Coronavirus + weddings: how to deal with that?
See what to do if you are planning your big day
Around the world, the coronavirus situation has been affecting not only people’s routine, but also it has caused a major impact in the wedding industry. Weddings are being postponed and canceled as well as honeymoons and travels.
With all that, how are couples and wedding vendors supposed to deal with weddings?
“It’s a moment to be careful and listen to the authorities. People should rely on secure sources of information and also be careful with fake news and fear-mongering articles. The situation is real and we need to be open to changes, and to offer amazing customer service to clients that are living abroad. Be proactive at this moment is the best way to deal with the situation”, says Giovana Duailibe, founder and CEO of Belief Wedding Creators, an international community for wedding planners.
How can wedding planners deal with the situation?
Some wedding vendors, especially the wedding planners, have been dealing with cancellations and postponements since the news broke. For Giovana Duailibe, the most important thing is to give the clients plenty of information about what is confirmed, including real updates.
“When the wedding planner takes a step forward sharing with couples a vision from an insider, they will feel more confident to make a decision. Be honest with your clients, let them know what is happening, give them options, and most of all, be flexible”, suggests Giovana Duailibe.
In case the clients decide to cancel the wedding, Giovana recommends for vendors to make sure to give them an alternative first, maybe suggesting postponing the wedding and offering full support to make this transition smoother and right.
“Wedding Planners need to keep in mind that sometimes mother nature and things like the Coronavirus can happen and completely alter the game plan. That’s why the vendors’ contracts should contain a clause regarding emergency situations due to natural or other disasters. Make sure to try to accommodate your client’s necessity, but also to be transparent on your limitation as you might have other weddings booked. This is a situation that both parts need to be flexible, especially regarding penalties fees and money-related things”, she says.
Postponing will for sure create some extra work, of course, but the idea of “keeping the dream alive” will give them motivation, according to Rui Mota Pinto. “We all know this pandemic situation will end. In the financial aspect, the cancellation can bring some major losses, because of insurance that does not cover pandemic situations, and some vendors that have strict “non-refund policy”. It can be hard to negotiate full refunds with all the loss that comes from there. When they postpone it, most vendors will understand, and it is easier to negotiate that all the payments done before the time of the decision will be transferred to the new date without penalties or loss”, explains Rui Mota Pinto.
Step by step to act:
- Be transparent with your client. This is not the moment to say that it’s just a flu. Get information directly from authorities and be proactive.
- Talk to all your clients even before they ask for something;
- Don’t suggest them to cancel, suggest for them to postpone;
- Talk to the vendors that you work with and make a plan for people that will need to reschedule their weddings.
- Be safe, think on your team, protect you and them.
How can couples deal with the situation?
This is where the wedding planner can really help couples. “Especially for that reason that I highly recommend couples to have a planner. They will be crucial to manage the crisis and help the couple to come up with the best solution”, states Giovana Duailibe.
Regarding the coronavirus, it’s important not to panic at this moment. “Listen to the authorities, talk to local people. Don’t take any decision without checking with your vendors, and make sure to let your guests know what is happening. They will probably be scared as well, so communication is the key”, explains Giovana.
Step by step to take your decision:
- Talk to your wedding planner and local vendors before making any final decision;
- Be transparent with your guests. they probably are super concerned about your wedding the same way as you are;
- Remember all the hard work that you already did. Don’t cancel your dream! Just change your date. This will save you time and money!
- If you have a destination wedding or a honeymoon, don’t forget to check the policies of the airlines companies. Many of them are allowing customers to postpone their travels.
The wedding planner Rui Mota Pinto is being proactive with the couples. “I am keeping a regular conversation with all my clients giving them the updates and exchanging info with the vendors so they can see everything is taken care of, and that there is no need for panic. Only reorganize, rethink and make some adaptations. At the same time, we need to manage the emotional side of the couples. They must know that we care about them and that we know are doing”, he states.
Wedding industry working together
Giovana Duailibe believes that transparency, communication, and teamwork is the best path to deal with this situation. “This is the best thing that wedding professionals can do at this moment. In case a wedding needs to be postponed, vendors need to work together to accommodate in the best way the clients’ necessity. This is the perfect time to make the industry stronger by working together”, she concludes.
The wedding planner Valentina Lombardi, from Italian Wedding Company, agrees with that: “In this special moment we need to work in a team with the couples, but also with professionals, venues and vendors that are involved in the event. We need to be proactive, flexible, understanding and most of all share positivity. I really think that a wedding needs to be a dream despite all”.
Group to help couples and vendors all together
Giovana and the Belief Team decided to create a group to help couples and vendors around the world.
International Press talking about the Coronavirus & the wedding industry
About Belief Wedding Creators
Belief Wedding Creators is an international platform for wedding planners, with members in more than 30 countries. “Learn, share and build long-lasting connections without the hustle to be a lonely entrepreneur. That’s the main goal of Belief WP and we are always open to new wedding planners that want to join the network and create a bigger impact on the wedding industry”, states Giovana Duailibe.
5 years of Belief Community
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