9 Next Steps If You Lost Your Venue Because of COVID-19
It is hard to imagine anything feeling more stressful than finding out – days, weeks, or a few months before the biggest day of your life, that the "place" everything was supposed to happen is now not available. This isn't new! This has happened in the past for a variety of reasons and is currently happening to many couples, because of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions.
Whatever the reason, if you have found yourself in this situation – don't despair! There is hope!
The wedding industry professionals are here, ready, and willing to help. And we have a plan!
And…oftentimes Plan B has a silver lining that will outshine Plan A! I promise!
1. FIRST – KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
- There is help out there and here are some ideas about where to look for it
2. LEAN ON YOUR VENDORS!
- Reach out to the favorite vendor on your wedding team and pick their brain!
- If they are in the wedding industry, they are people persons! And they would love to talk to you!
- The venue you had booked is not the only one they provide services for. They can be a huge resource for where to look next!
- They might even be able to reach out to the new venue on your behalf to get the ball rolling for you.
- Bonus insight - that favorite vendor has already built a relationship with you during the planning process and they have a feel for your taste, style, and budget.
- Who better to steer you to the next best location for your wedding?
3. LOOK AT OTHER VENUES!
- Not All Venues are Fully Booked – there are still dates open and beautiful venues available for 2020 (yes, even before the snow flies) and for 2021.
- If your wedding had to be postponed and the initial venue can't get you back on their schedule in a timeframe that sends you down the road to Happily Ever After as soon as you hoped – it doesn't mean other venues aren't ready to welcome with open arms.
- Many venues leave flexibility in their booking calendars for things just like this!
- AND A SECRET INSIGHT: from a venue owner and wedding planner (myself), …being the people-pleasing type – we love to come to the rescue and save the Wedding Day! It's far more rewarding and satisfying that eating wedding cake…over and over and over!
- Start reaching out to new venue options and if you can be flexible with dates that opens a lot of opportunities!
4. BOOK A NEW VENUE!
- Narrow down the open venue options! Find one or two that appeal to you with online photos and reviews (reviews are a window into that venue that you won't see at a tour- scope that out!)
- And then call and talk to a person, a real living a breathing person! And tell them your story.
- Get a feel for the personal connection with the person you would trust with the details of pulling your big day back together.
- You don't have the time you did before to do a dozen or more tours.
- You want a beautiful venue – yes! But what you need is a person in your corner! Someone you can trust to take all the eggs that fell out of that other basket onto your lap and put them in their basket!
- If you don't "feel" like that person is able or willing to do that from your initial conversation – move on!
CAN I? - SHOULD I? - BOOK A VENUE WITHOUT A TOUR?
- Scary thought, I GET IT! – but with COVID-19 restrictions you might not be able to tour for a while.
- Look to see if they have a virtual tour online. And if not, don't lose heart – again call them!
- Many venues are doing Skype, Zoom, and Facetime tours.
- Posting a generic tour online can be impersonal – so many venues prefer to tour one on one, even if it is virtual. That way they can still interact and answer questions during the tour!
- But have grace – venue owners are not professional videographers and are trying to learn to do this on the fly! But if they are doing virtual tours this way their hearts are in the right place – as no one tour is like another because each couple is unique, and their dreams are different!
5. TELL YOUR STORY!
- Don't be afraid to share your story with venues and vendors!
- You may think "they have heard it before", but you are a real person with a real story and they are real people who want to hear your story and then be able to help provide solutions, direction, tips, and even a shoulder to cry on!
- Make sure your family and friends are keeping their ears open and that they are not afraid to mention it in conversations at work, the gym, book club, etc., - you never know who might have the answer if they had the opportunity to hear the question!
6. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!
- What if I can't find a venue with a date that works for me – or a venue that fits my budget, you might ask?!
- Then it's time to get creative! There are city parks, friends with big back yards, and other venue options you might not have considered before – like a community clubhouse or open space in a neighborhood, a church connecting center or conference room, hotel ballroom, or even your favorite local watering hole.
- Yes, this idea sounds like a lot of work (and it is more work for sure – no lie) but if it's the only option left – rally those troops, those friends and family members whose help you have been gracefully declining up till now and let them pitch in and help.
- DIY, as commonly understood, means Do It Yourself ...but I suggest change it up! How about we make it mean - Delegate It Yourself!
- If you decide to tackle this "out of the box" create your own venue route – remember to enlist the expertise of your vendor team!
- You may have lost your venue, but it is very likely most of your team is still intact.
- Let the caterer guide you in what to rent for tables, chairs, linens, and dishware.
- Let the DJ help you decide on setup location for dancing and ceremony to get the best acoustics.
- Have your photographer scope out the space for lighting and shadow and they may guide you on a ceremony time for best lighting.
- If you hadn't hired a wedding planner previously – consider doing it now. They could be an invaluable resource to help you get all this pulled together logistically and be there the day of to make sure it all runs smoothly!
- And don't forget to consider your back up plan for the weather if you are planning to be outside – consider rain, shade, wind.
- I know, I know… that seems like the easy answer, and your parents and grandparents may kill you!
- And yes, you have already spent the money and booked all these vendors. Trust me, they will all very likely be super willing to reschedule (even into 2021). You can still celebrate together later with family and friends.
- If you have had to postpone your wedding, but still want to get married on the original date you planned – Do It! In Colorado it's easy – no officiant required!
- And then host your reception later in the season or even on your First Anniversary! You can incorporate a vow renewal, so you can have that walk down the aisle, the wedding party can still wear their new digs, and that song you wanted to walk down the aisle to can still be played!
9. LOVE IS PATIENT!
- Remember most of all – breathe!
- Hold the hand of the one you are planning to walk this road of Happily Ever After with and remind each other that the most important thing is that you love each other and you are still going to marry each other!
- Remind each other that the wedding is first and foremost about the two of you!
- Keep the focus on that and the other things will naturally reprioritize themselves.
- Stress, panic, frustration, and worry over logistics can easily become the beast that takes over your wedding plans and puts a cloud over the real reason why you were planning a wedding in the first place.
- Love each other, be kind, have grace, and add all this to the memories you will keep about your wedding day. When you look back on it years later you will be able to remember, with some humor, all the things you overcame to be together! Dang! That makes for a good love story!