Corona Virus Preparation
We’ve had more than a few requests for information regarding Corona Virus preparation for upcoming weddings. When your wedding costs as much as it does IT’S ONLY PRUDENT TO PLAN! We have taken every precaution possible and are as prepared for this as we are for all viruses and interruptions to service we are likely to encounter… But…
BUT ARE YOU PREPARED?!?!
Corona Virus is far more likely to affect your wedding than you think… Already countries such as Italy, Korea and Japan are ACTIVELY LIMITING PUBLIC CONGREGATIONS INCLUDING WEDDINGS. (A personal friend of ours has abandoned their Lake Garda wedding, with all the financial implications that entails…) So even if you or no-one you know ever contracts the virus, government policy may mean CANCELLING YOUR WEDDING or changing location.
Whether it is your venue closing for deep-clean, a limit on number of guests curtailing your plans, or potential illness within your family causing delay or cancellation – YOU MUST PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITY. With over 40 weddings booked this year, we predict at least 1-2 weddings will definitely be affected by cancellation as we have generally seen an average 4-5% cancellation rate to all weddings every year – with possibly many more this year if corona virus escalates. That means thats someone reading this right now will be cancelling their wedding in 2020 even if corona virus isn’t a problem… If this is you – could you handle the financial impact?
Your venue and wedding vendors will still expect full payment in the event of cancellation – even if this cancellation was beyond your control. Of course you have wedding insurance, it is vital for every wedding for so many reasons, but does your policy cover the above possibilities? CHECK NOW!
Fail to Plan, Plan To Fail…
Here are some very real scenarios that may affect your wedding:
Wedding Venue Closure
This can happen for all sorts of reasons: fire, water damage, bankruptcy, parent company take-over, virus outbreak affecting all staff… We’ve seen this happen for all sorts of reasons. We always ask our clients without insurance:
“If your wedding venue closed two weeks before your wedding day, could you afford to pay outright for another venue at such short notice? If you even had the room on your credit card – would you want to? This is exactly what wedding insurance is for!”
Major Illness Postponing the Wedding
Should any of the main principles of the wedding suddenly become very ill, with coronavirus or for any other sudden illness, you may need to move the wedding forward or back significantly. Even if you are able to secure another wedding venue or the same venue on a different date, it’s highly unlikely that absolutely all of your wedding vendors will be able to, and will still ask for full payment for the original date as you will have agreed in your contract. Not to mention there will be a huge personal cost to yourselves and guests (changed accommodation plans, time off work, babysitting, the list goes on…) that will massively affect you and your loved ones.
You are probably reading this and think this is unlikely – BUT IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO SOMEONE WE KNOW. Due to the outbreak in Italy we know of at least two destination weddings being forced to cancel. This is due to government measures in limiting large group sizes and movement, as well as quarantine. THE UK GOVERNMENT has recently indicated in a stated by the Minister for Health that this option is on the table in the UK also.
This means your wedding venue may be caught up in a quarantine zone that limits all but essential travel, forcing cancellation. Or there will be a limit on the number of guests allowed (think less than two dozen allowed to attend), which may make you consider postponing your wedding or moving location.
Wedding Supply Chain Interruption
There are so many possibilities here, from your caterers being unable to order in food as suppliers shut down factories due to outbreak (or even just concerns of an outbreak), to councils and venues being unable to procure basic items necessary to conduct your wedding ceremony. Maybe your wedding booth prints on photographic paper that is now not being manufactured in China so reserves are already sold out before the season starts? Maybe your fireworks company also can’t procure fireworks as the factories are shut? Perhaps your wedding dress you ordered specifically or were waiting upon to be released simply isn’t imported due to trade bans – or as is already happening: not enough staffing at foreign export sites to properly check and ship them?
Wedding Vendor Cancellation
Illness may make one or many of your hired services for your wedding day simply cancel outright on you – whether it’s your car hire or DJ company that suffers from illness and enforced quarantine, to your MUA or Cake provider cancelling on you because they do not want to attend large gatherings and therefore put themselves and their families at risk (we know of one MUA who has already closed their 2020 diary to new bookings for this reason). Indeed an isolated outbreak amongst your venue wedding staff may lead to sudden closure just before the big day. Whilst you would of course be entitled to a full refund, finding a suitable replacement at short notice could prove much more expensive than your original option…
Steps you must take NOW!
- If you haven’t got wedding insurance then IMMEDIATELY CLOSE THIS WINDOW, OPEN A SEARCH BROWSER, AND BUY SUITABLE WEDDING INSURANCE. This is such an integral part of a wedding that, honestly, it is insane that you do not have any…
- Check with your wedding insurance their policies on cancellations due to the above reasons. If it does not, then consider seeking alternative protection.
- Check with your wedding suppliers what their policy is on cancellations – in particular what arrangements they have in place to cover your wedding if they are unable to. For example, if your venue is owned by a parent company with many different hotels/locations – in the event of cancellation or curtailment – would an alternative venue from within the company be offered?
- Formulate a Plan B – what would you do if corona virus or any other illness/reason lead to a delay/postponement or cancellation of your wedding? Have you considered any alternatives at all?
- Consider pre-alerting your guests as to any precautions to be taken – with so many guests coming from all over the country, there’s no telling what viruses they may bring with them!
- Wedding insurance. It’s so important, we’ve put it here again. After 10 years in the industry we’ve seen first-hand more than a dozen couples face massive financial costs for reasons beyond their control, all but for the want of a simple (and relatively inexpensive) wedding insurance purchase. Oh and do take the time to shop around and make sure that that wedding insurance meets your needs!
Why Your Wedding Vendors Can’t Refund You For Cancellation That is Not Their Fault
We really don’t want to unnecessarily worry or scare you, but unfortunately as a full-time small wedding business we do see the worst happen. This is further compounded by the problems of clients in these awful situations expecting full refunds – something that as a small business we simply can’t afford to do. This is why we ask you to sign a contract agreeing to full payment regardless of circumstances for cancellation – and is the reason we will go on and on and on and on about wedding insurance.
Simply put, your wedding insurance can pay out for your wedding costs with no major impact to their business – but every cancellation to us as a small business is a HUGE impact and is literally directly taking money away from my growing family. For this reason and so many others, we implore you to take wedding insurance seriously so as to meet your financial and legal obligations to us and all the other small businesses you have hired – to whom every cancellation is a huge blow.
International & Kent Wedding Photographer
Your Family memories will never be as important to anyone else as they are to you, but trust us when we say – your moments will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your family photographs special too.