With so much uncertainty and the increasing concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, under the advisement of the CDC it is recommended that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. Seconds before posting, the White House has since changed and advises the public to avoid groups of more than 10.
As a result, anyone with an event planned during this time frame is having to rethink, reschedule and/or cancel their gatherings out of necessity and safety. Though it may be overwhelming and unbelievable to process the fact that all your diligent efforts of planning seem to have been ruined, all may not be lost.
To assist you through the "next steps", I've jotted down three suggestions to help you get started and headed in the right direction.
Review your contracts and contact your vendors.
Although vendors and small businesses are experiencing the same impending health concerns and challenges but from another view point, they should be willing to work with you to reschedule your event. If they haven't already contacted you, call them as soon as possible. Hopefully, the professionals you've chosen to work with will display compassion and will be as accommodating as possible. If a mutual agreement can not be resolved to reschedule, be prepared to discuss, and possibly negotiate, the refund/cancelation policy.
Sit down and devise a plan of action to communicate your plans with your guests.
Whether by email, text message, phone call or through your wedding website, make diligent efforts to contact each guest about the alternate arrangements you'll make. It is very likely they have already made a decision as to whether they will still attend your event but let them know as soon as possible just in case they are still on the fence. They can then make the necessary changes on their end. This gives them time to cancel any accommodations or travel arrangements in enough time to prevent any additional costs, fees or penalties.
Give yourself grace.
Now, I will be the first to admit I don't always practice what I preach but give yourself grace. While your instinctive emotional response to this difficult predicament may be to react with frustration, anger or panic, remember, these circumstances are not your fault and are beyond your control. Take a step back, both physically and mentally and allow yourself appropriate time and space to properly assess the circumstances.
Stay safe friends. This too shall pass.