Your Wedding Event and Covid 19 – Corona Virus..?

Your Wedding Event and Covid 19 – Corona Virus..?

Update 14th August 2020 – for a related article on wedding insurance please check out our how not to fall foul of wedding insurance fraud

Updated 11:32 Friday 1st May 2020 – CMA update , see below..

Thursday 7th May 2020 (Now live check out our good practice guide on how to successfully postpone your wedding)

With everybody seemingly settled in to a new normal, and with most couples and suppliers reaching positive arrangements for postponement It’s been a little while since we felt the need to update this article. However the CMA’s publication on refunds has stirred up a hornets nest and whilst needed its also been largely misinterpreted so heres our view.

The CMA correctly posted a reminder and a shot across the bow to businesses especially those in tourism, hospitality and events of a few key points surrounding refunds. However in their effort to simplify the understanding of the information, it can and has been largely misinterpreted and placed out of context with some couples and suppliers believing they are suddenly automatically entitled to a refund or obligated to issue a refund if a consumer cancels during Covid 19 restrictions.

This is leading to a rush of consumers quoting the CMA demanding refunds, a rush of businesses attempting to understand if this affects them and a large amount of disappointment and misunderstandings on all sides. So what does it really all mean..

Firstly contrary to popular misconception this isn’t a sudden new law or new piece of legislation in reaction to Covid, it is however a shot across the bow of those that are not already correctly adhering to existing consumer and contract laws relating to cancellations, frustration and refunds.

We are a couple, how does the CMA’s announcement affect us…

Largely it doesn’t assuming your supplier and venue are working within current contractual and consumer law. You have a legal and contractual obligation to your venue and suppliers to provide them sufficient opportunity to supply at an alternative date, therefore the advice hasn’t changed if you simply cancel or provide the supplier only one choice of date you will likely find yourselves out of pocket with a loss of deposit. It does however remind your venue and suppliers that they also have the same duty to agree an alternative date without undue restriction or additional costs, alternatively they can choose to cancel you and refund 100%.

I’m a supplier or venue, does the CMA announcement mean I automatically have to refund any couple that chooses to cancel?

In short… No, its a reminder and a shot across the bow that you should be looking at each case in line with your terms and conditions, deciding if those terms are fair and applicable to both parties and offering couples all dates you have available without undue restriction or increased cost, alternatively you should cancel the couples contract and refund 100% This isn’t new its just something neither business or consumers have understood.

We are a couple, we have picked an alternative date some of our suppliers cant do, should they refund us?

Probably not, depending on the individual situation, you have an equal obligation under the contract to prevent what is called frustration, if you have issued your supplier just one date and insisted on that date alone, you are more than likely not meeting your contractual obligations and the supplier could deem that you are effectively cancelling and apply their cancellation policy. If however you can demonstrate you have worked with all suppliers to find a date for example the majority can do and you’ve offered for example 8 dates which the supplier has refused then it is likely you would be due a refund.

As an example, My original Wedding date was in March is it reasonable to request a premium date in August 2021 at no extra charge?

No… If you booked a Saturday in March its unfair and unlawful of the venue to insist for example you can only book Oct to Dec this year or any Tuesday next year, it would be reasonable to offer you an equivalent Saturday in March next year and they should do so at no additional cost or hindrance. It would also be unreasonable to having booked an off peak wedding day in March this year to expect a premium peak day in August without paying the difference in fees.

Ultimately nothing has changed but the methods applied to a postponement especially by a small number of venues and suppliers that are deemed by the CMA to be imposing unfair restrictions or undue increased costs should be reduced and above all our previous bottom line still stands true even now, always work with your suppliers and postpone don’t cancel…

As of the 20th March 2020, the UK’s fight against Covid19 is now reliant on responsible social distancing and strict guidance from government.

Whilst I’ll leave the FAQ’s and most of the original content below for historic reference purposes, the situation has changed and the only advice we can really now offer is that if your wedding is due within the next 8 -12 weeks you should probably be discussing postponement with your suppliers and venue, If your wedding is beyond 8-12 weeks out expect your suppliers to be resolving immediately due weddings in the first instance, with an ever changing scenario its still important not to jump too early.

One word of additional advice and one that has run through the core of this entire article from the beginning- DON’T CANCEL…. but Postpone, it seems like a trivial difference in words but the difference right now is huge and ‘Cancel’ should be considered a trigger word (scroll down for the legal bit on this topic). The whole events industry in the UK which employs 530,000 people in over 25,000 businesses has essentially just written off an entire year of trading worth over 39 billion to the UK Economy. With that in mind you can imagine that all thoughts are on when we can get back to business as usual and of course our future weddings and events.

The industry as a whole is geared up to work with you to postpone your wedding with many suppliers working far outside and in addition to your basic contractual rights. Work with them and discuss postponement options and all will be well. Mention cancellation and in the majority of cases the need to survive as businesses, families and human beings will see even the biggest of venue groups and smallest of suppliers not want but need to stick to your agreed cancellation terms which will leave you as a couple out of pocket.

After all you are still getting married and the only thing that needs to change is the date, let’s work together with empathy and understanding.

What we are seeing as a common approach is for reduced or even nil postponement fees at venues and with suppliers most are agreeing with couples a partial payment of 50% of the outstanding balance due at the original contractual due date with the remaining balance due before the revised wedding date to aid cashflow in to 2021. Pleased don’t take this as gospel as not every supplier will or contractually has to take these extra steps but they are a great starting point and one that so far seems to be the preferred option for couples and suppliers alike.

Your wedding date – heres the additional rub, by postponing your wedding to a future date you directly and substantially affect the suppliers ability to provide services on that date to any other couple. what this translates to is that for the wedding industry Covid 19 will still be a huge financial burden for the next 2 possibly even 3 years long after everybody else has hopefully forgotten about it. For the best result from your suppliers and especially your venue be prepared to be very flexible on dates provide a number of alternatives and for the best response avoid premium dates, this could mean looking at out of season or midweek alternatives but will represent the best chance of everybody finding a postponement agreement that works for everybody.

Your suppliers will want to work with you to postpone your wedding if postponement is necessary however the logistics of doing so can be complex and if you have a Wedding planner they should be managing this for you, if you don’t have a wedding planner then now might be the time to invest in one as it could be the single best headache remover you’ve made yet.

Stay Safe, Stay Well, don’t buy too many toilet rolls at once and we are all in this together and we will all get through this together. We Are One….

