To all of our couples getting married abroad in Europe this year:
This year we were booked in for 10 weddings abroad already, which was so exciting. We were really looking forward to doing more traveling and playing for all of our lovely couples in France, Greece, Majorca, Sweeden, Germany, Switzerland and Malta! But unfortunately due to the Coronavirus a number of our destination wedding couples have had to postpone until next year!
It must be heartbreaking for anyone having to reschedule their special day, but with a wedding abroad there’s even more uncertainty with the virus as you’re relying on everything not only being okay in the UK but also in your chosen country – and for both not to have any travel restrictions! There’s also lots more aspects that will need reorganising and will possibly cost to reschedule, like flights for everyone and accomodation etc…
We’ve popped our thoughts and info we’ve had from chatting to our destination wedding brides below in case this might be helpful for anyone:
Ceremonies and documentation:
Many are also having issue with their documentation for the wedding – we’re spoken to a few brides getting married abroad in July and August whose wedding’s are very likely to still take place, however they’re not able to get their official documentation organised in time for the ceremony. If you find yourself in this position many bride and grooms have opted to still go ahead with their destination wedding as planned but to have an officially wedding ceremony in a registry office back home, either just before or just after the celebrations, just to do all of the formalities.
From our experience it does now seem that most flights and travel companies are allowing you to move your booking to another date if it’s booked in before the end of June. But most of those booked in afterwards arn’t able to change or claim from their travel insurance just yet. This must be a really frustrating situation to be in if you would just like to move you date now to save any more worry and stress. Our recommendation here is to hold on as long as you can, if you’re able to wait another month or so you’ll save yourself money if it does need cancelling. …but make a provisional plan B, check dates with the venue and your other suppliers now and try and provisionally hold them if you can but don’t make any officially cancellation plans until you have to.
Don’t cancel too soon:
On this note, it’s clear with both travel companies, insurance companies and us venues and suppliers that if you reschedule or cancel very early before it’s clear that you’ll definitely have to it will cost you a few more pennies as it’s more likely the normal contractual terms will apply. If you’re able to hang on a little longer before making the decision then most will offer compromised terms a little closer to the time if it does then look necessary to cancel. Unfortunately the way insurance companies look at it is that it’s your choice until that point. At this stage most venues and suppliers should be happy to put a rough date in place for when to liaise again and make a decision. For instance we’re offering new terms for everyone booked in before mid-July but we’ve said to couples with weddings after this that we’ll reassess in May and if there is no clearer information on whether later July and August dates will be okay at that point we’ll allow them to reschedule then either way 🙂
Tips for changing flights:
One trick we’ve found, that may be obvious to others but we were very pleased with ourselves on this and have managed to save a couple of bride and grooms some extra pennies – when changing to new flights with most airlines you can move your outbound flight to become your new return flight and visa versa, which could save you money. Before you change your fights, look up the options and costs with the same airline first as if it was a new booking, make a note of which of the ones you’d like to choose is the more expensive flight (the outbound or return) and swap your most expensive current flight for your most expensive new flight. Which ever that may be, with most airlines it doesn’t matter whether this means moving an outbound flight to become a return flight etc.
Asking too much of guests to reschedule:
One of the main questions couple are asking is whether rescheduling for another date this year in 2020 is asking too much of their guests?
Maybe financially: with everything going on a lot of people will be facing financial hardships in the coming months and some couples are worried that their guests will struggle to afford to go abroad so soon after this. But we think many will be keen for the get away and to have something to look forward to!
Or due to worry: we’ve spoken to a bride and groom getting married in Italy this May, they’ve rescheduled for late August but have had some family members get in touch to say they’re worried about traveling to Italy now. But the reality is, whatever country your wedding is taking place in, we’re all in the same boat now! By August the likelyhood of you getting the virus wont be different whether you’re in England or Italy.
Traveling in general can also be a worry for people, we understand getting on a plane and going through the airport may seem like a risk. Everyone will have different feelings on this. It may also depend on the demographic of your guests, anyone in a high risk group is quite rightly going to be more concerned and understandably so, so if you do have lots of older relatives or a number of vulnerable guests planning to attend you may be best rescheduling to 2021 rather than summer or autumn this year.
We think the best thing you can do is just speak to your family and friends first before you make a major decision on your new date and gauge how everyone is feeling. For the most part we’ve found that despite any concerns, most guests are actually keen for the wedding to take place later this year so they have something to look forward to!! We’re all going to have spent months trapped in our houses and will have been through a traumatic period of worry and grief – it would be lovely to have a light at the end of the tunnel and something nice to be thinking about, looking forward to and making plans for when this is all over.
So far we have had two wedding’s we were performing at reschedule for exactly 1 year later in 2021. Also another booking and a friends wedding in Europe reschedule to this August and October 2020 – there are plusses and minuses to both options but personally we can’t wait for the weddings this year, as we’ve said something to think about and look forward to and an excuse to go and get some much needed sunshine after being stuck in a flat for months!
Rescheduling to an off-peak date:
One of the possible benefits of having a destination wedding is that you may have more option to choose an off peak date as opposed to another Saturday evening when rescheduling your special day, because you’re guests will already be booking a number of days off for the traveling and also to make a bit of a holiday out of it and have some time to themselves either side, so it may not make much odds to them if the actual day is on a Saturday. We already know that most often guests will take 4 – 7 days away for the holiday when attending a friends wedding abroad. Doing this will give you lots more options for getting a date that suits all your chosen suppliers, venue and guests and save any disappointment and could also save you a few pennies…
Wedding Abroad Guide:
You may or may not know about this fantastic website: https://www.weddingsabroadguide.com
Which has all the info you need to plan your destination wedding, tips and tools and recommended suppliers etc.
They also have a fantastic Facebook group which is helpful at any time but particularly helpful right now to get an idea of what other couples in the same position as you are doing, so we highly recommend checking them out and joining the Facebook group…
…and we look forward to playing for your destination wedding really soon!