a case by case basis.
For weddings from July onwards, it seems that you are fine for now.
Should I put everything on hold?
I wouldn’t recommend this. If your wedding does take place as planned, you don’t want to have to finish all the details in a rush at the last minute, so keep planning, taking extra precautions if you need to book suppliers.
In case your wedding does need to be postponed, your work won’t be lost, you can just pick up later and you’ll arrive to your wedding more relaxed, knowing everything is nearly done.
What are the suppliers’ policies
Wedding suppliers are in a tricky situation as they stand to loose a considerable amount of revenue this year. If they replace your current date with a 2021 summer weekend, they will not be able to recover the loss. A lot of suppliers only work in the wedding industry so they can only create revenue over the season, to sustain for the whole year.
Some suppliers will not charge if you postpone on a weekday or during off season (October to April), but charge the equivalent of a deposit if you want a key summer date.
To help you find a new date, try and find a weekday or a weekend off season. Everything is changing and evolving so there is no norm on when weddings should be. And generally speaking, guests will be happy to take a holiday in France so a weekday should not be too much of an issue.
Hope this is helpful! The best thing is to keep communicating with your suppliers, they will be able to reassure you!
Wishing you all the best,
Mark & Clémentine