With Continual comparisons being made by the press on the situation here and in Italy using our vast array of industry contacts we spoke to Noemi Bellante one of the most respected wedding planners in Italy whom while she has seen this years weddings wiped out has also seen an influx of enquiries from couples realising just how complex postponing a wedding can be. in her own words here is what Noemi had to add to our article from an Italian Wedding planners perspective

We are living a difficult and uncertain situation : as a wedding planner I’m realising that we can foresee or resolve any inconvenience but nobody could have imagined all this.
To almost all of my clients I am suggesting to postpone weddings to the next year or trying to find an available date between the end of summer and autumn considering that, in case the emergency ends in a  couple of months as happened in China, it will be necessary to be careful with social relationships for further several weeks.
The presence of a wedding planner in this scenario is a psychological and practical support.  She will help you to postpone your wedding and efficiently coordinate the work of all your vendors: in this way you can relax avoiding stress or a nervous breakdown that could lead you to cancel the wedding!
In case you don’t have a wedding planner because you decided to plan everything by yourself, you are still in time to hire one: we as wedding planners are in fact used to solve problems and coordinate vendors work even when almost all the planning has been completed by clients to make come true the wedding they have always dreamed!

Thank You Naoemi its reassuring to know that as an industry world wide we are able to help and assist couples at this difficult time for everyone For anybody looking for a Wedding Planner in Abruzzo check out Noemi Bellante

The legal perspective

We’ve been really concerned by the amount of misinformation and couples acting on incorrect advice which is both destroying the supplier relationship and ultimately even more likely to leave a couple of of pocket. So before you copy and paste that email to all your suppliers because “Karen on Facebook said so” make sure you know where you stand. With that in mind I wanted to share with you, a validated post that put this very succinctly which when checked with the advice from a practicing contracts specialist lawyer nailed the issue in an exemplary way. The post had this to say from a legal basis based on UK courts of law.

“Force Majeure” is a term insurance companies use as a defence. It is not a legal term used by others in UK law. 

“Frustrated Contract” is however a UK legal term for us all to use. 
It means 
“an unexpected intervening event that makes it impossible for BOTH parties to fulfil the contract. “ 

Coronavirus is an on going event at the moment, not a one off. Which means that postponement is inevitable. 

1. If a clients cancel, because they have cancelled the wedding, not giving a date to postpone to, they are cancelling the contract, so standard t’s & c’s apply. 

2. If a client moves to a date which the supplier cannot do, they are not working with the supplier, for the supplier to be able to transfer the booking to another date, therefore they are in breach of contract. the supplier does not have to refund. 

3. If a client moves the wedding date and to another venue which you cannot do; as for example the venue is out of your travel distance, again, they are in breach of contract. the supplier does not have to refund. 

Suppliers must make it clear that they are willing to transfer to a new date. Any changes are to be emailed to the client, DO NOT write up a new contract.

As a “frustrated contract” is where BOTH parties cannot fulfil the contract, and the date can be postponed to enable to be fulfilled on another date. It therefore falls on the client to find a date the supplier can do. If they can’t, then it is the client who are in breach of the contract. 

The above sounds harsh and may not in reality be how every supplier chooses to handle the situation, however this article from the very beginning has warned about the dangers to couples of cancelling weddings and suppliers instead of postponing. Whilst Covid19 still rips our nation and our world apart for the time being at least the storm created for couples looking to imminently marry seems to be settling with most suppliers and couples now settling in to a routine of working together to find suitable solutions.

Legal Disclaimer – the above should be taken as general guidance only, as always if in doubt you should seek professional legal advice as every case may be uniquely different dependent largely on the Terms and Conditions entered in to when you booked your Wedding supplier

If you are still unsure of the theory of a frustrated contract it may be helpful to visit this article by Hall & Ellis, specialists in contract law

Reference only – the below ceased being updated as of 19th March 2020

Ok so right now the UK is swamped with Corona virus media and the very last thing you want while planning your wedding is to be reading yet another article on Covid 19… This is not an article on Corona but more an article on weddings and how corona may affect it.

Sorry Your wedding is Cancelled….

Regardless of how much media hype, Government material or social media opinions you are reading you are quite probably very aware of the possibility of the above…

As a leading professional wedding and events planner based in the UK and working with many international clients across the UK and London we have been keeping a close eye on the story as it unfolds using our unique connections and attempting to sort out the myth from fact and the media hype from actual news and heres the current situation as we see it.

We have been blown away by the response to this article and whilst we gave up counting views after 100,000 I thought I would share the our daily page view stats as of the 17th March which topped at 23k views per day.. Thank You and please keep sharing…

Website visitors to this page per day
The Corona Virus Bottom Line for your Wedding – If you want to skip reading the FAQ’s below; Our opinion is that the bottom line for UK couples is that with the measures announced in the first of the PM’s updates it seems sensible that any events including weddings in the next 30 days should be considered for postponement, We recommend keeping your wedding suppliers and venue close, and if necessary working constructively with them to move to a different date later in the year. We don’t really know how long this will a last but we would assume it should be considered to be in the region of 30 days as a min. We think the risk for late spring and summer weddings should still be currently manageable as hopefully we should be returning to normal by then. If worried about your wedding later in the year check your insurance and do not not “panic cancel” your wedding as doing so will likely leave you with the full burden of the cost of your wedding possibly unnecessarily… If concerned speak to your wedding planner about the possibility of negotiating the rearrangement of your wedding date for later in the year summer 2020 onwards.

Stay informed and seek advice from your wedding insurance provider or wedding planner along with official government advice and consider any guests that may have underlying health issues or that may be travelling from affected areas. Be sure to check out the FAQ’s at the bottom of this article.

LIVE CORONA VIRUS NEWS UPDATES (collated, wedding and event related)

19th March – So some great news from the Church of England, Weddings can proceed albeit with the legal min number of people which is the priest, bride, groom and two witnesses. One complication to consider is if your Banns have been read, as these need to be read to the congregation, it’s still possible that your church may postpone your wedding if the legality of reading banns can not be met or a special license applied – Our advice, if your church has cancelled your wedding in the last few days, contact them again in light of this guidance as it may be possible to continue even under special license.

18th March – Tonight along with some chosen industry friends we had the responsibility of appearing on BBC regional news discussing the issues surrounding Corona and Weddings, if you didn’t catch it, you can check it our on our Facebook page @randfweddings its a brief piece cut short by the news on schools but its an important step to highlighting the plight that couples face at this time.

17th March – Mass confusion as the Church of England announce the stoppage of public prayer, A Church of England spokesperson has stated that they intend to carry on with Weddings and funerals although no detail has emerged yet we wouldn’t be surprised if these are limited to the essential wedding party, Check with your church directly to see if or how you could be affected.

16th March – PM’s first daily announcement lands and it looks se to to affect all impending social events – We believe this will be a short term measure to flatten the peak fo infections placing load on the NHS.

