full length photo of bride and groom looking at each other in front of the tarrant county courthouse

How to Adapt Your Wedding Because of the Pandemic and Stay Sane

Hey y’all. This is a truly stressful time right now, and none of us know if, when, or how it’s going to get better. It’s cheesy to say, but these are uncharted waters, and we are in this together.

backyard elopement at home with pets

If you’re trying to plan your wedding in the midst of this, it might feel like the sky is falling. I assure you though, it is not. Take some deep breaths, eat your stress away with cake (in moderation of course!), or meditate – whatever you need to get you through the moment. For me, I have been going through Beachbody’s Barre Blend program; dancing around like a fool has been great for my mental/physical health! Once the feeling passes, break out your favorite list taking app or an old school notebook, and map out your thoughts.

Should you postpone? Or should you keep your original date with an elopement and then throw a big party later? Maybe your wedding was already small and your main concern is keeping everyone safe and healthy. Sit down with your fiance, and discuss your options. You may want to involve some of your vendors at this point to see how they’re enforcing social distancing. Remember, this is hard for them too – don’t tolerate rudeness, but be patient. 

Once you’ve decided how to adapt your wedding plans, it’s time to act on them:

Lesbian elopement

Your Pandemic Wedding Process:

  1. Make a list of what matters most to you and your fiance. You may end up having to scratch some things off, especially if they aren’t taking safety steps that are important to you, so it’s vital you place your must-haves at the top.
  2. Reach out to your vendors to understand your options. If you have to leave messages, keep calling/emailing/texting. Whatever it takes. This is a tricky spot for you and your vendors. Your contracts will likely have force majeure clauses – while most vendors are human and understanding, they have bills to pay too. Take a really deep breath and come to terms with the fact that as much as it sucks, you might lose some of your deposits. Make sure you talk safety with each vendor. Like it or not, your vendors might not be following any CDC protocols, and you may need to part ways.
  3. If you have to find new vendors because of booking issues, contracts, or safety concerns, don’t panic. It’s going to be OK. This is where that list of must-haves comes in. Think about what matters the most, and make sure it happens. The rest is nice to have, and if you have to go without, it will be alright. No one will notice what you think is missing.
  4. Approach your invite list about your new plans. Be prepared to proceed with caution. You might want to write a script. It’s not actually anyone’s business why you’ve made your decision, yet a prepared statement can make the conversation easier. Some of your family and friends might fight you; stand your ground because whatever decision you’ve made is right for you.
  5. Be flexible where you can and firm where you need. You have the right to make the decisions that help you sleep at night and so do your vendors. No one has the right to bully you for your choices. 
Courthouse elopement

So what am I doing for my clients and potential clients during this uncertain moment? I am extremely risk-averse, so I am still social distancing and only leaving my home for bookings and essential trips (and yes, I dearly miss my friends and family right now). I always wear a mask and wash/sanitize my hands, clothing, equipment, and car every time I go out. 

My Pandemic Pre-Wedding Procedure:

  1. As much as I want to hug my clients, all meetings will be virtual until I get to see your smiling face in person on your wedding day or engagement session.
  2. I’m offering flexible payment plans to help ease you through this stressful time.
  3. I’ll be in a mask for the entirety of your wedding, and I’ll be sure to keep six feet of distance between myself and your guests, your wedding party, and you!
Elopement with pets including a dog and lizard

My Pandemic Wedding Day Process:

  1. More verbal instruction (and patience!) for posed photos. We’ll get through it together – I promise!
  2. I think it goes without saying, but I’ll be washing my hands on repeat, and I always have hand sanitizer on me.
  3. One week out from bookings, I will take my temperature daily to make sure I’m not surprised. If either myself or my second begin showcasing COVID symptoms, I will provide a substitute photographer at no extra cost. I only recommend people I 100% trust.
  4. I am only taking weddings with less than sixty guests for the rest of 2020 to keep myself and everyone else as safe as possible.

I know this is weird for y’all. It’s weird for me, too. And we’re all learning on the fly, just trying to take it one day at a time. We. Will. Get. Through. This.

Destination elopement in the mountains

One thing I know for certain. There will always be love. There will always be celebrations of love. There will always be weddings. They might look a little different, sound a little different, and/or feel a lot different. That doesn’t make them any less filled with love.

bride and groom laughing at tarrant county courthouse

Wear your masks. Be kind to essential and service industry workers. Stand up for what’s right. We are all in this together.

Are you considering eloping in 2020? Contact me today and let’s talk about capturing this moment for you.

– Mel