What to know if you schedule a wedding in the midst of the outbreak of Coronavirus? (Part 2)

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If You're Planning Travel or Asking Your Guests to Book Travel

If you're arranging travel or asking your guests to book travel Whether you're reserving honeymoon travel or asking guests to prepare for the big day, weddings require some degree of prepare. Knowing this, it's important for both you and your guests to understand travel options in the coming months.

Understand cancellation policies: First and foremost, anyone with travel plans should review the websites of the NSW health and the WHO regularly and ask for advice from their own doctor, advises Lesley Cohen, a luxury travel consultant in Sydney. Beyond that, she recommends that her customers schedule their cancellation deadlines to make a decision on the point that they may lose a deposit (or more) instead of making an instant decision when it may not be appropriate and may not make any financial difference. "If you want to make adjustments, check the possible exceptions or flexible policies with the hotels or cruise partners to allow them to switch dates without extra costs," she suggests. “At the moment, most flexible changes for air and hotels are for March and April in certain parts of the world.”

Take Insurance: If your honeymoon or travel plans are beyond this spring, she highly recommends going forward with plans. “Book the places you want to go but book flexible cancellation policies if you are concerned and consider Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance,” she says. Laesser-Keck agrees. “If you’re still worried, get CFAR insurance,” she says. “Go with your gut!”

Plan for a Smaller Guest Count: It is important to be mindful of travel arrangements for your guests, and to consider if any guests choose not to attend the wedding or any pre-wedding event. "Guest counts will drop because of the fear of flight," says Gregoli. "I'd suggest you lower some of your guest counts, because you may not get as many guests as you first thought."

If You're shopping for a Wedding Dress

According to the Wedding Australia, whether you're waiting for (or shopping for) a dress, 80 percent of bridal gowns are made in China, as well as other overseas destinations. For that reason, salons that are waiting for these dresses to be shipped are backed up, says Gregoli. Nevertheless, local salons, the designers of which are mainly located in the AU, are not facing these delays. Alison Kent, bridal product manager at Alliexpress, says that ship times and notifications are very communicative with the designers her team has been working with. “They’re prioritising brides that have weddings coming up, which is hugely helpful, however, ship dates are being pushed back to about 15 weeks instead of 10—and that’s changing weekly,” she says. If you’re just beginning to shop, consider one of the below options.

Order Ahead: When you are searching for a conventional salon or store to order a bridal gown and/or bridesmaid dress, Gregoli recommends doubling the lead time on gown purchases. If the suggested average lead time is 8 to 12 weeks before the wedding, consider taking this between 16 and 24 weeks in advance.

Shop Off-the-Rack: "If the gowns are interrupted and you can't get them in time, try purchasing gowns off the rack with everyone choosing a different kind of dress," adds Gregoli. Kent also suggests going to the nearest bridal lounge to see what they've got. "This is always a' we're-together-in-this-together' mindset and we want to make sure all the brides are cared for and can wear a nice dress if not their dream dress," she says.

 

If you're concerned about the "Details" coming together

If you've ordered something that's made in China — such as favours, products for the welcome bags, or even silk flowers for large-scale installations — know it could also be delayed. The answer, right?

Shop Locally: "I'd recommend you look for some wonderful local favours created here," says Gregoli. Can other things which Gregoli says fall into this category? Veils and hair extensions. "If you ordered China hair extensions, find them synthetic, as something that has human hair can be delayed," she says. "And veils are manufactured in China, but no worries, so long as they have enough of the fabric in the room, you can have them sourced locally."

Design For What's Available: The coronavirus can hinder the ability of your florist to deliver fresh flowers, depending on where they originate. "Our flowers are shipped mostly from areas of the world not currently experiencing coronavirus outbreaks, such as Holland, Ecuador and South America, but we don't know what the next few months will bring," says  Cici of  Wedding Designs and Events in Sydney. That said, the virus is likely to affect many of the hard-goods that florists use for decoration, such as vases and silk flowers for large installations, she says. And if you already work with a floral designer, start thinking about contingency plans.

When you're just starting to prepare or think about planning

It's normal to have a million "what when" questions about the future if you're just starting to dive into planning. While all of this is unpredictable, we hope this news won't cripple you or take away the joy of wedding planning that comes with it. Of this reason, we say take note of the above, and remember the following as you continue (hopefully) to prepare in the wake of coronavirus.

Start Wedding Ring Shopping Early: According to Josh  Prouds the Jewellers, many jewellers, diamond companies and suppliers deal with and procure all or most of their pieces from overseas areas that have been directly affected by the coronavirus. "Orders have been piled up, some businesses are completely shut down, others are simply selling what's in stock at the moment because they can't manufacture or produce new products, while some are drastically raising prices to try and compensate for missed sales opportunities," he says. Levkoff suggests that you make an appointment with your jeweller about three months before your wedding date so you won't be rushing until your big day. “We will ask the same questions and have the same one-on-one appointments with the couple in regards to what elements from their wedding or relationship they may want to tie into their rings, such as special engravings,” he says.

Ask About Cancellation Policies: During this time of uncertainty and turmoil, venues are experiencing less inquiries, according to Heather Jones, From a Private Hunter Valley Vineyards ' . Yet, according to Jones, the most likely effect is couples having a tougher time reaching their minimum food and drink due to reduced numbers of visitors. "Couples have guests unable to secure travel visas, cancelled air flights or domestic guests worried about travel," 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?” says Jones. “Not all companies’ force majeure or cancellation policies are the same and may not cover the situation with coronavirus.”

Hold Off on Major Decisions: "With our clients who are only getting ready to prepare with 2021, we are just waiting for a couple of weeks to make some major decisions," says Laesser-Keck. "Things are still unpredictable and we have plenty of time, so there's no need to hurry into something. We're still doing work aggressively and we're getting ready to pounce when we can, but we're just not locking something in. I think we're going to have plenty of insight, ideally, a month out."

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