15th March – Current headlines are talking about self isolation for over 70’s – Our view, this is yet to be confirmed and we ill change our FAQ’s once this is confirmed in the meantime as we’ve previously suggested couples should consider elderly relatives when finalising plans for weddings this spring. We’ve also seen headlines that scientists are lobbying the government to take more action, Time will tell who is right and who is wrong but the lobbyists are made up of statisticians and geneticists and not disease control experts the headline goes on to say.
The proposed plan to isolate the elderly while allowing herd immunity to build amongst the strong seems to be one backed up by leading experts and in theory should mean that most weddings could still go ahead.

14th March – US to extend European travel ban to UK from 4am Monday – US Couples marrying in the UK need to consider when their wedding in the UK is planned for and the likelihood of the ban still being in effect. Our thoughts are that this will definitely affect immediately impending weddings and that the ban will likely be lifted as the number if new infections plateau’s which is expected to be within weeks.

14th March – “Government sources” which essentially means we can’t confirm this but it’s probable suggest a possible restriction on mass gatherings may be considered next week. Our opinion is to wait until an official announcement is made, as given the government stance to date and the scientific advice the government are currently working to its unlikely this will affect small gatherings such as a wedding. Obviously as we’ve learnt however this could change.

12th March – Is proving to be a busy day, with many fearing a wide ban on public gatherings for the UK, only Scotland and Ireland have advised that gatherings in excess of 500 people for Scotland and 100 people for Ireland should should be postponed from next week, further details to follow on how long this is expected to be in place. Clearly it leaves Weddings in England completely unaffected, weddings in Scotland only affected if totalling more than 500 people and given the average number of guests is between 80-120 its fair to predict a number of weddings will be affected in Ireland. It’s also worth noting that the 100 people ban for Ireland only applies to indoor venues.

12th March – PM’s Update, Cobra Meeting – New measures – People with Persistent Fever or cough requested to self isolate for 7 days but No need to close schools or public places – Lets take a positive from this, yesterday we all thought it would be 14 days, we also thought it would be anybody with almost any cold type symptoms and we dreaded school closures would be the first step towards closing all public venues, however this update seems to indicate a well balanced and sensitive approach.

12th March – Scotland moves to ban the wedding buffet in headlines – well not quite but they have issued sensible guidance that food items served at a public buffet should be individually wrapped – Our opinion is if you are marrying in Scotland, speak to your venue or caterer as there are many easy steps that can be applied to reduce the risk and meet the requirements.

12th March – Trump halts incoming flights from 26 countries – this does not include the UK

11th March 2020 – WHO label the Corona virus a pandemic… One word of wisdom, Pandemic is a dictionary definition that merely categorises the virus as one that is spreading in multiple different countries at the same time – it doesn’t make the virus any more harmful than it already is nor has the WHO’s current containment advice changed in relation to relabelling.

11th March 2020 – John Lewis amongst wedding insurance providers to temporally suspend offering new policies in light of Corona virus- existing policies are understood to be unaffected. This represents an increased reason to not panic cancel and to go ahead with your wedding even if it means lower guest numbers.

10th March 2020 – Italy the worst hit in the European region to date has postponed all weddings until 3rd April, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus

9th March 2020 – The situation in Italy? a number of reports are quoting 16 million people in lockdown, sources in the area have confirmed that whilst schools and pools are closed and people are being encouraged to stay home for the most part it’s very much business as usual.

8th March 2020 – Confirmed cases in the UK now in excess of 200, The UK looks set to move to the next stage of the laid out plan “Delay”

4th March 2020 – Diagnosed Corona cases in the UK jump dramatically by 34 to a total of 85 cases and Italy considering shutting down all schools and colleges in an attempt to control the outbreak.

Your Wedding and Corona Virus FAQ’s

I’ll be keeping these FAQ’s updated as the situation develops.

How bad is Corona virus Covid 19?

We are not medical experts, but our opinion is it very much appears that (Corona) Covid 19 is a virus similar in many ways to that of influenza (Flu) but unlike Flu which passes amongst Humans only, Corona viruses are common amongst Humans and Animals alike.
Corona viruses aren’t new although this is a new strain. what makes Corona virus more worrying is that; of people catching this bug there is a higher rate of people needing serious medical attention than “just the flu” and seem to have a higher mortality rate amongst the elderly and those with underlying medical especially respiratory conditions which makes it much more serious.

Why the apparent Covid 19 Corona panic?

A key reason is to flatten out the natural peak in cases, currently the expectation is that infections will peak in April/May placing a load on to the NHS. The measures being taken are designed to flatten out this natural peak and reduce the load on the NHS. In addition it seems to make sense to us at least to avoid needless suffering and rather than this virus becoming yet another daily killer in the world we just accept, if it’s possible to contain and build natural immunity that is desirable. Another factor is economics with the UK predicting that 1 in 5 of the workforce will be off work at its currently predicted peak and shortages of imports the economic cost globally is huge.

How could Covid 19 Corona virus affect my wedding?

There are a number of factors including government restrictions on social distancing, insurance, event cancellation and delays in both small items such as decor and larger items such as your wedding dress.

Could Corona Virus cancel my wedding?

Following the PMS updates, If you are getting married in the UK late this year, it may still be unaffected. Please be aware that should you choose to cancel instead of postpone your wedding while most suppliers will endeavour to assist with rearranging dates where possible, normal cancellation terms and conditions do apply as they would if you cancelled for any other reason and you could face a heavy bill.

Will my wedding insurance cover my wedding if its cancelled due to Corona virus?

Every policy is different and you would need to check with your provider. As a generalisation however most existing policies cover you if specifically if your UK wedding venue had to close due to an outbreak of infectious disease, however outside of this it’s unlikely that cover will apply but always best to check with your insurer. The potential other issue with insurance is where destination weddings are involved and if your policy is going to cover travel issues such as the majority of your guests being unable to travel in to the UK or to your destination wedding.

Will Corona Virus delay my wedding dress?

There is a lot of media hype on this, and it very much depends on where you are sourcing your dress. a lot of dress designers have their designs produced directly in China and if this is the case we would definitely recommend you contact your Bridal shop for advice. A lot of our clients use boutique bridal designers in which case the only issue is the raw material such as silk, it is likely that boutique and couture designers will contact you if they have issues with supply of raw materials.

I have a destination Wedding and may need to cancel due to corona virus covid 19?

We would advise that you continually monitor the countries and areas affected, if your wedding is in an affected area we would advise you contact your wedding insurance and travel provider at the earliest opportunity to ascertain what is and isn’t covered and only cancel with the express agreement of your insurance company or if your travel provider advises. As any other reason for cancelling may leave you uninsured. We also advise staying informed as to the latest in travel advice.

Corona Virus – Covid 19 What could happen next in the UK

The UK government has laid out its action plan to tackle Covid 19, Including in the PMs first daily address the new social distancing guidance, for the interim period. We believe this to be in line with the plan to reduce peak infections for the NHS and build what the government refer to as herd immunity we could see these restrictions lifted in as little as 30 – 90 days but perhaps longer.

