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If You're Planning to Move Forward With Your Original Date

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If You're Planning to Move Forward With Your Original Date : Written by Jenn Sinrich and Anna Price Olson of Brides.com

Whether your wedding is set after July in the U.S. or you're planning to host a more intimate affair at home in the meantime, it's best to consider taking the following measures when saying "I do" at this time.

Follow CDC Guidelines: If you have your date and venue set, pay attention to what the experts (CDC) are saying and heeding their advice, suggests Trip Wheeler, president of SB Value, a company that buys food for caterers, concessionaires, and culinary professionals. “Pay close attention to what venues are allowed to do and how they can make sure their guests are safe,” he says. “Yes, it’s your wedding, the most important day in your life, but the last thing you want in your celebration is to make a lot of people sick.”

Expect a Smaller Guest Count:
It’s important to be aware of your guests’ travel plans, and understand if some guests choose not to attend the wedding or any pre-wedding event. “Guest counts may drop due to the fear of flying,” Gregoli says. “I would recommend that you lower some of your guest counts, as you may not get as many people as you thought in the first place.”

Consider F&B Minimums:
According to Heather Jones, the catering sales director of Wente Vineyards, in Livermore, California, couples are having a more difficult time meeting their food and beverage minimum due to lower guest counts. “Couples have guests that are unable to obtain visas to travel, air flights canceled or domestic guests that are concerned about traveling,” she says. "If you’re booking a venue or catering for an upcoming wedding or event, make sure you understand their policies. “When can you cancel, what are the fees, and do you have options to make up any missing food and beverage minimums?” she says.

Account for Invitations:
For anyone who has already sent out invitations, Laesser-Keck recommends going ahead and mailing—or emailing!— a “Change the Date” notice and updating your website with the new information. If you haven’t gone to print on invitations, and if you can, she recommends asking your stationer about the option of paying for rush printing so you can hold off on printing until the very last second. "Make sure you’re designing your invitations with a line item that requests your guests’ email addresses and make sure to direct them to a website for any updated information," she advises. "Being able to easily be in touch with your guests right now is key!" Another tip? "We’re also recommending modifying designs with less time-consuming print material methods—flat printing versus letterpress as an example—and doing online RSVPs, whenever possible, for ease and reliability," she says.

Design With What's Available:
The coronavirus may hinder your florist’s ability to deliver fresh flowers, depending on where they are sourced. “Our flowers are shipped primarily from portions of the world that are not currently experiencing the coronavirus outbreak, like Holland, Ecuador, and South America, but we do not know what the next few months will bring,” says Christy "CeCe" Todd of CeCe Designs and Events in Birmingham, Alabama. That said, many of the hardgoods that florists use for décor, such as vases and silk flowers for large installations, are likely to be impacted by the virus, she notes. So, if you’re already working with a floral designer, consider discussing backup plans and select a design that does not require the purchase of new products to produce the desired look for your special day.

Source Local Goods:
“I would suggest looking for local wonderful favors that are produced here,” Gregoli says. Other items that Gregoli says might fall into this category? Hair extensions and veils. “If you ordered hair extensions from China, consider synthetic ones because anything that has human hair may be delayed,” she says. “Also, veils are produced in China, but no worries, you can get them locally sourced as long as they have enough of the fabric in the house.”

Practice Extra Hygiene:
“For now, we’re following the CDC guidelines of basic human hygiene, which means washing our hands and/or using hand sanitizer every time we shake hands, touch elevator buttons, open a door, jump on the train, etc. and avoiding touching our faces especially when we’re in public places,” says VillaRamos. Jones reiterates this point. "We're taking extra precaution to ask that staff members showing signs of illness stay home and to place hand sanitizers at entrances to buffets, food stations, and rooms," she says.

Consider a Livestream:
For elderly guests or those who choose not to travel, Davis suggests opting for live streaming of your wedding. “With today's technology, it's quite easy to set something up on social media accounts by going live,” he says.

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