With the world now in full Coronavirus pandemic mode, many insurers are cancelling marriage insurance. Many couples planning to get married this year are left wondering “should I cancel my wedding?“
How Has The Wedding Industry Been Affected By Coronavirus So Far?
Many couples planning to wed in the UK summer are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude.
Marriage ceremonies are expensive and often take months to plan.
Cancelling early could mean the loss of thousands of pounds in deposits for wedding suppliers. Especially as it is likely to be seen as the choice of the couple rather than any outside restrictions.
The world is increasingly wary about getting on a plane as the virus continues to spread.
Airlines have canceled flights, or stopped operating altogether.
Many countries are on lockdown, large-scale events such as marathons, music festivals and sports games are cancelled.
The influence of the pandemic will have far-reaching effects which are still unclear as the situation is changing daily.
Let’s Try To Separate Fact From Fiction To Help You Figure Out “Should I Cancel My Wedding?”
It’s easy to feel panicked, but let’s separate fact from fiction.
Let’s answer some FAQs about how coronavirus could affect your nuptials based on the advice of informed professionals.
Should I Cancel My Wedding?
Needing to postpone your marriage is very likely with certain provisos.
Where Are You Getting Married?
The biggest factor that could affect whether your nuptials proceed is the location.
If you have booked a ceremony in a locked down area, you will need to look at the government travel guidelines.
When Are You Getting Married?
Is your wedding booked in the UK summer months of June, July and August?
The good news is that the warmer temperatures are expected to slow down the rate of infection. Although experts cannot yet guarantee that this is the case.
Geoffrey Poland director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group stated recently that he wouldn’t advise against postponing a summer marriage.
If you decide to postpone, the polite thing to do is to keep your guests informed asap.
Send out new save the date cards, personal letters or individual phone calls to ensure everyone is notified.
This helps your guests amend their plans accordingly.
Should I Cancel My Wedding If Some Of My Guests Live In Affected Areas?
If you are getting married iminently, and these guests are key people that you really want to attend, postponing or canceling is probably advisable.
What Age Are Your Guests?
Experts and experience tells us that covid-19 is more severe for older people and people with underlying health conditions.
Therefore, you might want to warn people in those categories the dangers of attending if necessary.
Are Any Of Your Wedding Guests Pregnant?
There is conflicting advice regarding pregnant women.
Some experts believe it cannot be transmitted to the developing foetus, while others say it can compromise the health of the expectant mother.
Lack of data currently makes it impossible to issue exact guidelines.
As a bride or a groom, the main priority is to ensure proper levels of communications with your guests.
Explain that things may change nearer the big day as new information or instructions become available.
Does Your Area Have Any Confirmed Coronavirus Cases? A Very Valid Question To Answer When Thinking Should I Cancel My Wedding?
Your guests may want to avoid the event in any case if Covid-19 is in your area, in which case postponing may be advisable.
There are no hard and fast rules, so much depends on the health and attitude of your guests.
How To Safeguard Wedding Guests From Covid-19
If you decide to proceed with the plans for your special day, it is important to reassure guests that you are taking measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
Current medical advice includes ensuring that people are at least one metre apart.
Holding the ceremony outdoors would be a good solution, ensuring seats are as wide apart as possible would be good practice.
Lots Of Fresh Air
Ensuring excellent levels of hygiene and ventilation are also vital during a pandemic.
Serve A Plated Wedding Meal
Buffet style meals are notorious for spreading illness so you should opt for a plated meal service if at all possible.
If you have already organised a buffet, arrange for guests to be provided with their own silverware for service rather than tongs and spoons that are handled by numerous people to reduce the risk of contagion.
Encourage Use Of Hand Sanitiser
Ensure that large bottles of hand sanitiser are available throughout the venue, but particularly by the entrance.
You could also double-check that the venue will definitely have hot water and soap in the bathrooms.
Avoid Some Traditions
It is also advisable to avoid communal traditions, such as sharing the communal wine at a Catholic ceremony and shaking hands with other guests during the ‘sign of peace’.
There might even be a rule asking guest not to kiss the happy couple!
Are Face Masks At Weddings Neccessary?
You might think it sensible to make your guests wear face masks.
However, experts and style guides advise against this.
If you decide to go ahead with the day, it is essential that it is a special occasion and facial masks will ruin the photos!
Also, facial masks actually have little effect on transmission.
Asking an usher or toastmaster to remind everyone in a friendly way to wash their hands thoroughly is far more likely to be beneficial.
Will My Wedding Insurance Cover Cancellation Should I Cancel My Wedding?
One of the reasons couples are reportedly very concerned about their nuptial plans is the fact that most marriage insurers have announced that they will no longer be providing cover for weddings in 2020 due to covid-19.
A lack of insurance is a leading reason for anxiety among couples planning to get married this year.
In the UK, four significant insurers have issued announcements on their websites informing clients that due to the coronavirus outbreak, they are not prepared to take on any new applications for wedding-day insurance.
This is unsurprisingly throwing a spanner in the plans of betrothed couples.
What If You Have Already Taken Out An Insurance Policy For The Special Day?
You must check the terms and conditions of the policy to ensure that it provides cover for the cancellation of the event due to a pandemic.
Most insurers are advising clients that their existing policies will remain unchanged.
The best thing to do is contact your venue and suppliers and talk to them about their plans if changes in the law mean that they are unable to provide the service due to coronavirus.
Event planners may regard the pandemic as a ‘force majeure’ which is a term used to describe exceptional events outside of anyone’s control which hinder the prevent the performance of an obligation.
There are no refunds for deposits paid to venues and no insurance cover to protect the consumer against this.
While everything remains unsure in the present climate, it is important not to panic and to take the essential steps of contacting your suppliers and your insurance provider, if you have one.
Once you have a better awareness of your position in the event of your marriage being postponed, then you can work out the possibility of rebooking your nuptials at a later date.
What About Our Honeymoon – Should I Avoid Specific Destinations Or Cancel My Honeymoon Altogether?
If you have travel insurance, our advice is to wait and see what the current guidelines are nearer the date of the honeymoon.
Things are changing so rapidly at the moment.
That’s what’s making this such a stressful situation for many wedding planning couples, and we send our best wishes out to you.
If based in the USA, any place on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of countries with travel restrictions should be avoided – and cancelled or postponed if reservations have already been made.
Honeymoon cruises may also be a cause for worry.
Several cruise lines have cancelled their trips to locations affected by the coronavirus.
Be aware that if you do travel to an affected area, you may find it logistically challenging to come back.
Flights from the Schengen zone of Europe to the USA are currently banned.
No honeymooner wants to face imposed quarantines and other restrictions.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
However, there is a bright side if you do have to delay your honeymoon.
You will have more time to recover from your celebrations and will have more time to save money for the trip while having the opportunity to make additional plans post-wedding.
Many airlines are also making it easy to rearrange flights by waiving ticket change and cancellation fees for recently booked flights.
Our Best Advice For Those Currently Wondering “Should I Cancel My Wedding?”
Don’t consume too much news, and try your hardest not to panic.
This situation will right itself, and you WILL be able to get married… at some point.
It’s awfully hard to make decisions regarding wedding planning at the moment, and cancelling or postponing your wedding may be the only way forward.
Keep communicating with your wedding suppliers and guests, and put your health first.
Good luck, and congratulations for when the time comes you do actually get to marry each other.