OK So the worst has happened and my wedding is cancelled due to Corona Virus, Can I seek refunds from suppliers?

Technically your wedding is never cancelled unless of course you don’t plan to marry ever, so more accurately you should be looking at a postponement and how this is handled.
So this is a worst case scenario, and your existing contractual agreement between you and your supplier should already cover this. The contract you have will dictate if a refund is due or more likely not, for this reason most suppliers will look to postpone your booking date. Under most supplier contracts it would be very unlikely that you would receive a refund and could also still be liable to any due balances, depending on how late you cancel and the terms of the contract in question. Under the current situation most suppliers however will want to work with you to renegotiate the wedding date if at all possible.
From what we can see from speaking to a number of insurance providers and underwriters is that where cover is already in place, they explicitly almost without exception do not cover you if its a decision to cancel just in case or because a number of guests are unable to make it. However it’s important to check your individual policy.

What happens if my wedding supplier is unable to work due to corona virus?

With a predicted 80% of the population possibly catching the virus its important to note that the prediction is an absolute worst case scenario, however should one of your suppliers actually contract the virus and be unable to deliver for your wedding, for most unless extremely niche such as hiring a confetti camel, its very much business as usual, providing you have booked a professional and reputable supplier the Professional supplier network is strong and there has always been a best practice of providing emergency cover between suppliers – Our advice is ask your supplier what their contingency plan is?

How can I take precautions against Corona Virus at my wedding?

You must always follow up to date official advice however there are a number of possible precautions you could arrange to take based on basic simple hygiene. First and foremost is awareness, if you have any guests that have been tested positive for or been in substantial direct contact with someone that has been tested positive they should sit this party out.
In addition if you have guests that are either elderly or considered high risk due to underlying conditions they should seek professional medical advice, which could include to either refrain from attending or take additional precautions. You can also encourage the use of hand sanitiser and good hygiene, none of the above completely mitigate the risk but are all good practice steps to reduce the risk and in line with current official advice.

This article is updated daily with current facts as we are able to verify them and is subject to change – Although we make every attempt to publish only verifiable information from reliable and official sources this article should at all timed be considered the opinion of RandFWeddings and no liability is accepted, although we have full indemnity to offer professional Wedding advice, we are unable to offer specific legal, medical or financial advice as per the recommendations to seek specific proper advice in the above article.

All replies to article responses are opinion only and based on the UK situation at the time of the response only as this is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation.


99 Responses

  1. Chris wedding photography says:

    Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    I will forward this post to al my clients that may be worried.
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Sarah says:

    Hello, the COVID 19 is not another form of flu. It’s actually a coronavirus, which is different from the flu virus (influenza virus) and behaves quite differently from the flu.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Sarah, thanks for pointing out the small error in our article, our objective although not health professionals is to provide an “as accurate as possible” picture of the situation as it relates to many couples concerned about wedding plans and your feedback has helped us maintain this accuracy. 🙂

    • What a well thought-out post. It must be a very worrying time for couples approaching their weddings, but as you say so important not to panic in the first instance.

      • Dominic Harness says:

        Thanks Elizabeth-Anne, everybody is in slightly different circumstances and its important for couples to be able to weigh up all the factors, one things for certain Couples marrying in Spring 2020 wont be forgetting their wedding in a hurry.

  3. Katie Mohan says:

    Thank you for putting this piece together, with so much information out there, its been difficult to piece together the facts and how it relates to my upcoming wedding at the end of march. thankfully I have insurance and have spoken to them and they currently agree with everything you are saying so I’m going to try and relax and roll with it.

  4. Hayley says:

    This was fantastic. Really great read and has put my mind at ease [for the time being!] Thank you!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      You are very welcome, and we hope you have a great day regardless of what may or may more probably not happen. 🙂

  5. Chris says:

    I wish I could stay this confident because the situation has us on tenterhooks. Our wedding is in two and a half weeks where upon the UK will have surpassed the Italy levels that instigated them to take action and Denmark and Ireland have already banned indoor gatherings of over 100. I appreciate that our government doesn’t seem to be doing nearly as much but fear that this pressure could make them do something more extreme at any moment.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Chris, Great Comment – and we understand it’s very difficult, especially when you see what other countries are doing, there are many factors which we don’t understand but its currently at least, unlikely that small events such as weddings would be banned – although difficult our thoughts remain that even if that were to happen it’s generally preferable to reduce the guest numbers than to lose all the time, money and effort so far invested as a decision to cancel on your part would almost certainly be uninsured, we also understand that many couples plan a wedding without insurance but if you have it we would advise checking your wedding insurance policy carefully as to the requirements of cancellation as you may be surprised on what isn’t covered. The hardest decision and most likely the biggest issue you may face revolves around any important family members that could be at a higher risk due to age and underlying conditions and how you manage that. The wedding industry is made up of resilient, committed and deeply passionate people and we’ve already seen one venue that is offering a free live streaming service for family members that are unable to attend.
      We sincerely wish you all the best for your wedding and I’m sure you will have a fantastic day.!

  6. Molly says:

    Hi, as a wedding coordinator myself we are getting lots of calls as you can imagine and it’s difficult to keep brides reassured, especially when they are without wedding insurance… there is only so much we can offer. What would be your advice to a bride who is in self isolation awaiting results? The wedding isn’t for another couple of months so there is a good chance that she will be fine by then if she has contracted it,

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Molly – This is an excellent question, I think insurance wise, if there is one thing we’ve established its the chances of meeting the insurance requirements for a pay out are slim. So an optimistic perspective is that this perhaps does level the playing field somewhat by putting almost everyone in the same situation.
      If you have a bride already in self isolation I would suggest they absolutely need to follow any medical or official advice they are given. Our view based on what we understand so far is if she correctly isolates now to avoid spreading infection amongst her family and friends circle then as the wedding is 2 months away we cant really see how her current situation could be a factor when looking at her wedding from a risk or cancellation perspective because of that and dependent on your existing terms and conditions its unlikely to be considered a valid refundable reason to cancel and she may also be liable to pay any outstanding balance, but please check with your own contractual terms and conditions.
      From a venue perspective you need to review your existing terms and conditions as these form the contract with your couples, decide internally any additional policy/assistance you may offer noting you can not now remove any rights or change the contract under the existing agreement and look at other additional ways you can provide reassurance such as changes to venue cleaning and sanitisation and providing additional flexibility on rearranging dates. Above all in your position I would be asking your venue senior management for advice and direction.

  7. Caroline says:

    We have a small private wedding venue and have been hooked on the news. Our main season starts in May and so the timing is paramount. This is a great well balanced article and offers some practical guidance. I will share this on my website and blog – Thank you.

