As a wedding planner, I’ve sympathetically listened to the same question over and over via FaceTime, Zoom and Skype from my 2020 wedding clients – “What should I do?”. And to be perfectly honest, at times I feel helpless because COVID… it’s new, to everyone. And to be perfectly honest again, there’s no one size fits all answer to this question. This is uncharted territory for every person on this earth, let alone the wedding industry and couples, so let me be clear in saying that it’s ok to feel lost when it comes to figuring out what to do with your wedding. What I’ve come to call “wedding guilt” shouldn’t exist because this was supposed to be your day that you’ve spent countless hours planning with or without a wedding planner and you’ve most likely spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your wedding thus far. So, your stress, confusion and concern are real. All those questions you have are so very valid.
So, what am I telling clients when they ask me what they should do? I’m telling them this – walk through all the facts that we know to be true at this time and gauge the emotional and financial toll those facts may have if you choose to hold out hope for 2020 or postpone your Nova Scotia Wedding.
COVID-19 Restrictions in Nova Scotia that will Impact Your Wedding
What facts do we know to be true about hosting your wedding in Nova Scotia right now, as of May 5?
- Currently, you’re not able to purchase a wedding license in NS. I spoke with a representative from Access Nova Scotia and just like many service-based operations, there’s no telling when you might be able to obtain that all-important license to make things official.
- Gathering restrictions are no more than five people currently. Breaking this rule carries a hefty fine of $697.50 per person.
- There are obvious travel restrictions with no sign of when they might be lifted. Therefore, any out of town guests won’t be able to attend at this time and probably for months to come in my opinion.
- Your vendors may be at risk of a fine as well if they choose to remain open to serve weddings – depending on what the service is and if current restrictions aren’t lifted, of course. They’d face a fine of $1000 per individual and $7500 to the business in general.
- Currently, most, if not all, venues are following our health officials’ guidelines and remaining closed until further notice for larger gatherings.
I’ve been spending my days educating myself the best I can on the pattern that this awful virus is taking – both locally, country wide and internationally. In all the articles I’ve read, newscasts that I watch, blogs that I read and various wedding vendors I regularly speak with, I see that unfortunately, Nova Scotia is one of the hardest hit locations in Canada. I see that some countries around the world are worse off than others and I see that some are reopening, slowly but surely. Which should give us all incredible hope.
I’ve read that Wuhan, China (the city in China that’s been hit the hardest) is lightening up restrictions, and if they can do it, so can we! Of course, their methods to overcome the virus have been quite rigid (which was much needed considering their population size and the numbers of infected). And guess what? After months of lockdown and upon lightening restrictions, there’s been an instant influx in weddings. 300% more applications for wedding licenses than in previous years, to be exact. This is great, not just for couples, but for the wedding industry too. We’re optimistic because we know what we do is meaningful and important.
What Nova Scotia Wedding Venues Are Doing to Help
In speaking with many local wedding industry professionals and wedding venues, I’ve noticed what seems to be a consensus; that it’s the hope that clients will reschedule their weddings instead of canceling. I’ve also noticed a consensus among procedures when it comes to what vendors and venues are doing considering recent difficult times to help ease the suffering for couples around the province.
Here’s what I’ve noticed. These are things I’ve been telling clients to help them make their decision:
- Most vendors are transferring your deposits to later in 2020 or to 2021. However, if you decided that your best decision is to cancel then your deposits will be forfeited in most cases.
- Most venues are following suit, transferring deposits and offering up many dates that aren’t already booked for later in 2020 and in 2021.
- A lot of vendors and venues seem to be cognitive of the same concern – in 2021 we’re going to be accommodating two years’ worth of weddings into one year. So, the sooner you decide, the better.
- I’ve had many discussions surrounding the idea of booking “off-days” for weddings, such as weekdays. This could be a great option if you’re looking to secure the same time of year that you desire.
- Also, it may be a very real fact that you may lose a vendor due to rescheduling. What I’ve been telling my clients is this – decide what’s most important about your wedding day. Your venue? Your wedding planner? Your photographer? And plan around dates that their available.
Of course, the information coming forward is ever changing and I feel a responsibility as a local business owner to keep on top of it and share what I learn with people and clients who feel lost right now. If you look at our Instagram you see that we regularly update our “Weddings and COVID” Highlight. We’re also offering one on one complimentary navigation sessions – you can contact us through the website here: https://skystldesign.com/contact-us-2/
You want to talk about your wedding with a pro (client or not)? Get in touch! We’ve got your back!