With perspectives from vendors across the industry
This has been a crazy year for so many engaged couples looking to get married. Planning a wedding during a pandemic is stressful and exhausting. There are so many emotions that come with it. My goal is to simply help. I want to provide assistance and guidance as much as possible with the platform that I have, which is why I’ve rounded up vendors across the events industry to give you their TOP TIP on planning a wedding during a pandemic based on their specialization. We’ve got tips from florists and bakers to bridal shops and photographers.
We are here for you and want your day to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more.
Enjoy and happy planning!
All my love,
Jess Kohlmeier – Jkohl Beauty – Makeup Artist
As a Wedding Makeup Artist, I always strive to ensure my clients feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed by the time they sit in my chair for services.
1. It is of utmost importance during this trying time of uncertainty. Your Makeup Artist should be professional, licensed, and insured—as required by NY State.
2. Ease your mind with commitment from your Artist through a legally binding contract. Read thoroughly and ask questions regarding their COVID protocols in case you have to postpone your wedding date.
3. Find an Artist with a portfolio that connects with your style for your desired wedding day look. I always HIGHLY recommend a bridal preview session prior to your event date. You need to meet the Makeup Artist, discuss your vision, create a makeup plan, and perfect your ideal bridal look.
4. Try to coordinate the trial with another wedding related event: bridal shower, dress fitting, hair trial, engagement shoot.
5. Most importantly— make a “getting ready” plan for your big day with your Makeup Artist. That plan should include: makeup schedule with allotted time slots for each service, makeup end time 30+ minutes before you need to get dressed, any special parking instructions for Artist, space with room for set up (Artists typically bring chair, kit, lighting) with natural lighting preferred.
6. Lastly, be mindful that your heightened sense of anxiety during COVID is likely shared by your Makeup Artist. We are doing our best to make accommodations, and implement all the new safety protocols, to be a part of such a special day in your life.
Stella – Stella’s Bridal – Stylist and Consultant
Mindset is everything!
COVID is definitely lasting a lot longer than anyone could have planned for, especially if you are a Bride to Be planning for your wedding day! Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the highlights to planning your wedding, if not one of the most anticipated moments for a Bride!
However, COVID certainly has put a damper in things for Brides across the country! Here is my biggest tip for all of you, SHIFT YOUR MINDSET! Sure, it’s easy to get bogged down and stuck in a negative Nancy mindset (I don’t blame you; things are definitely not the same right now) BUT we shouldn’t let circumstances beyond our control continue to steer the course of your wedding planning goals!
When heading into your bridal appointment be sure you are informed and knowledgeable on what to expect. Prior to your appointment, reach out to the boutique and double check any COVID protocol you and your guests will need to abide by. This will eliminate any shock factor upon arrival that can quickly put a damper on your expectations! The more in control you can feel the more secure and confident you will be which will keep you and your family in your happy bridal bubble!
I highly encourage Brides to do their research on where they have booked and inquire if the boutique offers any special bridal packages.
At Stella’s Bridal, we offer several luxe bridal appointment options including our most popular Diamond Bridal Appointment that are designed to give our Brides a more intimate and upscale shopping experience! If you keep a positive mindset and these tips in mind, you are guaranteed to have a great outcome to finding your dream dress!
Owner of Stella’s Bridal
Alyson O’Connor – Rust Belt Love – Paperie and Wedding Shop/Stationer
Planning wedding stationery during COVID has definitely looked different than ever before. There’s a high level of uncertainty and stress around invitations this year, considering they go out months before the wedding, at a time when things are changing day by day. First, we are recommending couples be flexible on when they mail out their invitations. Normally we recommend 3 months in advance, but pushing it closer to the traditional 6-8-week mark may make it easier to be more certain about your guest list. Some have even pushed it to one month prior.
Even still, couples find themselves in the position of needing to make last minute changes. There are a few things we have done to work with this, the most widely used being a small insert included with your invitations saying something to the effect of, “We are monitoring the situation and will be in touch with any changes.” This card includes the wedding website (even if its a free, single page site) that can be a single point of contact for guests to check for updates without constantly calling or texting. Another piece we’ve done a few times now are cards for guests who have already received a Save the Date and/or invitation, letting them know the couple has had to cut the guest list, and they are essentially being uninvited. (Though the wording is a bit nicer than this.)
And in the case of a postponement, we have been doing “Change the Date” cards, which have ranged from simple digital designs to email guests, to elaborate and custom printed pieces to carry the feeling of a luxury event through every detail. There are no perfect answers right now, we just recommend that our couples do what works best for their style and budget.
We also have created options for guests wanting to attend virtually, we are trying to cover every possibility for our couples to take some of the stress off of all this uncertainty. We anticipate we will need to continue to be creative and flexible with our wedding stationery, at least through to the Spring.
Lauren Shambo – Lauren Victoria Photography – Photographer
COVID has brought so many different stresses to photographers, and one of the biggest ones has been reducing their guest lists. I have always thought photography should be a huge priority to couples, but now I truly believe it's at the top of the list. With so many people having to miss out, your photos are the only thing you have to show people. It's the only way they'll really get to see all the little things you did and had on your special day that made it your own. They'll get to see the tears, the laughter, and most of all the love.
So, my number 1 advice to couples throughout this pandemic is to really prioritize photography. However, navigating COVID and social distancing can be very difficult. One of the joys of wedding photos is seeing others reactions to your special day! The tears, the gasps, the smiles...it can all be hidden so easily by a mask.