  8. As I would expect from you guys, a very balanced and well-resourced post! I will be suggesting people read!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Thanks Mike, We believe its important to ensure couples have a balanced view perspective

  9. Ellie says:

    Thank you for this well-written, informative and very sensible article. I’m getting married in just under a month and my anxiety has been soaring. It’s been so difficult to find any advice online, just lots of panic and sensationalism! Although I am sure I’ll continue to worry, this has definitely helped. Thank you!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Ellie, I’m pleased its helped, especially with your wedding in the height of the it. keep close to your suppliers and work with them and i’m sure it will all work out..

  10. Catherine Hughes says:

    As a journalist and a bride to be, I’ve seen many articles on this topic that make me cringe and this isn’t one of them. It’s great to see such a well thought out, factual and documented piece that really takes all the available information and makes it relevant to what I am stressing about right now which is my Wedding. Regardless of the outcome for my wedding in 4 weeks time I at least feel more in control having read your piece and have made some sensible decisions on how to work with my venue and wedding suppliers.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Thank-you Catherine, We are certainly not natural Journalists and what started as a brief information blog for our own couples quickly developed and has gone wild, the RandF office now feels more like a newsroom with people reaching out to comment, add info or simply congratulate us. Good Luck with your impending wedding, we hope it isn’t affected and goes well.. 🙂

  11. Joanna Carter says:

    My wedding is planned for 11th July and my mum just told me that apparently weddings in late June early July will probably end up being cancelled due to corona virus my wedding is in the UK nobody attending is having to travel from abroad I’m really worried i won’t get my day as planned

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Joanna – We are in strange times and its difficult to give you a straight answer or advise you on what to do, however if you were one of our clients our best educated suggestion would be that for a wedding in July which is still some foreseeable time away we think the advice to date still stands, short of jumping too soon and postponing which at this stage contractually could see you losing deposits and possibly being liable to full balances it may be best as tough as it is to do just hold for the time being. Whilst the situation could go either way we would suggest that this situation could change and improve very rapidly. As your wedding is still some time away its worth just taking a deep breath at this stage and letting things play out a little longer as by July we predict to be seeing some normality again, and if the current situation does look like its going to drag on beyond May/June/July, its important to work as a team with your venue and suppliers as everyone should be looking to work together if a reschedule becomes necessary. – Stay in touch with your vendors, pay attention to official news avoid FB group opinions and of course check back regularly with us as we are doing our best to keep this post updated with the latest. We have our fingers crossed for you.

  12. Kirsty says:

    I’d have been lost without your article, it’s been a real sanity saver in a world gone mad it seems selfish to focus on our day. However your article just seems to make sense of all the information and make it relevant. We were going to cancel our wedding for 4t April but after reading this and speaking to our insurance and venue, we decided not to. Our venue contacted us this evening to discuss todays changes and every one of our suppliers has been so helpful. We’ve just moved our wedding to August and all the guests we have phones so far have been really flexible.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Yay for Working together and so please reading our article made you take a minute to pause and work out another way forward.

  13. Linnie Delorbe says:

    Thank you RandFWeddings for informing us!
    The world is having a hard time with this pandemic.
    However, there is hope, Good health to all!

  14. Ava says:

    My concerns are that the Gvt is looking at isolation for over 70s, asking people to stop social gatherings, potentially considering closing of schools, but no information is being around the thousands of pounds that will be lost because we have to cancel our wedding due to other countries having stringent restrictions, the consideration we have towards public health and those more vulnerable and are in the higher risk category. The wedding insurers are not covering anything that does not amount to a pandemic. And I feel this is unfair especially in view of loss of life, jobs, etc.
    I would welcome your help in reimbursing couples who feel that cancellation is the only option at this point.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Ava, it’s difficult to comment on the government actions and this article really seeks to focus on how it affects the weddings rather than the wider issues. The one key point we would make is that while every situation is different given the majority of insurance policies are not providing cover and partly because technically this should be a postponement situation rather than a cancellation, Cancellation is a potentially extremely costly option for the couple that we would suggest should be taken off the list of ways to deal with this as it would almost in all cases result in standard cancellation terms being applied meaning no reimbursement to the couple choosing to cancel. We would urge for everybody’s benefit good solid friendly communication between Couple and suppliers and if the wedding can’t go ahead as planned then work together to move the wedding date. We cant speak for everyone but most suppliers are being very flexible under the circumstances when it comes to postponing the date and couples we are talking to are being very sensible in their approach..

  15. Colin & Lauren says:

    My fiance and I get married in 2 days on Friday 20th March. The anxiety of what’s going to happen is killing us. We have had 18 people drop out so far which is completely understandable given the circumstances. Weve given all guests the option of coming but fingers crossed we can ride out the next couple of days and the wedding happens!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Colin & Lauren, I think I can say without any doubt that theres a 100K plus people rooting for you right now, it’s an unenviable position but we are hearing every day that weddings are still going ahead with next to no concerns. The good news is that we are all in the same boat together and if the worst case happens I’m sure you will have the full support of your family, friends, guests and suppliers in making it happen at a later date.

  16. Future Mrs. Kevill says:

    I just wanted to say how helpful this website has been so far for my fiancé and me during this difficult time. We decided a week ago to postpone our wedding that was planned for 28th March in York. We were sad at first but now relieved and very grateful for our wedding venue and suppliers that have been amazing! All except but one were understanding at first, but now they all have agreed on our new date. Thanks so much again, I am glad we found this website!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hey There “Future Mrs Kevill” and of course Mr Kevill, So pleased you have not just found our article useful but that you have been able to positively work with your venue and suppliers to agree a new date, We are stronger together..!

  17. Marilynn Berrett says:

    Hello, this article is just a great resource for couples during these difficult times!

  18. Kel Dunk says:

    Im seeing this article shared everywhere with nothing but great positive feedback, Thank you for taking the time out to provide such a great service !

