Wedding Back-Up Plans for #CovidCouples

To postpone or start thinking of wedding back-up plans? That’s the question.

If you’re planning your 2020 wedding right now, you might be feeling like those plans are in limbo. Rightfully so! I can empathize with all the difficult decisions that were added to your endless wedding planning list. It F*in Sucks. You’ve navigated guest lists, finding the perfect wedding outfits, and tough conversations with parents. Just when you didn’t think wedding planning could get any harder… here comes freaking coronavirus! You didn’t ask to be a #covidcouple.

Even while California is rolling out its phases of reopening the state, weddings are part of PHASE THREE. Neither the government nor wedding professionals have any REAL knowledge or guidance (yet) on what weddings will look like or what restrictions will be put in place. Everything we know is hypothetical and our best guess based on what we’re seeing in Phase Two.

But pause for a sec. Let’s consider the variables, find solutions, and bring some wedding planning PEACE into your lives! Below, I’m identifying a few reasons why you might want to postpone now or implement wedding back-up plans, instead.

Wedding Party in the desert at RimRock Ranch
Reasons you might want to change your wedding plans RIGHT NOW.
  • Most of your family is coming in from another state or country. With variable travel restrictions, you’re worried the majority of people won’t be able to attend. Those mini sliders aren’t going to eat themselves!
  • You have over 200 guests and are worried the government might cap gatherings at less than half of that (including your hired vendors). Getting your guest list down to 200 was a feat, so there’s no way you’re trying to cut out any others.
  • Your wedding venue is telling you they won’t be able to host the wedding this year because social distancing won’t be possible. This is more likely with indoor wedding venues that have limited square feet.
  • There are real health concerns for immunocompromised family members within your immediate circle, and you aren’t willing to take the risk. Grandma is your most important guest!

*Grace and kindness are SO KEY during this time from all parties involved. Please remember to read your vendor contracts when trying to postpone your wedding. If your date does not fall under government mandates quite yet or “force majeure,” some vendors might be contractually requiring additional fees or new retainers to move the date.*

family style catering at wedding in Joshua Tree
Reasons you might want to put backup plans in place before actually postponing your wedding.
  • You’re doing your best to hold out hope that weddings will happen as planned! So much has changed in 2 months’ time. Who is to say that in another 2-7 months we won’t have the scientific progress that allows life to return to “normal”?
  • The most important thing for you is to be married on your original wedding date. No matter what that looks like, it’ll still FEEL special! You’re marrying your partner and celebrating that in a unique-to-you way.
  • You’re okay with potentially needing to cut your guest list. In fact, the big guest list wasn’t your jam, and you’re stoked being married with only your VIPs in attendance. (P.S. we don’t know if this will be mandated, but it’s smart to consider it as a possibility).
  • You’ve chatted with your venue and know that social distancing at the wedding WILL be possible. You’re ok moving forward if this is a necessary step on your wedding day. Open-air and outdoor venues have more luxury when it comes to space. Check-in with your venue to hear how they might be able to accommodate any mandated precautions!
sparkler exit at micro wedding in santa barbara


If you’re in the latter group, here are a few wedding backup plans you can start putting in place. Remember, backup plans can be implemented 1-2 months out from your original wedding date!


A: Continue planning your wedding with precautions in place. Let people know that you respect their decisions to come or not due to their fears or health issues, but that you are still very much planning on moving forward with the wedding. Reassure them of the precautions you are putting in place for their health. Start preparing to have hand-sanitizer stations, asking guests to wear masks if they are worried about getting sick, figuring out how the ceremony and reception tables can be set up to allow social distancing, and collaborating with your caterers to have plated meals. Gain some clarity around what the day could look like and over-prepare!

B: Consider having a Micro-Wedding. Micro-weddings are exactly what they sound like, weddings with a smaller guest count and a more relaxed timeline. IF mass gatherings will be limited to under a specific number of guests, you can still host your wedding day at the venue with all as planned, but with only your VIPs in attendance (likely, under 50).

C: Consider Eloping at a National or State Park. You really want the big wedding celebration, but if you are forced to postpone, you can still plan to be legally married on your original wedding date and have it documented! You can secure a permit to be married in the dreamy national park you’ve always wanted to visit.

D: If National and State Parks have new closures or restrictions, consider a backyard elopement, a courthouse elopement, or elope in a public space! Take your power back. You get to redefine this day together with your partner.

A bonus with elopements, is that you can share your photos and/or video at wedding celebration number two, so everyone gets to be part of two special days!

Elopement photos in Joshua tree
If you aren’t sure where to start with elopements and micro-weddings:


No matter how your wedding day happens, love is NOT canceled and your day can still be YOURS forever.

wedding back up plans during coronavirus

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