I have couples often asking what my advice is on navigating this difficult situation. My honest opinion, is to do whatever is necessary to not have to wear masks! Social distance, set up temperature checks, have your ceremony AT your reception hall and have your guests stay seated at their tables. For some reason, you can sit at a table and not wear a mask, but you're supposed to have one on at a ceremony. Don't ask me why. But, there's one way around it! Haha!
Sometimes, there's no way to avoid the rules, and masks must be worn. When that is the case, have grace with your photographer. There is no magic we can work to really capture the emotion of your day when half of people's faces are covered.
I hope this helps and gives you all some food for thought when it comes to photography and COVID!
Stefanie Corey – Oops-a-Daisy Floral - Florist
The number one thing I recommend that couples planning during COVID do is to communicate with their vendors! We are all in this together and have been navigating these situations carefully. We are here to help you. As wedding florists, we have been working with couples who are either rescheduling until next year or choosing smaller and more intimate ceremonies. We want to help bring joy back into wedding planning and get excited with you about your flowers!
Also, if you haven’t reached out to your florist or other vendors for your wedding next year, I highly recommend it! Due to rescheduling, next year is booking up quick. So far during this pandemic, we haven’t run into too many issues with the floral supply because flights have still been delivering imports. Our biggest battle so far is with delivery and shipping of the flowers.
Kelsie Mack – The Gingersnap Bakery – Baker
When planning for your wedding cake/dessert during COVID my top tip would be to plan a more individualized dessert. As buffets and dessert bars are becoming less popular and more of a health risk, think of creating individual dessert platters for your guests right at their table.
You can have a small cutting cake for you and your fiancé to share during the reception and to finish dinner with something sweet. Any leftovers make for an awesome breakfast the next day!
At each of your tables for your guests you can have a mixture of dessert brought right to them! Not everyone enjoys cake (crazy but true!) and with smaller receptions and ceremonies you can make everything more tailor-made for your guests.
Also, reviewing contracts from when you booked your vendors, sometimes this can be from years ago! Just so that you are aware of any cut off dates to changes of your order and what things specifically your vendors will be providing and what you will need to supply to them.
Also being sure to meet all of the deadlines for final decisions listed in your contracts. We have a two-week cutoff date prior to the wedding date for any changes as this gives us plenty of time to source materials from our purveyors for your wedding day! Your wedding day is going to be the only one you have for the rest of your life, try to enjoy the process of planning, experiencing and celebrating the love that you to share.
Hollee Dziura – Formelle by Hollee – Hair Stylist
The entire hair industry has changed dramatically since COVID-19. Being a Formal Hair Stylist, I have taken the proper precaution and sanitation very seriously while working with each individual in a bridal party. Needless to say, myself and my client wear a mask during the hair service and I ensure sanitation of any supplies/hair tools I use in between rotating clients. Hair trials prior to the wedding work the same way as the the big day. 2020 has by far been an altering year being in the wedding industry, but I have to say each and every wedding I’ve serviced this year have been nothing less special and fulfilling compared to “pre-covid” weddings!!
It’s been such a blast-I LOVE WHAT I DO!!
Formelle by Hollee
Melissa Brindamour - Sincerely Melissa - Specialty Rentals + Signage
Signage can be an extremely helpful way to relay a message to your guests that you otherwise might feel uncomfortable asking them directly. A sign with a clear message is a friendly way to communicate your wishes for your big day. You can keep things lighthearted and fun by saying things like "Lets wear masks!" or "Distance makes the heart grow fonder, please practice social distancing."
Having a sanitizing station with a cute sign that says "Spread love not germs" is a great way to encourage your guests to be mindful of sanitizing, hand washing etc. & providing custom facemasks for your guests will not only make things unique but will also ensure everyone has one!
Make sure to let your guest know that their safety is a priority to you and you are doing everything in your power to maintain that during these uncertain times. One of the biggest things I have reminded my brides of is that everyone has varying ideas of what procedures and protocols need to be implemented and at the end of the day it is your wishes that are most important. Your guests are going to be looking for guidance and will follow your requests to keep everyone safe, happy and healthy!
Ashley Larson – Toney Consulting – Wedding + Event Planner
To say that this year has been difficult for our couples would be an understatement. Some couples have experienced multiple postponements and then a cancellation. It has been trying for everyone. As an experienced and seasoned professional in the events industry, I am able to help navigate these situations with my couples. It's extremely difficult for the couple to decide whether or not they should postpone and so it's up to me to provide clarity and suggestions for them to make the ultimate decision as a couple.
My number one suggestion: do not cancel, postpone instead.
If you want to get married, we'll find a way for you to get married. I promise you that. But cancelling your wedding is not the solution. Maybe we downsize the overall event. Maybe we organize a small nuptial this year and postpone the larger celebration next year. There are many fun and creative ways to extend these celebrations. Think about it this way - instead of celebrating your big moment on 1 day, you have the chance to celebrate it even longer by stretching out the celebrations and hosting multiple gatherings. How cool is that?!
Another thing I've been working with couples on this year is organizing a COVID friendly wedding. This includes custom sanitizing stations and unique guest favors to include custom masks. There are many ways to make your wedding day fun given the event restrictions most states are under.
Remember: this is your wedding day! Enjoy the process, breathe, and take it all in. Before you know, the entire experience is going to be over. This only happens once and you want to make the best of it all!