  19. Lee Mahon says:

    After 18 months of planning, my partner and I were due to marry on 24th March 2020. Yes, we are just a few days away.
    This whole scenario now has thrown our world upside down as it will have for m to ny other couples.
    We had 85 guests and within a week it had dropped to 42. This was due to family from Australia not being able to get here and Ireland. Friends were very worried and lots dropped out.
    We spoke to our venue and caterers and have been told (by the venue) that they would not postpone it for a later date and if we cancelled, we would lose everything! We were shocked. The caterers told us that they have bought the food and because they are a prefered supplier to the venue they are basically in the same boat, however, each guest could have two servings or we could take some food home with us! WAIT! WHAT? Take food home? What, in doggy bags?
    If we cancelled the caterers, then we would lose the money too. The venue & caterers combined is over £10k. It’s a lot of money to us and now that our guests have dropped to just over 20 now it is very very stressful. Within these guests are my elderly parents and a pregnant woman. We won’t be putting our guests at risk like these money grabbing companies are willing to do. I would love to name these companies, as they are not a small outfit, they have a few venues around Staffordshire, but, I won’t.
    Just be careful everybody and remember to stay safe.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Lee, This is a really difficult situation for everybody and I’m really sorry you are facing this stark scenario, ultimately in this scenario it’s important to understand that nobody is going to win and its compromise that will see everybody through. What we’ve seen so far is that the one buzzword to avoid using at all costs is “cancel” as even postponing the wedding puts severe financial pressure on all suppliers not just now but potentially over the next two years. Technically all parties are likely uninsured and contractually bound however I can only advise that you make sure you have approached all angles of postponement, approach the venue and caterer with kindness and understanding of how this affects them two and hope this breaks down the financial fear that everybody in this scenario has, empathy all round is key and perhaps there is hopefully still room to negotiate a postponement that allows everybody to meet in the middle, for example if you covered the perishable food costs and paid a small postponement fee to the venue and or agreed to a low season or non premium date. Try to reopen non combative discussion, make sure you are talking to a decision maker and be prepared however difficult to empathise with their situation also and offer ways to meet in the middle. We wish you the best in finding your way through this. Do let us know how you get on.

    • B & C says:

      We are due to marry in July. Albeit 4 months away, we like to look at all scenarios. We have elderly guests as well as some coming from abroad. I thought wedding venues would be more understanding, especially where the government has advised against public gatherings and the Church of England is conducting marriages on minimal requirement attendance. I have read a number of responses from venues, and they all largely read as though they only care about making sure they get paid! Hardly any are offering postponement/alternative dates.

      I hope all works out ok for you Lee.

  20. KelDunk says:

    Thanks for the update, we are in strange times and this guidance on postponement versus cancellation really helped when I spoke to some of my venue and suppliers this morning

  21. Sam says:

    This has been really helpful in discussing postponements with my couples, Thank you …!

  22. Charlotte M says:

    This has literally saved my wedding life, its been so difficult managing the logistics of finding alternative dates every supplier can do, in the end I found a local wedding planner that has picked up with it and had is handling all the logistics

  23. Amber Kimbal says:

    This website is one of the best we have found when looking for factual advice on our wedding being affected by Corona virus, and the Your Wedding Event and Covid 19 article is very well written and useful!

  24. Claire says:

    The advice on postponing has been really important, when I talked to a couple of suppliers I referred to cancelling when I meant postponing and it really did help reassure everyone involved once we were clear

  25. Andy Sparham says:

    I wish I’d read this before I jumped and tried to cancel our wedding, it would have save a lot of money and aggravation

  26. Richard Adall says:

    This has been my go to guide when working with all my couples during this pandemic which is affecting us all – Stay safe people

  27. Monroe Ollom says:

    This has saved my sanity, thank you

  28. Lynne says:

    Any thoughts of a wedding on the Fourth of July and the chances of it going ahead. 130 guests. Thanks.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hey Lynne is this from a couples or suppliers perspective, either way July is too early to tell, although I think given the latest news we can all agree its probably more unlikely than likely but both supplier, venue or couple need to be working together to continually monitor and adjust plans accordingly. Most of the venues we are working with are working a month ahead to reschedule as an example currently rescheduling April and possibly Mays weddings but wouldn’t necessarily be looking at June or July until we get to May.

  29. PhotoWorks Interactive says:

    World is really suffering with this. Stay home stay safe. Thanks for sharing this post, I appreciate.

  30. Sharell Lade says:

    The Your Wedding Event and Covid 19 article is one of the best I have ever

  31. Emma Sallas says:

    This article is a wonderful one. You are doing a great job
    with this info!

  32. Dan Schultz says:

    I wish I’d examined this earlier rather than I jumped and attempted to cancel our wedding, it would have saved a serious amount of money and aggravation

  33. samiha says:

    Thanks a lot, this has been really helpful in sorting out our day

  34. noel loren says:

    We were due to be married 2 weeks ago, this blog really helped us when we needed it most.

  35. Boswell D says:

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your post is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it.

    You’re doing a great job Man,Keep up it.
    Best regards,
    Boswell Duke

  36. Ewa Cavett says:

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  37. bridal wear says:

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  38. sneha says:

    This was an amazingly well written and elaborate article. Loved reading it.

  39. Miriam says:

    Thank you for this article! Great job!

  40. Covid 19 - Your wedding - Sam Cook Photography says:

    So the question in hand is what this epidemic means to your wedding plans and ultimately your contracts with wedding suppliers. I can’t speak on behalf of others but I recommend reading this blog post that is more directed to the wider spectrum of wedding industry suppliers and likely a lot of people you have plans with. Covid blog post

  41. Dino Nuhn says:

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  42. Caterina says:

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  43. izzi. says:

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  44. Nikki says:

    Thanks for all the advice , it has really helped to gain a clearer all round perspective from both sides.
    My daughter is getting married July 11th – still some time away – but to weigh up and resolve any problem relies on accurate information. The problem with this situation is there is no definitive answer as to whether the government will lift restrictions on mass gatherings by that time. If we knew they would still be in place we would also know that the event would be cancelled by the venue, deposit returned to start again.
    What we do know is that advice on health risks to guests over 70, with underlying health issues or pregnant will still remain and be in place in July. Also, still in place, will be international travel restrictions. This means that the guests able to attend will be significantly reduced – in our case by 50% at least – the majority being close family members.
    If we are compelled to go ahead ( because restrictions are lifted and hotel can still fulfil their side of the contract), would we be within our rights to reduce the numbers to those able to attend and only pay for them ie from 100 to 50 ? Or would we be held to the cost of original contract minimum guest number ?
    It would seem totally unfair to pay for 100 guests when hotel outlay is for 50, particularly if the hotel is informed this far ahead and it is under government advisement that we cannot provide the original guest number. The only mention of reducing numbers in the contract refers to the hotel reserving the right to cancel if numbers are reduced to less than 50%.

    I would be very appreciative to hear your ‘take’ on this aspect. Thank you .

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Nikki, Pleased this has helped in a turbulant time, on the issue of guest numbers which we feel will become the next big wedding issue once we start returning to normal, its important to understand why a venue operates minimum numbers, without going into chapter and verse on financial management, a venues business plan is based on a number of factors and each event must bring in a minimum amount in order to be able to operate as a business and cover both direct and indirect operating costs, min guest numbers are a way of achieving this in a fair and reasonable mathematical way. if your guest numbers do drop below the min required which can happen even under normal circumstances we would expect the venue to still charge for the min number otherwise it may simply not be worth it or even result in a cost to the venue to hold your event. I would ensure you have had a full open discussion with the hotel to outline any and all possibilities and how these would be accommodated. Although it may sound harsh technically speaking if we look ahead to a relaxation in restriction where weddings can go ahead but guests may still be restricted from international travel or even just be considered a higher risk this is not really your venues issue, just as it wouldn’t under any other circumstances as sometimes happens ordinarily a wedding guest list suffers a large number of dropouts last minute. If your numbers are that vastly affected it may be worth weighing up the total venue cost versus writing off the deposit and rebooking a much smaller venue, although this also presents its own logistical challenges which may mean its not worth it for what you might save.

