What can we do if the coronavirus affects your wedding?
Guys, Disney has shut down. Those people have even stayed open during hurricanes in the past! So we should panic right? No, honestly its precautionary and probably mostly just what worked out best on the cost benefit sheet they wrote up for public relations. Panicking is not the choice I have decided to make as a wedding photographer. For most of us, catching the virus will be just like a really bad flu. It would suck, but we could get through it. I actually had Swine Flu when that was a thing, again it sucked but I'm writing this so clearly it worked out. So let's take a minute and discuss what you can do and how to keep your head up during the toilet paper apocolypse... umm coronavirus Costco bananza? Whatever we call what's going on at this time.
Here are the things to consider: It's mainly just a really strong super contagious flu, that for most of us will just be super inconvenient and not at all a good time. I seriously believe that MOST of us will be totally fine. That said, the elderly and immunocompromised are said to be hit the worst, just like every other respiratory infection so they probably will have to avoid crowds. Some of your expected guests may not show up out of the fear that they could catch it, which also sucks. We're not about the problems though, we're about solutions so here are some things you could do instead.
Okay, hear me out. If you are seriously concerned, your wedding venue closes or something else happens beyond your control this is a good alternative. You can still have the same wedding day, you can even bring some VIP's to your elopement without exposing them to massive crowds, and you can still have an amazing experience with your fiance. If you still want a reception you can always set that up later in the year so you can celebrate with your friends and family. Maybe your honeymoon destination becomes your wedding destination. Getting married in a national park is a lot cheaper and doesn't need the decoration wedding venues do, so its a less stressful option to trying to reschedule everything. Some photographers might even give you more coverage like a multi-day or cover the elopement and the new reception without changing your price. Don't think quick courthouse elopement either, ride in a hot air baloon, go skydiving, swim in the pacific ocean. Whatever you think is the best way to celebrate your marriage together is what you should do! I tell my couples to think about what the best date ever would be like and then do that.
If you feel that some of the guests you wanted at your wedding wont attend due to the virus but you also dont want to postpone it's okay. Talk with your photographer about adding video so that you can share the memories of the day with those family members and friends that couldn't make it. You can always set up mini watch parties at each other's house and share those moments individually with those closest to you. Is it the same as having them at the wedding? No, but it is a really good alternative if you just need a backup.
You are not open to an elopement, can't have elderly guests miss the wedding, or your venue shut down on you. Talk this out with your vendors, you might be able to reschedule later in the year or even in the next year. It is by far not the end of the world. What I'm doing as a photographer is allowing my current couples to move their wedding dates if need be at no cost to them. Venues and other vendors may also be understanding and allow the same. You wont know unless you talk it out with them. You picked all those vendors for a reason, and I can't imagine you want to try and find new ones so see what they all say.