By Rachael Russell
It’s not easy to know what the next steps are when an important life event like your wedding is cancelled or postponed. Mass event cancellations in response to COVID-19 have been occurring daily for the past few weeks, leaving many people wondering what to do next. While it is important to remember that these current restrictions on large gatherings, as well as the closures of event venues, are in the interest of public health and safety, we here at The Lincoln Center know the reasoning doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to accept. Let our Conference Services Coordinator, Rachael Russell, share with you some ways to cope with wedding cancellations.
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As an event professional, I am always prepared to deal with the unexpected. However, it is certainly heart-wrenching when I must have conversations with my clients explaining that their event, which has taken months or years of planning, must be postponed due to circumstances out of our control. I have been impressed with the patience, understanding, and flexibility my clients have exhibited in the face of these unprecedented times, despite their palpable disappointment. Their resilience has given me inspiration to write out some steps to take if your wedding gets canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what I recommend:
Allow yourself to grieve.
Your wedding is an important day. You have created a clear vision of what the day will be like in your head, and now that vision is changing without warning. Your feelings of disappointment, anger, disillusionment, confusion, and frustration are all valid. Take adequate time to grieve the loss of your wedding date, then let those feelings go. Remember the core purpose of your wedding—to commit to a lifelong union with your partner—and then remind yourself that the core purpose will stay the same, no matter the date or time of year.
Explore your options.
Although it may not feel like it, you do have options! Many venues, including The Lincoln Center, do not charge a fee for rescheduling, especially amid a global crisis. Rescheduling is the best option, as it will often result in the least amount of monetary loss. Ask your venue for potential postponement dates. Include your DJ, photographer, caterer, and other vendors in this conversation to ensure a seamless transition to a new date.
For some couples, the date they chose for their wedding is significant. It’s the day they met, the day their parents got married, or even the day an influential law was passed. To those couples I say: You can keep your wedding date! Many of my clients have changed the date of their receptions but have maintained the date of their ceremony. One couple that I spoke with recently commented, “We still plan to get married on our original date. Our family and friends will just have to wait for the party. It’ll be a funny story to tell later on.”
Consider a small vow exchange in the mountains with a few family members and close friends, or a simple license signing at your local courthouse. To include more people, livestream your ceremony to your extended family and friends on Facebook Live. Or, keep it private, then perform a vow renewal during your rescheduled wedding reception. The party may need to wait, but your marriage does not.
Unsure where to start? Click here to be directed to the Larimer County Civil Union and Marriage License website and get some questions answered.
Look to the future. In times like these, we all need something exciting to look forward to. At the very least, wedding planning can be a productive and welcome distraction from the current chaos around us.
Wedding trends differ from month-to-month, so it is a good idea to check out trends associated with your new wedding date. This exploration will help infuse new energy into your planning. Ask your coordinator or vendors for suggestions. They may even be able to provide photos from past events that occurred near your new wedding date.
Visit The Lincoln Center’s Wedding Inspiration Pinterest board for ideas organized by theme, season, and yearly trends.
Reach out for support.
You don’t have to tackle all of this uncertainty on your own. If you have a coordinator, reach out to them for suggestions, reassurance, and support. Talk with your vendors. Ask about your options.
As one of the Events Coordinators for The Lincoln Center, it is my priority to be there for my clients in times of stress and uncertainty, in addition to times of celebration and excitement. More than anyone, event professionals will understand your disappointment and stress over this situation. We are here for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Keep an eye on city, state, and federal announcements. Use informed judgment to make decisions that are best for you and your guests.
For the most accurate and up-to-date COVID-19 information, visit the Centers for Disease Control, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Larimer County Health Department.
For information specific to The Lincoln Center, please visit: www.lctix.com/informational-update.php
We will get through this uncertain time together, and we will collectively celebrate once it is over. This is a time to practice patience, focus on the love that brought you and your partner together, and try to be excited about the happiness the future still holds. Personally, I look forward to the fabulous, and yes, minorly inconvenienced weddings, I know are still forthcoming.
Rachael Russell | The Lincoln Center, Conference Services Coordinator