      • Nikki Pateman says:

        Thank you for this – really appreciate it.
        At this point , they have paid a venue deposit of £1000 against a wedding cost circa £8000 and are due to pay a further 50% of the cost. They would accept writing off their deposit to be able to re-new plans but are worried that the venue would treat this as a cancellation and sue them for the full amount (8k).
        They don’t want to cancel, just postpone, like for like for same period next year, subject to availability, however the hotel will not do this.
        Please excuse me, if you have already covered this higher up in the thread. It is so difficult to navigate through this. The realisation and decision to re-plan was stressful enough and it still remains so – with guests, other suppliers – who we need to inform now, not later,
        Thank you for helping all the couples struggling with similar dilemmas – invaluable help.
        kindest regards

      • Tasha Raye says:

        I have paid a venue deposit of £1000 against a July wedding cost circa £8000 and due to pay a further 50% of the cost. I would accept writing off the deposit to be able to renew plans but worried that the venue would treat this as a cancellation and sue for the full amount (8k).
        I don’t want to cancel, just postpone, like for like for same period next year, subject to availability, however the hotel will not do this.
        The realisation and decision to re-plan was stressful enough and it still remains so. I need to inform guests and other suppliers now what I intend but finding it difficult trying to navigate through this.
        Thank you for helping suppliers and all the couples like myself struggling with similar dilemmas – invaluable help.
        kindest regards

      • Em says:

        Someone said coronavius is a virus NO it’s a bacterial

        • Dominic Harness says:

          Thanks for the input, Trump also said you can kill it by drinking bleach but hey ho, we’ll stick with the official experts views on this virus 🙂

  45. Sarah says:

    As a working commercial contracts lawyer and a bride to be, I have read your post with some interest. Well done on summarising the current legal situation quite accurately in a way that makes it relevant to the average bride. As you say for specific legal situations proper legal advice should be sought but as a general guide this is spot on

  46. Mandy says:

    Hi, my sister was due to marry in june, she worked with the venue and they have changed the date to next year. However the venue is demanding that original terms and conditions be adhered to, meaning the balance for the wedding be paid this week. As the wedding date has now be changed to march can they make her pay. She has emailed them asking to make small payments only 6k remaining. Just a bit hazy on where we stand as they are saying original terms and conditions stand when in effect the date has changed. Thank you

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Mandy, Technically from a standard contractual perspective, only the date has changed and all other terms would likely remain unchanged including the date of payment being due. every business is different in this respect as many are also renegotiating payment terms by splitting the balance payment between the original and future date, this helps the couple plan finances and it also helps the supplier/venue with cashflow so can be mutually beneficial. contractually the situation is correct however it may be worth opening up a further friendly discussion with the venue asking if a split payment would not suit both parties cash flow better. In our humble view it would be wrong to completely delay payment and the norm that seems to have been established is to split the balance due over two payments. Its also worth looking at your contract wording in more detail as the payment dates maybe dictated by the event date rather than a specified date. It sounds like the venue have played fair so far in moving the date to one that suits your sister theres no reason why hopefully they shouldn’t respond well to your requests.

      • Mandy says:

        Thank you very much for your response. The contract states payment due 6 weeks prior to event date. I just thought with the event date moving the date is now technically not the date. I’ll take a look again. Thank you

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  49. Sarah says:

    Thank you for such a useful post. We are due to get married on the last Friday in August and are nervously awaiting the government’s plans on Sunday.
    We took the decision to contact our venue relatively early on as we both have vulnerable parents we need to consider. Our venue has said that we either have to wait for them to make a final decision about our wedding date, cancel and lose our deposit or move it to a Thursday in April or July. Not a comparable date in our minds (we have lots of friends and children coming) and choose a ‘peak’ Friday for many reasons. August in 2022 is available and they have offered this to us but we would have to cancel and re-book, losing our original deposit and paying an additional £4,800.
    We will wait and see what the government guidance is but any advice very gratefully received.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Sarah, we are not legal advisors of course but our view is that on the surface of it, it sounds like you need to wait for the venue to make the decision at which point the onus is on them to provide a suitablly agreeable date or a 100% refund, by suitable and it seems you have this figured? it should be comparable with the original date booked. (on the flip side if you decline what are perfectly comparable alternative dates this could see you out of pocket), if it is a popular venue they may reasonably have most premium dates booked ahead for 18 months but our understanding of the CMA and legal advice is that they shouldn’t be charging you the following years rates unless they of course decide its commercially better to cancel your booking and refund you 100% in which case you may or may not decide to choose them or another venue.. unfortunately the worse case scenario here is that restrictions are lifted enough for your wedding to contractually go ahead but the risk to your parents you may consider too high. if that situation arises then realistically whilst it sounds harsh it’s not the venues responsibility to ensure your parents or any other guests can make it. Keep your venue onside and keep the conversation collaborative, if you reach that point you may need to attempt to renegotiate I’m afraid.

  50. David says:

    On the subject of venues behaving fairly to customers, we have our wedding booked on the 22nd August 2020 and our venue has been giving us different information as the crisis has developed. Firstly, they were only allowing 2020 couples to postpone to later in 2020. Now they are stating that a 2021 postponement is available but not on a like for like basis. If we want to postpone our wedding to a Summer Saturday in August, we would be required to pay an extra £4,190. The venue has offered weekdays at no extra cost (not equivalent) and Sunday’s (where they normally do not open) where would need to pay a £400 fee. All of the peak (July/August) Saturdays have now been booked, however there are some April/September 2021 Saturdays available. In my view Sunday’s are not equivalent to Saturdays hence why the venue is charging such a significant fee to postpone to these dates. They have not made Sunday’s available to new bookings, instead forcing peak Saturday 2020 bookings to move to Sundays in 2021. What would be your advice on options? our contract states parties should in the first instance try to find a mutually agreeable postponement date (no second instance), however you only get married once (hopefully) therefore why should couples be forced to pick dates which are beneficial for the venue?

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi David, your frustration is understandable, I can also understand the changing information from the venue as this situation has placed everybody on a steep learning curve dealing with a situation nobody would typically foresee. Our understanding as a generalisation is that both you and the venue have a legal responsibility to attempt to find an alternative date without either side placing such restrictions as to cause a contract frustration, if they have a Saturday available in August 2021 then unless your contract covers postponement costs it should really be at no additional charge as we understand it from a legal perspective, the risk however is that commercially if you multiply this situation by the number of couples they have it might simply be a financial commercial suicide situation for the venue in which case they may choose to cancel your contract altogether if you can not agree a mutually agreeable date which they can do providing they refund you 100%. The other difficulty is that most venues may book ahead 18 months or more, which will reduce the number of premium dates available to you. as an overview from an independent third party, offering Sundays which they don’t normally open for is a positive indication of their intention, is a weekend so arguably it should be considered. I also get that this raises concerns that guests may have work the following morning which is of course your counter argument. Assuming the april/september saturday dates are available at no extra cost as a independent mediator if I were acting as one I would suggest those would be suitable dates to accomodate all parties, bearing in mind different venues operate different peak seasons and the wedding industry as a whole has moved in the last 5 years to a place where the majority of the year is in equal demand.
      Bear in mind that the alternative could result in your contract being cancelled and even if fully refunded due to the changes in supply and demand and contrary to popular opinion the extremely low profitability generally within the industry, the likely costs of booking a wedding venue and suppliers from 2021 onwards will likely rise very dramatically, with it being almost impossible to locate a venue that has availability outside of weekdays. Hope that makes sense?

      • David says:

        Hi Dominic, Thank you for this very helpful advice.

        The issue we have is they are classing Sundays and Saturdays as “Premium” dates yet their pricing structure indicates otherwise. The April/September Saturdays available are being charged at an extra £2,940 where the next day (Sunday) is being charged at £395. The venue is allowing new customers to book premium 2021 Saturday dates at £8,380, yet charging existing customers an extra c.£3,000 – £4,000 for the same privilege (£11,000 total venue hire cost). Do you suggest we try and negotiate and for example offer to pay £1,000 for the Saturday in April?

        • Dominic Harness says:

          Its difficult to offer any actual advice as we we are not planning this wedding for you, but as an opinion, I would suggest that you ensure you are dealing with a senior manager or owner and point the venue in the direction of the CMA’s advice in a non aggressive manner whilst pointing out you are not asking for anything other than for the existing contract to be fulfilled at a later reasonable date, with the fallback option as you suggest further negotiation. Whilst I believe the venue should perhaps be working harder on this, its difficult to say without a complete understanding from both sides and you should weigh up the risk of the commercial viability issue that could result in starting from scratch with limited availability everywhere.

  51. Erlene Civiello says:

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  53. Alice Haslam says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if you can give me some advice. Our wedding is booked for the 7th of August, we have not started looking at postponement yet, but as the weeks go on it seems more and more unlikely that our wedding will go ahead as planned. In your professional opinion is now the time to start taking steps to a postponement or should we hold on a few more weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Alice

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Alice, You might want to check out our latest article on exactly this subject published just yesterday https://randfweddings.co.uk/your-practical-guide-to-postponing-your-wedding As a general guide there is no harm reaching out to your venue and suppliers and letting them now that this is on the cards and asking their advice, specifically the venue. The venue may understandably wish to hold fire before enacting any postponement plans but there is no harm in establishing an understanding of what plan B looks like should it need to be enacted. I also think we may have a greater understanding following the weekend and the Government announcements expected 🙂

  54. Hi, Just a quick thank you for the fab info you’re providing. This article has been invaluable to us as a supplier in supporting our wedding couples at this difficult time and we have been recommending it to our wedding couples who have also found it really helpful for clarity and tips. 🙂

  55. Sonia says:

    My wedding was meant to be in August 2020 but I have postponed it to November 2020. Is there any chance my wedding will go ahead with all my friends and family or do you think there will still be some sort of social distancing in place?

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Sonia, we cant say for definite but given the government information this week the wider industry prediction is that we will see weddings return sometime from July to more probably Sept providing people continue to obey the rules and we stay on track! It is likely that there will remain some restrictions around social distancing which will quite probably reduce the guest numbers any venue can manage whilst allowing the events to go ahead. The difficulty is that unless your venue agreement is exceptionally specific it is unlikely you would be able to postpone or cancel further and you will likely still be charged according to venue min numbers whilst needing to re-examine your wedding guest list with a view to possibly reducing it, you may of course already fulfill the requirements with your current numbers. This situation will become more clear as time and the situation develops.

  56. Amy says:

    Hi, thank you for providing such constructive advice. We were due to get married on a Saturday in August this year, we paid an extra £1000 to get married on the Saturday, (hence Friday and Sunday dates being a £1000 cheaper). Our venue decided to postpone all summer weddings to next year and can only offer us a Sunday date. When we asked if we would be refunded the extra £1000 we paid for the Saturday date they said no. Reason given…2021 dates are more expensive and it is now the same price to get married on the Saturday and Sunday. Obviously when we booked back in 2019 this wasn’t the case. What is your advice on this? We have a lovely venue with a very friendly team but we feel like we have been short changed!

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Amy, I’m pleased you have found this helpful, I think in this case it is a matter of swings and roundabouts as its normal for venue prices to increase with inflation annually, on top of which the increased demand and lack of supply in the foreseeable future will likely see most wedding costs skyrocket. Whilst one argument is that you at the time paid a premium for the Saturday and that contractual cost still stands, I would probably be tempted to take this one on the chin as you seem to have a great relationship with them otherwise and in relation to other couples booking now for future dates it’s likely you are would be better off than any alternatives

  57. Gemma says:

    Hello my wedding isn’t till saturday 12th September so I’m hopeful it might be on but most probably wont be. The wedding venue said if its cancelled they will offer us an available date (probably not a Saturday) to move to. And if we dont accept the date we are liable to pay full cancelation charges. My problem is I want to try for a baby straight after our wedding, and putting my life on hold to fit a wedding in to suit the hotel surely isn’t fair? My biological clock is ticking and putting my plans of having a family on hold might cost me the chance to have a healthy baby. If my wedding gets cancelled due to covid and I would rather cancel the date and get married later in life when Ive had my child. Is this suitable grounds for not accepting a postponement? If my original date goes through Im happy to proceed as planned.

    • Dominic Harness says:

      Hi Gemma, a couple of points here, one if the venue have only offered you just one alternative date with no other options thats probably going to be looked at as being unfair which is the good news, and you may wish to ask them what other dates they have to offer. On the flip side whilst we can empathise with your biological clock and its a very real human concern that should be dealt with the utmost empathy strictly speaking as a consumer query it would definitely not be a suitable reason to cancel and request a refund I’m afraid. It will be up to you at a personal level to make the decision and if you decided to cancel on those grounds I would expect that the venue would be right to stick to their normal cancellation policy assuming that policy is also fair and reasonable in relation to contracts” I you have not already I would suggest you speak to the venue and explain everything, they should want to help if they can, although family planning is not ultimately their responsibility.

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